Over the past few weeks, we’ve been through a lot. When I say “we” I mean my husband and I. I felt very alone at times and so did he. I really had a hard time accepting what was before us. It started the day we went to the doctor and he said he wanted to remove Tim’s thyroid completely. I believe in doctors and I’m so thankful for their skill and knowledge but I believe in God more. I’ve seen them mess up some things in folks though- folks that I love - and that helps me remember that they are human and can make mistakes. I believe more in letting doctors help us when we can’t help ourselves. Knowledge is power and there is a lot of health knowledge out there and in today’s time it’s easy to get. On top of that, common sense tells us, whether you are a Believer or not, that we are made of organic materials so organic materials are needed to sustain us. I happen to be a Believer so I also know that God made plants for our food and our medicine. I believe that a lack of knowledge is killing so many people. I don’t begin to know anything compared to the great ones that do but the little bit that God has blessed me with is changing my life and my body. So, I appreciate doctors with everything in me and thank God for them in moments of need but I believe in taking care of ourselves as best we can and doing all we can to help our bodies heal because we are fearfully and wonderfully made and God made us to be able to heal. Unless we are in a crisis situation we can usually bounce back from most ailments.
And so when we went to the doctor and the first thing out of his mouth after looking at all of Tim’s information was that he wanted to just remove the thyroid completely… well I was very angry and shocked that the doctor didn’t give us other options, that the very first thing upon meeting Tim was to just chop him up. Why would you not try other things first I questioned Tim. If you had a growth inside your arm you wouldn’t just cut your arm off, you would work to heal it. But this doctor just wanted to cut it out based on it being oversized (twice its size) instead of healing it and treating it. He wouldn’t even give Tim an option for letting it heal. I couldn’t stand it. It made no since to me. I felt like he was so skilled it was just an easy way to take care of something that he saw all the time. What was simpler to his skilled hands was not simpler for my husband to go through and I hurt that no one would listen to me. I had no control what so ever. Tim took the doctor’s words to heart and never questioned. He believed fully that this was the path that he needed to walk. I’m not criticizing him in the slightest but I was hurt and I was angry and rather robotic going through the motions, always wanting to scream and cry but trying to hold it together and still having to maintain our life and our work. I didn’t want Tim to be on medicine for the rest of his life. Period. The thyroid does so many wonderful things inside our bodies. It effects every single living cell inside of us. I couldn’t stand the idea that he would have to depend on a pill to do that now. I don’t even take Tylenol. For real. The idea of depending on manmade medicine without trying other options first was horrific to me. I thank God for medicine for folks that have no other options and I know it’s a gift to this world but if someone doesn’t have to then I don’t want them to have to.
I didn’t want Tim to go through this battle with surgery and healing if he didn’t have to for sure. I wanted him to fight for a different way. But Tim’s not the fighter on things like this, I am, and who I am is not who he is. That’s a hard lesson for married folks. At least it was for this country gal that wanted us to stand strong on this together and tell the doctor that he was out of line and that we needed all of our options lined out, not just his first idea. I wanted more than a fifteen minute first meeting and “oh by the way I want to hack part of your body off” kind of thing. But they scheduled the set ups for the operation that day. I was side swiped. It was like a Mac truck had hit me. My whole system was in shock. I was literally devastated. This was a big big deal to me no matter how many times people had gone through it. No matter how wonderful they felt afterwards. No matter how great it always goes. It was HORRIFIC to me to think my husband would be laying on a table drugged up and knocked out and they would slice his throat open and cut a vital organ out of him and he would have to take medicine for the rest of his life or die without it. DEVASTATED!
I tried to make Tim view it my way but for the first time in my life with him I had to own up to the fact that our brains work differently on a few things. We’ve been together 19 years, married 18. I’ve known all along he wasn’t interested in many of the things that I am. I love news and science and history and photography with everything in me and Tim is so bored by it all but he usually suffers through me reading him many many exciting things on these topics lol because he loves me and he knows I so want to share it all with him. BUT it’s not really his thing at all and I always see him glaze over though he usually handles it well and I usually try to not torcher him but sometimes I can’t help myself because some pieces of information are just so exciting to me. Tim does that for me. He lets me talk because he knows I need that but he doesn’t need that at all. Ever lol. So we aren’t on the same page all the time but he does that because he loves me. I tell him all the time about health stuff and sometimes he gets mad but usually he takes it in stride and lets me share away cuz he knows I just love him and I never lose hope lol.
