Sunday, July 19, 2009

Getting Better

Ephesians 5:25-33
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansingb]"> her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

Tammy is a day removed from surgery, and is getting better. She's still in some pain from the surgery, but the doctors think they will send her home tomorrow if they can get the pain under control. She's pretty immobile now, but they expect her to improve rapidly. She should be well enough for them to release her. (We have been tremendously impressed with the care she has gotten and continues to get from KU Med Center, and we know they will do what's right for her.)

I've been thinking a lot about yesterday's post, and wanted to add some to it. Even before Keith preached this morning about loving God as our first priority, I felt that I should clarify.

Tammy is my No. 1 priority and the center of my life, with the exception of my relationship with the Lord. The same is true for her and her relationship with me. We love each other as much as we do, because Christ showed us how to love. Ours is a sacrificial love, where we GLADLY give up our own desires and pursuits to tend to each other. As she has gone through this journey, now finishing up it's ninth month, my first thought each day is "How can I best serve Tammy."

I believe I am serving the Lord when I take care of Tammy. I hope that it's an example to our kids and to those who are traveling this path with us. Our service to God does not exist in a vacuum; it is incorporated into everything we do every day. Demonstrating unconditional, sacrificial love is a testament to what Christ has done for us. I show my gratitude to Him by caring for her. 1 John 3:16 says, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers."

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that I cannot live without Tammy. God has not asked me to do that. But we wrote early in this blog that, though it is far from our choice, we were willing to accept whatever God chose to do, because it would bring glory to Him. He has chosen to heal her. She is getting better, even with this temporary set-back. He is glorified when we accept His plan.

It would have been more accurate to write, "As long as Tammy is around (hopefully a very long time), I can't think of a single place I'd rather be than right next to her. Eating my favorite meal and watching a ballgame on television paled in comparison to driving back to the hospital and seeing her again."

When I was very little, my parents told me that I should not consider getting married to someone until her wants and needs were more important to me than my own. I would be content when that feeling arrived. I found that with Tammy nearly 28 years ago. It is stronger today than it ever has been.

And as my friend Keith preached this morning, my desire to serve God and to please Him is the top priority in my life, and in Tammy's. We're not perfect. We get selfish at times and put things in the way. But we seek everyday to make Him our No. 1 priority. The best way I can show that is to take care of Tammy.

We'll post again tomorrow, whether or not she comes home.

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