Friday, June 30, 2017

It Is Not Fair



In July we will celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary. A few months ago I started brainstorming some cute ideas for a family photo shoot to celebrate the occasion.

But in May, on the day that we scheduled Ed's brain surgery, I realized that our July wasn't going to be normal. With images of shaved head, surgery scars, and chemo hair loss, I asked my friend Regina if she would come take our family photo the next day.

So the above photo was taken the day before Mother's Day, three days before Ed's surgery. Ed was feeling horrible, but willingly put on his best smile. I skipped any ideas of creative shots and was pleased with one pose on our house steps.

This week Ed and I were discussing how to celebrate our anniversary. Ed is still feeling very well and able to work but, since the date is toward the end of Ed's six weeks of treatments, most likely he will not feel as well. It is hard to imagine any fun way to celebrate when you are on a extreme diet and don't have energy.

Ed and I have always said that it is good we don't hold too much stock in how special dates are celebrated. On our first Valentines, Ed caught a terrible stomach bug. We've had anniversaries at unromantic occasions such as a funeral or a church conference. Other times I've been in early pregnancy without the energy for celebrating. Ed and I have always said that it is far more important how the rest of the year is spent than one day of our anniversary. I'll take 364 great days than one spectacular day in a mediocre year.

But even knowing that, thinking of our anniversary triggered a real pity party this week. I counted all the ways it was not fair that we can't even have the pleasure of looking forward to this anniversary when our years together are probably very limited.

I know, it is part of the grieving process, and there is nothing wrong with recognizing loss. But the next morning I could see clearly to recognize other truths that are also not fair.

It is not fair that I have enjoyed fifteen years of a joy-filled marriage when so many experience a marriage that brings them nothing but sorrow.

It is not fair that I live in a time in history and a place on the planet that allows access to medical advancements. So many in the world lack even  basic health care. Without brain surgery, Ed may not be alive today, and certainly he would not be able to communicate.

It is not fair that of all the religions in the world, I was taught from the Bible about the one true God who brings peace to our relationships here today and gives hope in the life to come.

I am blessed.

38 comments :

  1. Oh Gina, my heart so goes out to you. I do agree with you about not making a big deal out of one or two special days a year. Certainly you have been given a heavier burden than most, but also with it more grace. Since you so love hymns:

    "He giveth more grace when the burden grows greater.
    He givith more strengh ere the labors increase."

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  2. I truly appreciate your ability to challenge yourself and others to look beyond the dark to find the bright spots. They are always there; we just sometimes forget to look for them. Thank you for that timeless reminder! Praying for healing, patience and peace for your family.

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  3. Beautifully written, Gina. You are right, we are so blessed. When I complain about housework (admittedly a much smaller thing than what you and Ed are dealing with) I am rebuked because I am so blessed to have a home ... a modest home, but one that is huge and palatial by most of the world's standards. So many have no home at all, and others have homes that are inadequate.

    Praying for you, Gina, and so thankful to you for sharing your journey with us.

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  4. What beautiful and thought provoking words. Even through our trials and troubles there is always something to be thankful for. May you and Ed have a blessed and happy anniversary and you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

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  5. It isn't fair at all, I'm sorry you are going through this. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Fiona

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  6. So beautifully written! My husband and I had never been away from the children so on our 10th wedding anniversary we rented a nice cabin to stay in and he got food poisoning from the supper we ate there that evening. This year on my daughter's very 1st birthday our entire family got a nasty flu bug. Our family always jokes about holidays and special occasions because it never fails, something bad always seems to happen. Thank-you for the reminder of how blessed we truly are! Continuing to pray for your family!

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  7. Truly a very BEAUTIFUL family portrait! Thank you for sharing your process of coping, an inspiration and challenge for us all. It's true, many women never have a good marriage ever, It's true that medical advances are a wonder and a blessing. Every-day faith is literally a daily challenge even on the best of days, but God is so touched, when even on bad days we praise Him and count HIs blessings.
    Keeping your family in prayer, with hope, faith, love and hugs

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  8. Your post touched me deeply...I hope and pray that you will have a very special anniversary ...precious moments woven into the hard...Keep drawing from His grace. Blessings,
    Lucinda

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  9. Such a powerful post. Thank you for your witness. Indeed you have built a beautiful family.

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  10. I'm bombarding you and Ed with prayers. It *isn't* fair that your anniversary will be affected by illness and fatigue, and it isn't fair that this happened at all. I sympathize with you. Maybe celebrate early while Ed feels well.
    And, by the way, congratulations on fifteen years married! The traditional gift is crystal, but glass is often given nowadays. Maybe there's a pretty crystal photo frame or vase or some such you could get to commemorate your achievement.
    May God shower you with blessings and with all needful things.

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  11. Wow, what a post, all of it, bringing up sad tears and happy tears! It reminded me of that well-known praise song Here I Am, Lord https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcxOkht8w7c With all the pain and all the blessings, just here I am!

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  12. You are right, life isn't fair, but I'm so thankful for the grateful spirit you have. May He continue to give you the grace you need. Thankfully Ed is a faithful husband. We are blessed by your testimony.

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  13. Bless you Gina. There are steps of grief to be dealt with, for sure. Thanks for your encouragement of finding blessings in the midst of it. I too need those reminders.
    Diane H

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  14. You are brave and courageous, friend.