So, I knew we were in different places with it all but until this moment I didn’t know it mattered. I just didn’t. You don’t know things like that until you have to watch your spouse make a choice for themselves that you’re not on board with. And it’s hard. It’s hard to realize the two of you aren’t this perfect package just because you love each other with everything in you both. But that’s what I had to accept. We are two different people and God intended it to be that way. We are in this journey together and we are on the path together headed in the same direction but his journey is not always going to be my journey. I’m going to hold his hand while he’s doing what he’s got to do but I can’t do it for him and I should stop him from doing what he knows he needs to do either and vice versa.
I finally got all of that before the surgery but realizing all of that didn’t make it easier to accept inside my heart. It helped my brain quit fighting it all but it didn’t stop the pain. It just helped me shut up. It helped me give him the respect to choose his own path even though it was killing me for him. The thought of the pain and the struggle he was putting himself into just crushed my heart. I firmly believed and believe that eating healthy and getting rid of chemicals in our lives in every way we can takes away inflammation and allows healing. I wanted Tim to wait and let us try to do this naturally even though I knew he’d never go all green. But I still wanted that ya know? I wanted him to be someone he’s not I guess even though I didn’t see that at the time. Or I wanted him to at least take their meds if they would give that option and give his thyroid a moment to heal instead of just cutting it out. I wanted him to ask if there was another way instead of going for the gold ya know? Life style changes can change everything. I just wanted him to try a healthy way. I just wanted him to try. Tim wouldn’t listen to me though. It panicked him to know that something was wrong inside him. He just wanted to get this over with and he wanted me to not tell him anymore science facts or health facts. He said he believed the doctor, not me. We fought about it. Lots of fighting. I cried over and over. I clamped up. I didn’t know how to be affectionate and in pain. I just held his hand and stared straight ahead and Tim could feel it. He knew me. He knew I wasn’t sharing my whole heart during those weeks while we waited for his surgery and it was killing me. I wanted to deeply be myself but I didn’t know how to be. I only wanted to cry. I was terrified they would make a mistake and he would have a vent for the rest of his life or worse, he would die on the table.
I couldn’t speak it but all I could do was think about it. I just had to keep praying for God to help me not flip out and to take my fear. I wanted to flip out. I wanted to tear the doors off the walls of our house and lock Tim in a room and make him eat organic food and walk circles and lift light weights and get some sunshine through the window and drink lots of water and take vitamins till we could get enough health into him for his thyroid to shrink but in the end I knew it really was his choice and I honestly didn’t want to go to jail lol so I resolved to let him do what he believed he needed to do and not hold it against him. AND NOT HOLD IT AGAINST HIM. And not hold it against him. That was really important. I originally in my anger was blaming him because he couldn’t explain it to me. There was a lot of hurt in this statement, a lot to let go of, but God helped me and I stopped blaming Tim.
I couldn’t believe I couldn’t stop this from happening and I couldn’t believe Tim wouldn’t stop this from happening but I finally came to the place that I could accept it and walk it with him. I talked to the Lord about it every time it came up in my mind and asked Him over and over to chase away the fear and to protect Tim from this and to guide the surgeon’s hands and all the folks that would be helping with it. In the end Tim told me I didn’t have a choice in it. No matter how badly I didn’t want him to go through this, he said it was his body and he believed the doctor and that I just needed to stop. I knew he was right. So I did. I stopped cold turkey. He said I just needed to be there for him and I knew he was right and so I was. But every step was terrifying to me. Every step hurt me so deeply. I just didn’t understand even up to the moment I kissed him goodbye and he was finally going back for the surgery. It was crushing.
I couldn’t explain anything I was going through because people believe in medicine more than they believe in working to give ourselves the stuff to heal and I just looked like a crazy obsessive controlling person in my terror and I felt so defeated. The truth of the matter is I’m very introverted. I just heard my mother laugh bahhahah! Not even she believes that lol. But Tim knows. He knows the anxiety I can have going into situations and how I will avoid dealing with social stuff if I can in anyway cuz he sees the hidden me all of the time. People would never guess that about me. My outer self does what it needs to do because I love people and never want to hurt them but my inner self is just wanting to not be noticed. Folks see me as being very social and think I’m very talkative in social situations so they think I’m very extroverted. I express well from behind my computer with words and even face to face when I need too but my whole insides would rather not explain any of my pain. The truth is I would rather not be social most of the time. Though thank God that I have to be. If not, I would just hide in my little spot of earth and enjoy Facebook where I can hide and no one sees me. Honest. I only share because I believe God will help others who think they are alone. I’ve been helped so many times by others in this fashion and it’s the one gift I’ve got to give freely.
