Losing My Man Card
Sarah had a present given to her that was a stuffed gray bear with the word “hope” stitched in blue on the left side of his foot and Isaiah 40:31 on the right side. He has a blue ribbon tied around his neck. I’m not an expert on describing the shades exactly. When Sarah wants me to pick out clothes for her, she says “pick up the eggshell colored top.” “No, you’re picking up the oatmeal colored one.” This is one of those incidents where you’ll have to guess for yourself the specific color. P.S. Sarah just mentioned it is a robin’s egg blue. 😉
On rough days I bring to life the bear we call “Hope Bear.” He of course has a British accent and hopeful words of encouragement to bring to Sarah. This is where my man card is lost. But it has a good reason for being lost.
There’s been many good days for Sarah lately. She’s made more progress with her mobility. She thinks she can do more than she is able, so she walks around without assistance then ends up falling as she reaches a certain point of exertion her body cannot handle.
She says she’s learned to fall “gracefully” but there is many instances where it does not look too graceful. She asked for Physical Therapy from her doc, so she will be following through with that. They came yesterday and Occupational Therapy will follow as well as possibly Speech Therapy.
Sarah has good days and bad days. On the good days, she thinks the really bad symptoms will be gone….like yesterday. Then she gets smacked with the bad reality on the days that are worse. I tell her to keep balanced and use the mentality of her blog’s words to keep her steady: to be idealistic and realistic. We all need a dose of that balance. Don’t we all need this message. As Sarah has put it: “Idealism without realism leads to naivete, realism without idealism leads to despair. “
I’ll say this- my wife is stubborn. But at least she has the mindset that she is going to get better where as many do not. There is not a day that goes by where she does not have her eyes roll back in her head, or ticking, or seizing (even with meds), or pain, etc. But I know it will eventually come to an end and it is reduced compared to where she was before. She is able to read more and write more, which is two of her favorite hobbies. Writing helps her to release cathartic emotions on paper instead of just leaving them in her head. I will be sharing one of her diary entries that she approved of me sharing soon.
Sarah has a calendar we turn to everyday that spreads a little hope and encouragement. There is an amazing quote from a woman who had chronic illness that made the best of where she was at in life. Here’s the calendar’s quote:
“As Sarah Frankl, an amazing woman who spent much of her life homebound and yet made a significant difference in this world, said, ‘There is such pressure to do everything to its limits, when all you need to do is do everything to YOUR limit…to the limit God gives inside of you.’”
Sarah Frankl died when she was still in the prime of her life. Even so, she wanted her mission to continue, to spread hope to those who feel hopeless. Search her blog as well for inspiration.
We are all allotted a certain amount of energy, health, talents, time, etc. What are we doing with our circumstance? I know God must have more grace poured out on those who are facing a health condition and usually bed-ridden or have other life altering situations. They can only do so much. I can only do so much as my strength is weakening and trying to recover emotionally and physically. There’s been many fatiguing moments like picking up Sarah because she couldn’t walk, lifting her in the wheelchair over steep inclines and declines, etc.
This quote above is generous. It tells us we can only do so much with what God has gifted us. But what are Sarah and I doing with our time? We hope to be encouraging others, spending deep time in prayer, loving others when we feel weak ourselves.
I hope we can inspire others by offering hope when their life is messy. We wish that your own inkblots could be wiped away, but we hope there is a purpose for them.
-Michael & Sarah Chardavoyne