A good portion of my marriage I have been physically unwell. Between surgery, difficult pregnancies, challenging postpartum recoveries, and my bought with c. diff, Andrew has pulled a lot of weight taking care of us. During many of these periods I spend a lot of time apologizing and feeling guilty for not matching Andrew’s work level.
The last few weeks I’ve been struggling with insomnia as we transition to Nathan sleeping through the night. I once heard Julie B. Beck mention that when she can’t sleep at night, she figures it is because God is trying to tell her something and it is the only time quiet enough for her to listen. I’ve been trying to follow that train of thought about my not sleeping. Two weeks ago during one of my typical 2-3 hours awake lying in bed, I went ahead and asked God, “What do you need to tell me? What do I need to learn?”
He brought the story of the widow’s mite to my mind:
“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” (Mark 12:41-44)
Then I had the very clear impression that during those periods of my life where I am physically unwell, that I have offered “all that [I] had” and it is enough. It is all. It is every bit that I am during those times of my life. Instead of guilt I feel peace and gratitude. I feel successful as a mother and a wife.
And then I had a bit of gentle correction. Next time, whenever that is and for whatever reason I find myself not at my physical best, I can choose to be happy. Instead of a mood of guilt and depression I can lighten the atmosphere in our home with a cheerful heart and a smile. I can be confident that I am giving my all, that is significant in God’s eyes, and I can be joyful.
Emily snapped this photo of Nathan and I a few weeks ago – she’s getting strong enough to hold the camera steady!