We sat side by side waiting for our names to be called. My right hand held his left, and rested on his left thigh. I glanced in his direction, but he was distracted—looking at the clock for the third time in five minutes. Waiting to see the doctor on chemotherapy days was never fun, but especially when we waited to hear lab results to know if the poisonous torture was making a difference.
We had walked this cancer journey before, a decade prior. Little did we know then that the chemotherapy treatment he endured then would be the reason for his current cancer. If there is one thing we have learned, it’s that doctors don’t answer the questions we don’t ask. The problem is, we don’t know what questions to ask. That was one of them: what long term negative effects will this chemotherapy have? I’m not sure it would have made a difference—it was the only treatment offered to save his life then, and save his life it did. And that’s what we’re trying to do now.
As I held his hand, I spun his wedding ring around on his ring finger. When I slipped that ring on his finger almost thirty years ago, I very clearly stated, “Take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity.” But that was not the only promise I made to him that day.
As I sat in the chemotherapy infusion suite, I reflected on the fact that it’s that time of year when weddings are being planned, and bridal showers are taking place. This year my husband and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage. So often when I attend weddings and the bride and groom recite their vows: “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death…” I think to myself, “You have no idea what you are promising to each other.” I didn’t.
Since we recited our vows, we’ve gone through many challenges including but not limited to financial hardship, years of a stressful commuter marriage, job losses, miscarriage, and multiple bouts of cancer including his diagnosis of cancer in August. But while I was a naive and young bride when I originally said those vows, now I look at him, and even yesterday said to him, “While I hate that we are going through our current trials, I wouldn’t want to go through them with anyone else. But more than that, I wouldn’t want for us to go through them without God.”
We know that God’s word is true: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). This is a truth that we talk to our children about repeatedly. Marriage will not always be a honeymoon. Some days you might not even like each other. Times will test your relationship. But you must together rely on God to knit you together, and that will help you withstand the trials that relationships face.
Pray for your spouse. Pray that God will help you be a better spouse. Pray that God will help you to see your spouse through His eyes and love your spouse the way He does.
#ChooseWisely #OnlyWithGod #ACordOfThreeStrands #GratefulWife #HopePrevails #SacredJourney #BetterTogether
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
You can also find out more about the book, “Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” below.
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)