Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6.2)
One thing I am discovering this year is what a wonderful thing is to share burdens with someone you love so dearly. Since I have been with my wife Susan, we have faced many challenges and experienced many blessings. Our marriage vows: sickness/health; plenty/want; joy/sorrow, have certainly been tested and tried true. I have never been so confident as I am now that our love will survive and that this love is from God and will extend to all God’s people.
Labor Day, the day before I first spoke to Susan, I had two auto accidents. Yes, two. First, a deer hit me. That’s right. I did not hit the deer. She hit me. It was a massive wallop, but I could still drive. So, I reported it and kept going. About 4 hours later, still in the pre-dawn darkness, I ran over a dimly lit median. This time, no go. I sat in my SUV, waiting for roadside assistance, weighing the wisdom of traveling for 7 hours in dark, unfamiliar territory.
With such a chunk a spare time, I chose to look back at some of the women I was connecting with on the online dating site. Match.com . One woman in particular stood out. Susan. She had a great smile. She was well educated. Showed an economy of words. And, perhaps best of all, she liked me. [Note to aspiring suitors: The biggest turn-on someone has is being liked.]
I sent a message to Susan, sharing what I liked about her profile and asked what she liked about mine. This is the 21st century way of sending notes through friends. “Did she say she liked me? or that “She LIKED me liked me?”
In the days that ensued, we discussed our vocations. Susan was intrigued by my passion for mental health ministry. I told her how I thought this would overlap greatly with her work in correctional education. We talked about family and other interests. I told her some about my own mental illness. She appreciated this, said it wasn’t a deal breaker, that she just had a lot to learn.
Before we got off the phone, Susan mentioned a personal health concern she was just seeking help for. Nothing serious, it seemed. Just something that needed to be addressed. I asked how I could pray for her and then we made plans to go out for a date when I returned from a trip to New York.
That was September 3. Since then we have been texting, messaging, calling, going out, and staying in every day. Our love for one another has grown stronger and more intense. We have faced spiritual battles, weathered emotional storms, and sat together as uncertainty over physical health loomed large.
Susan’s casual health concern has become a pressing medical one. Tomorrow afternoon we sit down with a doctor who is one of the top specialists in her field to review Susan’s condition and explore treatment options.
As you know, I am a firm believer in prayer. Scripture and medical science show that not only does prayer enhance the faith and confidence of the one praying, but has a beneficial impact on ones who are prayed for.
Here are a few things I would ask you to pray:
… that the medical staff receive the wisdom for a clear diagnosis and accurate prognosis.
… that treatment options are plainly presented and that Susan be guided to make the best decision.
… for peace within Susan and those of us family and friends to support her as treatment is pursued.
… for full recovery so Susan can return to what she does so well and cares about so passionately.