Never Lose Sight of This

It’s been forty years now since the day I hopped into Tim’s Chevy Nova, and ran away to Georgia to get married. We were young, pregnant, and selfish.

For the next thirty-five years Tim and I fought. Mostly to get our own way. I cooked and cleaned and felt entitled to his appreciation. He mowed the grass, fixed everything and felt entitled to the same from me.

We had great moments of supporting one another.  He bought me cameras, sewing machines, computers, everything I needed for my many hobbies. And I helped him fulfill his dream of building his own house.

But too often, our sacrifices had long strings attached. They came heaped with preset expectations.

Determined to make a good life for ourselves, we worked long hours. Then we battled each other over the right to spend our free time the way we saw fit. Tim wanted to hunt and fish. And I wanted to ride my bicycle.

Then cancer crippled him. My life halted and became engulfed in his.
I bathed him, tied his shoes, and helped him in and out of his wheelchair. Eventually, I committed all twenty-four hours of my day to him.
The highlight of our lives became a moonlit walk around the lake by our house.

In those last two and half years of our marriage, a beautiful transformation took place. In essence, as we both laid down our lives we gained a profound grace. No longer able to pursue our own desires, we turned our attention to each other.

Tim became focused on what it cost me to serve him. He constantly apologized for what his cancer put me through. I became committed to making the rest of his life the best it could be.

Once we each took our eyes off ourselves, we saw a beauty in each other that we’d never seen. We developed a profound love we never thought possible.

Jesus says, to follow Him we must pick up our cross daily. I now know what that means. I must learn to give up my life. Tim’s cancer taught me this is where a beautiful life begins. It’s not in getting what I feel I deserve. It’s in what I give away. And the greatest gift I can give is myself. I just pray I never lose sight of this.

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2 comments

  1. Wow! I love you mom and miss him very much. You two have taught us very much and you continue to teach me every week. I love the new found dedication to your writing and look forward to making this a regular Saturday morning ritual.

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