I am participating in “The Love Dare” challenge on “Way Back Then Woman” blog. We are just basically going through “The Love Dare” book that goes along with the movie “Fireproof“. The first three days (we are on day 3) are basically losing yourself and becoming committed to making life better for your spouse. Today’s challenge is ‘Love is not selfish’. I am a selfish person. I spent most of my life living in the ‘you are a jerk, therefore so am I’ mentality. I, several times, have said to my hubby, “If you would just treat me better…”, or “You used to put me on a pedestal, what happened?”. It was a constant issue of ‘you make me this way’, ‘if you were only nicer to me, then I’d return the favor and be nice to you’. I now see how absolutely selfish this is. I am put on this earth to be his help meet. Not to help him when, and only when, he’s nice to me. Reading “Created to be His Helpmeet” by Debi Pearl completely changed my attitude towards my hubby. We have come along way since we were first married, but this made it even better.
Another thing that sticks in my mind that helps me put things into perspective is this:
When we were 19 and 21, and had been married for about 1 1/2 years, my hubby got seriously injured at work. He is an ironworker. He was at work one morning and something (we’ll never really know what) happened that caused him to fall from a building. He fell about 28 feet hitting a beam with his head/face about 10 feet down. When they called to tell us, he was being loaded into the ambulance and they said that ‘he didn’t look good’. We had a 3mo baby girl at the time and watching her laugh and play peacefully on the way to the hospital was heart wrenching, knowing that she may not ever get to know her daddy.
I called the hospital about 1/2 way there (we were about 2 hrs away from the hospital he was at) and was told that he had closed head injuries and a broken back and they weren’t sure what else yet. I know that with head injuries things can happen in an instant, so we just kept praying that he was at least alive when we arrived.
Asking for him when we got there was the longest second of my life….I just couldn’t wait to hear, “Follow me”, to go to his room. I was petrified that they were going to say, “Sorry, we couldn’t do anything…his brain swelled and he’s gone” or something like that.
The sight of him was something I’ll never forget. His face was swollen almost beyond belief, he was intubated, he had sand and blood all over him, and he was all hooked up to stuff. It was absolutely surreal, I felt like it was an out-of-body experience.
We eventually found out the extent of his injuries: closed head injuries, the right side of his face was shattered including his eye orbit, he had compressed 4 vertebrae in his back and had 2 fractured vertebrae, and a torn bicep. They kept him in a medically induced coma for a few days to make sure his brain wasn’t going to swell, requiring holes being drilled into his skull to relieve pressure. Thank God, that never had to be done. He went on approx day 3 or 4 to get his face ‘fixed’. He now has 3 plates, 10 screws, and titanium mesh (for eye orbit) in his face. They fixed it all through his gum line (inside his mouth), so you can’t even tell. AMAZING!!!
It was a LONG road to recovery. He stayed in the hospital for 2 weeks. Those two weeks included relearning to walk, eat, etc. He also had the mentality of a little child. Closed head injuries are wierd like that. After leaving the hospital, he couldn’t be left alone and he had therapy 3 times a week. That was a very long and hard summer. I had a baby and, essentially, another little kid.
Amazingly enough, today he is absolutely back to 100%. He has, and will probably always have, back issues but other than that, he’s back to the same wonderful guy I married.
So, I said all that to say this………..Life is too short to be selfish! I made a decision, while sitting in that hospital room praying that he woke up, that I would always keep in my mind that life is never guaranteed. I constantly remind myself when the selfishness pops up that if he didn’t come home that I would do anything to give him one more backrub (he gets these frequently so it’s easy to get irritated and impatient with it), pack his lunch one more time (at 4:30am), have sex one more time (even if I am tired), etc. All of these things that can get pushed aside just because “I don’t want to” would be a welcome distraction if he didn’t come home one day.
I am so thankful to have him still here with me that I make it a priority to make his life as wonderful as possible. I just tell myself when I don’t want to do something that, “If I he wasn’t here, I’d give anything to rub his back just one more time”…………