Good wives should do laundry

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… Or that’s what I tell myself. It’s amazing how being in constant pain affects how you view everything. This has been a very trying season for me on many fronts. First, it’s hard to be out of work and feel like the added financial pressure is my fault. Medical bills get expensive really quickly and things were tight when we had both salaries. Now, nearly a month after my knee injury with no end in sight, things aren’t just tight… They’re pretty much impossible. Strike one for being a good helper. Ted is struggling to make ends meet and I feel like I’m not doing my part (and that I “caused” this mess we are in too). I want to be a good wife and fix this (because isn’t that what a good wife does?) and I can’t.

Since I’m in a full leg brace and can only take a few steps without crutches I cannot do much around the house either. After standing for five minutes or so, my knee swells up to about twice it’s normal size and starts to burn with pain. And holding anything while standing puts crazy pressure on my knee so I can’t do laundry or vacuuming or really much of anything. We fought the other day about laundry. Strike two on the good wife chart.

I’ve found it easy to compare my situation to others. I desire to have a family. I long for the day someone looks at me and calls me mom. It breaks my heart as months go by and I am still just waiting. Well this fluke accident with my knee is going to definitely delay our adoption process until we can get our finances back under control and i can heal physically. And while we wait, our care group at church is about to start the next “baby round.” The first of four babies is due this Sunday. I broke down and cried yesterday realizing I can’t have that too. I want to blame Ted for putting a stop to the adoption process, though objectively I know right now is not the right time. Strike three. I’m a bad wife.

I have cried and felt so weary and been a burden to Ted and I’ve complained a lot about where God has me. I haven’t trusted or submitted to Ted’s leadership. I’ve gotten angry at God because I know He could fix it all in a second yet He chooses not to. It tempts me to think He’s just a big all-powerful jerk. I stopped asking God to answer my prayers because it feels pointless. He’s gonna do what He decides is best. It doesn’t matter if I like it. I feel trapped.

Then God gives me a little glimpse. A friend who says with tears that my response to the next new baby should be joy and praise to God. And she should know. She prayed for years and God said no to her prayer for a child. Then another friend reminded me that God always meets our needs. Two years ago, I was reminding her of that when she didn’t know where next weeks groceries were coming from. And my husband, my dear patient husband reminds me over and over again of God’s unconditional and unmerited love. I’ve treated him so unfairly lately and even when struggling, frustrated or physically sick, he has not responded with anger like I’ve shown him. He’s been kind. Stern at times in reminding me to not wallow in self pity, but always kind.

Even in my weariness and sin, God is faithful to remind me of His care. Honestly this season of waiting and pain and uncertainty sucks. I’m so tired of it and I’m tired of crying for it to end. But one thing that has been more evident through this trial than any other is that I am not alone.

Countless friends have brought us meals and cleaned our house or taken me out of the house for a couple hours or prayed with and for me. Seeing the body of Christ so faithfully pick me up each time I’ve fallen gives me a much needed glimmer of hope. If they are showing me Christ’s love, I guess that means I can trust God even when I can’t see, it hurts and doesn’t seem to have any purpose…even when it seems He is harsh or unkind.

Thanks my friends for your prayers. I feel so weak. But somehow through it all, God is still strengthening me one small and painful step after another.

—————

Lord, who hast suffer’d all for me,
My peace and pardon to procure,
The lighter cross I bear for Thee,
Help me with patience to endure.

The storm of loud repining hush;
I would in humble silence mourn;
Why should the unburnt, though burning bush,
Be angry as the crackling thorn?

Man should not faint at Thy rebuke,
Like Joshua falling on his face,
When the cursed thing that Achan took
Brought Israel into just disgrace.

Perhaps some golden wedge suppress’d,
Some secret sin offends my God;
Perhaps that Babylonish vest,
Self-righteousness, provokes the rod.

Ah! were I buffeted all day,
Mock’d, crown’d with thorns and spit upon,
I yet should have no right to say,
My great distress is mine alone.

Let me not angrily declare
No pain was ever sharp like mine,
Nor murmur at the cross I bear,
But rather weep, remembering Thine.
(prayer for patience by William Cowper)

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