Ever wonder if better is even possible?
When I went in for surgery in August, I went in hoping to feel better. I’d get rid of both an organ and the growth that had taken up residence on it. (Which was not malignant after all. Praise God!) Almost instantly after the surgery, my body knew it was already better off. Sure, I felt physical pain and had a lot of healing to do. But within days, I felt more present and had higher emotional energy than I’d had in years.
A medical issue gave me permission to ask for better with my health.
My surgery also gave me permission to ask for better in another area. One I’d allowed to die over the years.
It started the two weeks after the procedure, under the amazing care of people who love me. I got to sleep in and take naps when I needed to. I ate well, because people brought me healthy meals they’d prepared. I was able to rest during the days, even with four kids all over the place in the last weeks of summer vacation. It shocked me, actually. To be loved so intentionally and cared for so completely that my doctor, at the two week check up, would say, “You get an A+ for recovery! The wound and your body are doing great!”
The dear ones who helped me heal celebrated that A+ with me.
Then the bigger “ask for better” lesson started.
You see, my husband has some limitations (yes, he’s given me permission to share this). He is smart and quirky and I love his brain. What I don’t love is how his limitations flare when I need him most. How he becomes the one who I can count on to disappear during challenges. That’s a recipe for disaster with the family life we have together! If you’ve read here for any length of time, you know about my older girls, their foster/adoptive struggles and neurological disabilities.
Once my care team left me to go back to their own lives at the two week post-op mark, I found myself managing my kids and their intense needs alone. Again. This time, I couldn’t get up unassisted or walk more than a few steps at a time. It was like waking up in a nightmare. The one where you need to run someplace, and you realize you’re buried to your waist in hardening concrete.
But at least I woke up!
Over the course of the past month, that waking up has bloomed into a new season for me: a season of asking for better. Of figuring out what I need to feel seen and loved in my marriage instead of coping with loneliness for years. Of asking key people in my life to walk with me as I grieve the loss of what I’ve told myself was a marriage, but wasn’t. Not really. Of letting God reveal to me how I’ve enabled my husband not to take responsibility for his own limitations for all these years.
Asking for better isn’t just about asking him to look me in the eye or hold my hand or hug me twice a day or whatever guidelines we come up with to have a relationship. It’s about asking for better from myself, too.
Yes, we really can ask for better.
I went into surgery hoping to feel better. Turns out God’s got bigger plans for what that can mean in my life.
Is there a place in your life you’ve quietly hoped for better (or maybe even stopped hoping)? Is it time to take the risk to start asking again?
Let’s hold hands and do this together,