Friday, February 08, 2013

Thoughts For Today -- Discovering Hidden Treasure

I've been uncertain about whether or not to post this message. However, I believe there is value in it, so here goes.

Last week my husband and I watched a movie that starred one of our favorite actresses--Ann Hathaway. When we sat down to watch, we  expected a romantic comedy. It was much more.

At first we were shocked and disappointed. It contained a lot of profanity, nudity and gratuitous sex. I almost turned it off, but something kept me watching. I think I was hoping for something valuable because it was a Ann Hathaway movie. And I'd never watched one of her movies that I didn't like.

As it turned out, she didn't let me down. Her performance was excellent and believable. She played the role of a woman stricken with early onset Parkinsons Disease. The gauntlet of physical challenges threatened to destroy her. The challenges and fears playing out on the screen struck very close to home for me. Some scenes could have come from my own life. I was startled by statements coming out of the character's mouth--they were things that I've said, verbatim.

Anne's character, Maggie, longs for independence, hates pity and needs to be loved--but she goes about working through these issues in all the wrong ways. When Maggie comes upon a a young pharmaceutical rep. named Jamie, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, she's met her match..

If she were my daughter I would have told her to run from the self-absorbed young man. Jamie has never told anyone or anything that he loves them--because he hasn't. He's committed only to himself. That is until he actually falls in love.

When the movie came to an end, my husband and I looked at one another, our eyes brimming with tears. In so many ways this was our story--not the issues about not being able to love, but so many of the other challenges this couple faced. There were no easy answers, only a pledge to stand together against the odds.

In 1991 I was involved in an auto accident with a log truck loaded with timber. I've never been the same. Some of my injuries never healed and sometimes I feel like I've been old since age thirty-nine, which is the age I was the day of the accident. Chronic pain changes a person. Some days I am not easy to live with. : \

Up until that time, I'd taken my husband's love for granted. I didn't realize how deep his commitment was until he had to step into a bigger role than "just" husband. Not only did he have to fulfill his traditional place as breadwinner, but he also became housekeeper, cook, full time parent and at times, med-aid. He did it and still does without complaint. And up until then we'd lived an active life together. Our activities were greatly diminished and with the passing years even more so.

I'll be honest--I miss those days. I mourn their loss. And it's because of that loss that sometimes I feel like my husband would be better off with an able-bodied woman for a wife. I feel bad about the many things we can't do together. But my husband has never wavered in his devotion. Even as I am, he loves me and wants to spend his life with me. If I could go back and change the events of June 11, 1991 I would. I'm not courageous enough to embrace the changes in me. But, I am grateful to have experienced true love and to know what it really looks like. Thank you, Lord.

Sometimes I am awed by the fact that my husband loves me just as I am. And I love him so deeply for loving me.His love reminds me of Christ's love for the church. We love Him because He first loved us . . . just as we are.

I'm not telling you to go out and get this movie and watch it. Many of you reading this would be offended by its content. But I wanted to share with you what a wonder it is to discover treasure in unexpected ways and unexpected places.

Love & Other Drugs reminded me how blessed I am to be loved just as I am.

Grace and peace to you from God,



  1. Oh you poor dear!!
    Oddly enough, we have some things in common. Pain and solid husbands.

    In late June of 1997, I sneezed. I was 6 weeks pregnant and those joints were limber. So much so, that the tissue between L2 and L3 ruptured and I collapsed.
    Now, I've fallen off a galloping horse and landed on my head, I've given birth 4 times and have broken bones, but NOTHING can compare to fluid being shot up one's spinal cord and sending your body into shock.
    I couldn't walk for a month. I still can't feel parts of my legs. Basically, the doctors said, I have freezer burn in the nerves.
    My husband didn't understand pain before that day, he does now.
    He didn't do compassion well, before that day, he does now.
    And he didn't appreciate how much I did, and he sure does now.

    I like to joke that my husband watches my back. He does.

    God is good.

  2. Jennifer, I can't imagine being pregnant and having a rupture in your L2 and L3. How did you make it through the pregnancy?

    I remember a mylogram (sp?) I had years ago -- 17 day spinal headache. Awful.

    Isn't it awesome, though, that we have guys who watch our back?

    Bless you.

  3. Honestly, God's grace.It was a LONG 8 months!! I had 9 pain free days the entire pregnancy and then delivered him a month early.AND he got stuck, so they turned him. Twice. You do know how they turn them, right? Ew.

    I look at him now and shake my head. He's the kid who got 99.7 on an exam and was actually annoyed. He's the one the teachers asked us if he could speak, because they never heard a peep out of him at school. And he's the one who makes me laugh so hard I cry.

    But one of these days, he's putting in a pool for me!!!

  4. Anonymous3:55 AM

    I have a chronic illness and deal with chronic pain too. Like you have been blessed with an amazing supportive husband it makes all the difference sometimes. Thankyou for this blog post I'm glad you posted it :) Ollie

  5. Jennifer, I do know how they turn babies and it is an ewww for sure. I am thankful I never had to do anything like that. I actually had easy pregnancies -- except for pre-eclampsia with one. The deliveries, however, were another story. : )

    Thankful for your son.

  6. Ollie, thank you for speaking up about your chronic pain. It's a tough road to walk. I am sorry your path includes this extra hardship, but I know God will use it for His glory.

    And thank you for encouraging my posting this blog. I try to be transparent and my desire is to be an encouragement to those read it. I will continue to do my best to use the gifts God has given to uplift others.

    Blessings to you.