When fears are a lie.

One of my big, deep down, dark secret shameful fears is that my husband will stop loving me.

(I guess it’s not so secret now that I’ve published it on the internet.)

When my knee was at it’s very worst and I couldn’t even go to the bathroom without help, I hated asking my husband for assistance for anything.

I was afraid.

I kept dwelling on my fear because deep down, I believed a lie.

My husband won’t love me if I’m too needy.  (YIKES!)

Confronting this particular lie was one of the most unexpected blessings of surgery that I could ever imagine.

Hubby married a head-strong and independent woman. He married a woman who was active, capable, and healthy. I have to assume that those were qualities in me that he actually LIKED and wanted in his life partner. He’s even told me those were the parts of me that made him fall in love with me.

when fears are lies

When that changed, I was afraid.

I wasn’t active. The list of things I couldn’t do was long. I got out of breath walking to the car.
I wasn’t capable. I needed help just to get through the day.
I wasn’t healthy.
I wasn’t anything like the woman he had fallen in love with.

I was old.

My husband was out playing with the kids and living life. I was stuck on the sidelines, remembering what it used to be.

My husband and I have watched several couples close to us struggle with life changing illness. We’ve watched as half of a partnership ages and is relegated to the sidelines. It’s never easy. In some cases, the couples draw even closer and fall mysteriously more deeply in love. In some cases, the opposite is true. I was afraid of what I’d seen, afraid the pattern of heartbreak would repeat in my own marriage, afraid of being “unlovely.”

Even though I believed that my knee would eventually heal and that someday I would return to normal, I worried. I wondered if our marriage would survive intact. I was afraid it wouldn’t.

The truth is stronger than my fears.

My husband loves me.  He is a Godly man.  He vowed to stay by my side in sickness and in health.

OK, technically that’s not quite accurate.

In a quirky twist, our wedding vows don’t technically involve my health.

My husband blames a case of wedding day jitters and I’ve never seen fit to question him on the subject.

Instead of “sickness and health” my husband actually said “bitchness and health.”

I have it on video. We’ve listened to it several times and it’s pretty clear what he said. 

The point is that my husband is going to stick by our marriage. He’s not going to wander off just because I’m suddenly stuck on the sidelines. He’s not going to stop loving me just because I can’t keep the house clean or carry stuff up the stairs.

Why? Because those aren’t the only things he loves about me. He loves me for my heart and my sense of humor. Both of those stayed intact. He loves me for who I am on the inside. Even on the day of my surgery, I was still that person.

In the darkest part of my journey, I endured what I call a “fear storm.” It was endless hours of fear and doubt and dark thoughts. The biggest part of that fear was focused on the idea that my husband didn’t love me any longer and that he was in the process of leaving me.

He brought me flowers.

When I felt besieged by the (totally irrational) fear of losing my husband, I had to consciously choose to remember the flowers.

I had to take every thought captive.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ… (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV)

take every thought captive

When we believe a lie, it takes effort and choice to believe the truth.

In my case, I had to intentionally remember all the ways my husband was showing his love and faithfulness. His actions (bringing me lunch, checking on me, praying for me, getting up at 2am to bring me a fresh ice pack…) totally proved the lie was wrong.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. (John 16:13)

When we believe a lie, we have to trust God for the truth.

As soon as I could, I would pray for my husband.  It wasn’t some amazing prayer like the ones written in books.  It was more of a heartfelt gasp.  “God…. hubby… help!”  Totally inarticulate, but totally effective.   I know that God understood my heart even when I couldn’t manage the words.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind (Romans 12:2a)

When we believe a lie, we need to be accountable to the truth.

I also asked for help. It was hard, but I confessed my fears to my husband and a close friend. They both helped me when the lure of the lie was too strong.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16)

Couples draw closer.

When we watched other couples endure life-changing circumstances, my husband and I often wondered why some of them drew closer together while others did not.

I still don’t understand it fully, but I do have a clue.

When I shared my fears with my husband, it ceased being my problem. It became our problem. It wasn’t me battling my fear while my husband dealt with the fallout, We became a team, battling the fear together.

Instead of my fear becoming a wedge between us, it became something that united us.

Both of us fought for our marriage. In that process, we drew closer.

In the process, I found peace.

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. {Kathy} I love this. As usual. I understand these feelings. I had them after many surgeries. God is faithful — through our loving husbands. It’s a hard fear to unravel. Thank you for your transparency.
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted..“because I said so,” and other phrases I stole from GodMy Profile

    • It was totally unprepared for the emotional drama that came with my knee injury and surgery. I’d been through back-to-back high risk pregnancies with an emergency c-section thrown in (and a mix of ppd), so I assumed a little knee surgery would be nothing in comparison. Boy was I wrong. For some reason, the past few months have been literally life changing as I’ve worked through the emotional after-effects. Thanks for understanding.

  2. This is a great post, Susan, and something we all need to be reminded of. Our thoughts and feelings frequently lie to us.

    But I really can’t stop laughing about your husband’s modified wedding vows. That is too funny!
    Patty recently posted..Baked ZitiMy Profile

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