We all need to be inspired and lifted up from time to time. If it wasn’t for God no one would know what I thought or probably even know who I was because I find it easier to not express verbally, especially when we don’t agree, rather than to have strife in any way. I’m all about smoothing things over and just dealing with the mess rather than making others deal with it or confronting it and making it change. I’m always the one that wants it to flow without bumps. I’m not saying that’s good or bad. It’s just how I am. God has shown me good and bad from my being that way if I have to be honest. God asks me to do things out of my comfort zone as He sees fit though and I thank God that HE grows me or I’d be in a box hidden from the world somewhere reading everyone else’s stories and never experiencing my own. He knows what we need when we need it. Amen. And Tim is part of that. Because we aren’t always on the same page I have to do things I’m not always comfortable with but again… praising God for it because even though it’s hard at the time, it blesses me later. Always.
AND just to be real. I also didn’t understand why God wouldn’t do something. I didn’t want to admit that. I didn’t admit it to anyone at all until now in this moment. I didn’t say it to God even. But He knows our hearts doesn’t He? He knew it was sitting there in my rage and hurt. He knew I was accusing Him in my heart even though my mouth never would. If we have to give our control over to God, then why doesn’t He do something my heart screamed? Why on earth would Tim have to do this??? It killed me to think about Tim being cut from side to side on his neck. Terrified me. Why wouldn’t God just show a little power and heal it so that when they saw Tim, they would be amazed and in awe that God had healed him and the swelling in his neck would just be gone? And then we could just sing God’s praises and tell them all how Great He was and that would be that ya know? Why wouldn’t He do that? Do anything? Do something? I had no idea I had that in me to think it. But I did. For the first time in my fear I questioned God. I’ve asked lots of things but this was different. I wanted to know why God wouldn’t do something. As if I knew more than Him. As if God needed prompting or reminding that we need Him to do something. I am shocked as I write these words. I didn’t recognize that when I was going through it. We don’t even know ourselves. We can’t see even our darkest deepest selves. But God does. And He knows how to bring it out of us so it can be corrected. And I needed to be corrected. Gently. Carefully. But corrected. God didn’t correct me though. He held my hand and comforted me until a time when He could explain it and gently correct me later. What a loving God we have.
Going through all of this with Tim was hard and it was super hard for me to express anything about it. In the final days before his surgery I clamped up so bad I felt guilty. The final couple of days before hand I couldn’t even post on Facebook or click likes hardly. I just refused to pick my phone up most of the time. I couldn’t edit those last two days. I couldn’t focus. All I could do was be a robot and clean our house from top to bottom so it was clean when we got back, God willing, from the hospital. I don’t remember ever feeling so deeply disconnected and so in shock at the order of events that were playing out in front of me. I just wanted to run away but my love for Tim wouldn’t let me.
Even to tell anyone how upset I was, was not an option. Only a few close family members knew how I was feeling a little bit and one post on Facebook where I asked for prayer. So many times in my life I’ve been told I’m stupid or ridiculous for expressing that I learned to just be still unless God prompts me. Even when I know that God is leading me to write, I feel a fear because I know that some people in my life think it’s so ridiculous to share. But the one time I can express is in FEAR. Lol. Fear will take over and make you shout when you mean to whisper. Even my whisper was quieted by the time we went to the hospital though. I had handed it all over to God. I didn’t have anything left. Finally, I was still instead of begging and pleading Tim because it was more important to not hurt Tim. He had his reasons even though I didn’t understand and he couldn’t express them and I had to trust that he had to go through this. I can’t see everything ya know? I didn’t have to understand why; I just had to help him get through it. I could do that because God strengthened me to face it all. So, I had God. Tim had God and he had me. That’s all I could give Tim. Me, my love, so I did. He knew I didn’t agree with him but he also knew I’d stand by him anyway and I knew he was scared too and in realizing that - I knew he really believed he had to do this. That did help me accept it as well. So I continued to talk to God and thank Him for all of your prayers and I continued to ask you all for prayer because it’s the best gift we can give anyone I believe. And I continued to trust God.
