Monday, February 14, 2011

A Portrait of Love: In Sickness and In Health

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I want to leave my situation for another time. In honor of the spirit of today I would like to bring your attention to something that someone else is going through- strangers to me really but I have been so touched by this couple and it seems so timely that it’s Valentine’s Day.

For a few years now I’ve been listening to Ryan Dobson’s podcast which has been renamed from “KorKast” to “Grounded.” Ryan’s co-host has been his good friend [best man at his wedding] Toben Heim. When I listen to them speak, I know that they just get it- they get what it is to be grounded in the Lord and seeking after Him.

Last month, Toben and his family were thrown for a wild loop when his wife Joanne, just 38 years old and athletic, suffered a major stroke.

Toben and Joanne have two young daughters. If I remember correctly, it was one of the daughters who found her mother lying on the floor.

So Joanne has been in critical care for awhile, kept in a sleep state while doctors and nurses did their best to care for her. Toben took off from the show to be at her side as much as possible- and that is literally AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. The daughters, who had been homeschooled the last few years, are now back in school.

Joanne is an author and speaker. She has written books and has kept a regular blog called “The Simple Wife.”

While Joanne has been in the hospital however, her blog has been a help to Toben as he uses it to keep people informed of her progress, sort out his thoughts and feelings through all this, and connect/keep connected to all those touched by the Heims.

Prior to the stroke, I had checked out only a couple of blog entries by Joanne. One of them was about letting her daughter have pink hair [10 Reasons Why I Let My Daughter Have Pink Hair]. Toben had mentioned Joanne every so often on the podcast. I came upon her blog because Ryan had mentioned this post. It is well-written and very thoughtful. I think I will let my daughter have pink hair- should I ever have a daughter and one that is relatively well-behaved and wants pink hair….

Anyways, the real moving part has been to read Toben’s posts. His love for her is so evident. His love for God still through such unimaginable pain and confusion as his wife lays in bed- inspiring.

Toben has written about how he just wants to hold hands with his wife. He wanted so much to be with her when she was awake, why would he be anywhere but by her side as she “sleeps?” However selfish it may be, he wants to be there when she first opens her eyes again- though he’ll be so grateful that she opens her eyes at all whether he’s there or not.

Reading how much Toben loves God and loves Joanne increases my hope in faith and in love.

Where can I find a man [for me] who has such faith and integrity as does Toben?

I think the best thing I could say right now is please go read a few entries yourself. It won’t disappoint. They have brought Joanne out of the sleep state... just read the updates from the blog....

I hope that you are enjoying a wonderful Valentine’s Day, whether single or with a special someone! Increase the LOVE wherever you are!

♥ I love you all. ♥

Please check out the links below:
[Joanne's blog- The Simple Wife]
[Help the Heims]
[Grounded with Ryan Dobson on Facebook]

[Image from Joanne's blog]

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Untitled [02.02.2011]

*sigh* a lot on my mind as usual but I will try to stick to the chosen subject of this post.

Sometimes this makes me feel like a jerk and I’m sure it comes across in my actions.

The last couple weeks, I’ve been forced to see someone and it is very uncomfortable for me. I can tell when a part of my heart is hardened because I will intentionally avoid someone or something.

If you truly knew me, you would know that I’m not much of an avoider. I’m more a fighter than an avoider. If people want to avoid me, I keep moving forward and make them avoid me.

So when I’m so willing to intentionally avoid someone myself, it’s not a good sign at all.

I don’t like myself much when I’m like this but I don’t know what else to do anymore. I believe that I’ve tried and tried and tried and I just can’t try anymore. The other person may feel otherwise; I don’t know and I don’t know that I’ll ever be willing to try from my own efforts again. I know that I’m not willing to make any moves at this moment.

When I look at this person, I think of how I’ve felt disrespected by them. I think about how uncaring they have been.

I remember how I was there for them when they were worried for their mother and then again for their father.

But I also remember how that person was nowhere to be found when I was freaked out over my dad. They have not once asked about my dad up to this day. [I’m having difficulty getting through typing this up…]

I remember a time that person would have done anything to stay in my life during times when I took a “Jennifer break,” – as Apple calls it – how they reached out in hopes of finding out if I was okay or not, to make sure I knew that they cared. I cherished those messages…

… but I also remember more recent times when that person spoke words which sounded like it didn’t matter whether I was around or not, that I could go and wouldn’t be missed. That might not be the specific words they used but that is the sentiment that I caught from the words they did use.

I remember past conversations with this person when I shared my concerns and care for others and how I want to do what I can for others. Other people were on my mind and heart so much. Did that person not understand or not remember because…

… more recently I remember that person calling me a “dictator.” I don’t remember hearing that person defend me at all or even try to be neutral about it. The only way that wouldn’t hurt in the first place is if they were exactly correct- that I did want to be a dictator.

I’ve been trying to lean on God’s love and forgive that person for everything, but it would help the healing if that person had ever said sorry about it or showed any care for my hurt. Being called a “dictator” still slays me and I’m having difficulty leading as I’m supposed to because I don’t want people thinking that I am a dictator. I know I shouldn’t care what people think and I usually don’t, but I counted them [a group which includes the individual I’m talking about here] as friends. I was wrong and it hurts.

I’ve had good friends call me “cold-hearted” on several occasions but I knew what they meant- that I can be very blunt and straight-forward, not sugar-coating anything- and they didn’t hurt me. Being called a “dictator” was a hundred times worse.

I remember that person saying that they didn’t feel like they were being trusted. Well, the person got that one right. I didn’t trust them anymore because for all their talk of “deferring to [my] leadership,” I felt that they never did that. I felt that the person was trying to bully me into doing what that person wanted instead of what God spoke into me. I didn’t observe much to believe that person supported me at all and so I let my trust of that person drain out.

I remember this person trying to use my blog- this blog- against me. No, I didn’t trust them after that.

I have been feeling like as long as that person is happy with their group, and now their romantic relationship too, that I don’t matter. So I ask myself what our “friendship” – if there ever was one – was based upon. I have no answer for it.

I feel like the group [+ individual] is just trying to wait me out, that I just let it all go so that they don’t ever have to face real serious hurts, whether mine or their own. That’s peace-faking. I am not willing to do that because it’s detrimental to their growth and mine.

Their smiling faces offend me.

I can’t make others care about me.

Most of all, this hurts me because I know this isn’t how God wants any of us to be. I feel helpless in this situation, of the situation with this person and their group. I feel helpless and sad. Betrayed and abandoned.

Theodore Roosevelt or John C. Maxwell [I try not to quote when it’s tricky figuring out who said it first] said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

I feel like this person and their group don’t even care how much I’ve cared.

I’ve had so many ideas to do ministry things but I don’t know who to trust anymore and I don’t know who cares.

They recently did an idea that I have had myself. I won’t say anything more about it at this time.

Ginger I have unending love for and also for Kicker and so I will endure and enjoy their upcoming ceremony as much as I can. I am so glad to be paired with Polar- it will make this easier. I will fake peace for them. *deep sigh*

Okay, so thank you for reading another whining session from me. Believe me; I don’t enjoy this even more than you don’t enjoy it.

Thank you.