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]

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