And surgery went excellent. Praise GOD! The surgeon had it done in 3 hours instead of 4 and there were no complications. They were able to save the two sets of nerves on each side that were desperately needed and my husband didn’t have to have a vent and he didn’t have any damage to his voice box. He still sounds hoarse but it’s still his voice! So thankful. I’m quite attracted to his voice and was truly concerned no matter how silly that sounds. The doctor also confirmed that it was only inflammation instead of a tumor. I have to be honest, I had to fight rage when I heard that bit of news. I felt validated again that we should have fought to heal Tim instead of dissecting him. I felt the anger throbbing in my heart. BUT God silenced me yet again by gently reminding me that this was not my journey and showed me that Tim would be learning things on his journey that would make him lean on the Lord as well and we all need just a little touch of something different in order to have a deep relationship with the Lord and who was I do to be angry about that? God asks from each only what He created us to be. Tim’s destiny is not revealed to the created but only to God. I have no right to stop Tim from anything hurtful because in those moments we cling to our God. When we can do it all ourselves we don’t remember that we need Him. Hardships are not a sign that God is not with us… they are reminders that He loves us and we can count on him. I was blown away by realizing this. Amazing how God teaches us, heals us, protects us, leads us. So blessed. I was able in that moment to let it go, all of it. The fear, the sadness, the anger. Instead, I was filled with joy and thankfulness. We still have a hard road for the next few weeks while Tim heals but I finally had some understanding that even though we don’t see all the puzzle pieces, we can trust our Father God to make sure that the pieces fit no matter what. Our ultimate goal to is be with Him forever and live for Him. I can let my control go for Him to be in charge and let His perfect will be done. He keeps showing me where I fail to do that and gently leads me to do it His way instead. I was letting my fear control everything in myself. Thank God I wasn’t acting on it. My faith in Him allowed Him to make me still and quiet and I waited to see what HE would do. Then He reminded me why folks go through hardships and healed me completely. Peace entered in. Finally. I so desperately needed peace.
So many times we find ourselves in places like this in life. Blindsided by the events that have transpired and we don’t have any control. And the pain enters in and we don’t know what to do with it. We don’t know where to turn and we don’t know how to heal ourselves and get over the sadness. We just hurt and we can’t even express it. But God gets it. HE really does. And He knew my fear and heartache but He showed me that even when we don’t understand we just have to surrender to Him. That was the most beautiful gift in this to me and to Tim. Even if Tim hadn’t made it through it, which praise God no matter the storm but double praises that I still have my husband, God had me and above all, He had Tim and He wasn’t letting go. I didn’t have to control any of it because He leads each of us on the path that He has planned for us and He’s in control. My role wasn’t to stop Tim, though I tried and caused heartache by doing so for myself and my Mr. - My role in Tim’s story was to be there for him and to help him and to love him through it. I can do all of that. I’m a great helpmate and I’m great at loving. Those are gifts God gave me and I try to do them well and freely. I have to remember I’m not God and we always want God’s will to be done. The hardest part was accepting that I didn’t have to understand it all and that I couldn’t stop it. Those were my hardest battles. I’m a step by step gal. I can break most things down and understand them before lots of folks blink. No offense. It’s just the way I’m made. I wanted to step into Tim’s head. I wanted to understand. God never revealed anything that helped me accept it that way though. It wasn’t a part of the plan. What I realized though because of the way it played it out - that I had to have so much more faith. If I had leaned on my own understanding I wouldn’t have leaned on God so hard and let me tell you... I was leaning all the way through this. If He hadn’t had my hand I would have fallen cuz there wasn’t any strength whatsoever at times in me at all.
Today Tim is on the mend. I had to divvy out the meds, which I hate, but am thankful to do because it will help keep him healthy now and I’d rather divvy out the meds than not have him here to help ya know?
God is so faithful. He is with us always and forever.
And He loves us.
No matter what we go through He does not leave us.
So nice to rest in Him instead of myself and just breath.
I was wherry but I’m getting stronger and so is Tim. Still on pain meds but enjoying his apple sauce and waiting excitedly for the day he can eat a steak again. Soon.
God is great.
Can I get an Amen?
And... on the way home from the hospital yesterday after the surgery and when they had finally released us, I stopped by Walmart to pick up Tim’s medicine. Tim couldn’t turn his neck from left to right or up and down. The cut from the surgery literally looks like someone sliced his throat open. I had a pillow for him to rest in the car while I ran into the pharmacy. It was going to be a long wait so I went back out to the car to wait with him. It was raining and getting dark. The sun had set moments ago but all of a sudden a glow came across the storm clouds and the beauty brought me to tears. It was like God just kissed us. The beauty was world stopping. I grabbed my pone and got a shot because I knew Tim couldn’t turn and see it and I couldn’t start the car and turn it in time for Tim to share the moment. Sure enough by the time I got in the car and shared it with him the sky was different and the glow had subsided. Don’t think for a moment that wasn’t God. He knows what heals our hearts and what lifts us up. Tim and I both got the blessing and the joy and we both got to smile.