Those of you who have been around Awesome Marriage any length of time have heard me talk about the struggles in marriage Nancy and I had in years five and six. Those were the years when we were not sure if we were going to make it. Recently, someone asked me if we had a second toughest time in our marriage. I really had to stop and think on that one.
I came up with two periods of time that tie for second, but those circumstances occurred years apart. Both centered around serious health issues. The first came as Nancy knew she was going to have to have a hysterectomy at a young age. She had endometriosis for a number of years, and it continued to cause her problems. Right before she turned thirty-eight she decided to go ahead with the surgery. When we met with the doctor, he told us it would be extensive but that she would be fine—and she was for awhile.
On the third or fourth day after surgery, her health started declining. She was weak, her blood count was low, she was losing weight every day, and she was scared. The diagnosis was an obstruction caused by the surgery. She looked like she was nine months pregnant. They took her into surgery; I went into the hospital chapel. We had two little kids, and the thought of losing her petrified me. A nurse found me and said the doctor was ready to talk to me. Thankfully, as I approached him, he had a smile on his face. They were going to have to build her strength back, but she would be okay.
About ten years later, Nancy was having some pains. The symptoms sounded like it could be her gallbladder. The doctor prescribed her some pain pills and told her he would see her the following day. She woke me up about 5:00 a.m., and we headed to the ER. I let her out and went to park the car. When I came back in, the nurse said they had taken her to an exam room. I walked into that room and saw Nancy hooked up to all kinds of machines. The doctor looked at me and said, “Your wife is having a heart attack. We are waiting for the surgeon to get here.” I grabbed her hand, and all the same thoughts I had ten years earlier flooded my mind. I just could not imagine losing her.
The surgery was successful. There was some heart damage, but the doctor felt it would heal. The prognosis was good, and she has not had any heart issues since.
God used those two times to grow us closer to Him and to each other. He showed us how fragile and precious life is. It really stopped us from taking each other for granted. Each day of our marriage is truly a gift, and He showed us the importance of embracing the gift each day. We learned how important it is to be intentional in our love for each other.
What about you? Do you take your spouse for granted? What does being intentional in your love for your spouse mean to you? What is your first step to living that out?