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  15. Thank you for sharing this. What a gorgeous family photo.

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  16. Dear Gina,
    you constantly astound me at your humility, surrender and acceptance of all that's going on. I know your strength, wisdom, & peace comes from the Lord. You inspire me very much. Thankyou for your witness and courage ! prayer and blessings to you & your sweet family.

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  17. also I listened to that song you shared in an earlier post 'We are not Alone'. I found it deeply moving and shared the song (not your post) on facebook. Even during this struggle you are ministering to others through your gentle spirit, even if you don't know it. Bless you

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  18. What a wonderful picture of you all, keeping you all in prayer dear Gina, for strength, hope and healing. Sue xx

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  19. Beautiful inspiring words, that I think were meant for me! I don't take time to count myself blessed. Continued prayers for God's mercy, healing and peace for Ed, you and your children.
    Robin

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  20. Thanks for sharing once again. "Fair" is such a subjective word... Our anniversary is in July as well. We made it to 40 years. Will there be more?

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  21. Lovely post Gina. It isn't fair that Jesus had to suffer for my sins and it isn't fair that I can anticipate eternal life with him. So thankful to be spared what I truly deserve. Praying for you and the family. Asking the Lord to give you many good days.

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  22. Gina, you are wonderful example of strength, dignity and grace in the face of life's challenges (to put it lightly). Thinking or you and your family often, sending prayers. You are not alone in this.

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  23. Reading your post as well as the many comments has been so good for me! Thank you for your brave transparency, and praying for many more good days, and grace for those that aren't. We love you, and pray for you so often! Randy & Eunice

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  24. Many have said what I would have wished to, here, so I will simply say, "Happy Anniversary" :D May your blessings abound :)

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  25. I stumbled on your blog looking for sourdough recipes and read a bit about you husbands illness. Just wanted to let you know your family is in my prayers.

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  26. Cheryl in DallasJuly 2, 2017 at 6:49 PM

    It is not fair that:

    "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." II Cor. 5:21

    Thank you for the beautiful lesson about "fair/not fair."

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  27. You're right--there is absolutely nothing fair about this devastating situation for you, Ed, or for your children. And while you may be luckier than some (or perhaps even most), that doesn't mean you can't and shouldn't own, feel and express your pain fully in whatever form that takes. We are thinking of you all.

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  28. Gina, bigs hugs from me on the other side of the world. Even knowing that you have more than others still doesn't take away the pain you are experiencing. Life isn't fair but with God's help we can get through as you well know I am sure. By the way, have a very happy wedding anniversary.

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  29. Your posts rarely fail to humble me. I strive to always acknowledge God's sovereignty in my life, but sometimes it's a challenge....same as everyone else. And I know you have your sorrowful moments, when you see the loss of things you only thought you would have, but now doubt. Savorevery single moment you have with him, whether they're few or many years! Praying for you and your family...

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  30. Oh, Gina, please don't give up! I know Ed doesn't feel well now but look forward to more anniversaries when you can celebrate.

    The world may say that this kind of cancer is not curable but God is so much bigger than anything the world says is impossible. Stay positive!

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  31. Oh, I actually wanted to say that we all go through stuff that doesn't seem fair but the Bible says in I Corinthians 10:13

    "No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it."

    Keep your eyes on God and be amazed at what He can & will do!

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  32. Thinking of your family this morning and proclaiming God's Word, his promises for you, with love and hugs and prayers.

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  33. I find myself, from time to time, in a position where I question "Why??". Hubs and I have been through many hard times. We've had many losses of family, difficulty with teenagers, financial hardships, illnesses -- all those "plagues" that 50 years of marriage and living in the adult world bring. But... at my lowest... God sets somebody down in front of me that has it so much harder than I do, and I understand that "stuff happens" that we have to endure for whatever reason -- perhaps because we're human and living in this world -- perhaps to "toughen" us or to teach us something, maybe it's a test, maybe it's just because there are certain things that cannot be avoided. I think that's beyond my understanding sometimes. But when I think how much worse things could be, and how we are all on Earth for such a short time and that beyond this life is something better than we have ever known here, I understand that God probably thinks my thinking is somewhat narrow minded and then I feel a little guilty for not appreciating the blessings that I have.

    May you be blessed and always know that you are. Prayers being sent your way. --Ilene in Oklahoma

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  34. Many have already said everything I want to say, but I just also wanted to let you know that I pray for you, Ed, and your family every day. Never lose faith or give up hope. God is always with you and will continue to be by your side. I will continue to keep you all in my prayers.

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  35. Oh Gina! You are so right, but it still doesn't take away the pain and reality of what you are experiencing. Prayers for you and hugs!

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  36. Gina, thank you for being so real and vulnerable! Blessings on your days!

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  37. Still praying for your family, Gina. You have been blessed, indeed, and I am sure the Lord has blessed you for many reasons including your wonderful attitude and thankful heart.

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  38. Thank you for sharing your amazing attitude and your love for our Heavenly Father and His son our Savior Jesus Christ. You can see His light in your beautiful countenance and I pray that He not only sends you comfort and peace but your dear husband and children. Prayers and love sent your way! Carey

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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