Perspective & Grace…Health in the Midlife

Reflections from The Afternoon of Life: Finding Purpose and Joy in Midlife by Elyse Fitzpatrick

Being married since I was 18 years old, coming from the background I grew up in, I had little knowledge of the Lord I professed. It was at this time the Lord had begun to work in me to strengthen me spiritually. I was committed to studying His word and knowing my God.  Strangely enough, during this time I believed that God was preparing me for something (ministry, missions, etc..) when in fact, it has become very clear to me that God was preparing me for life; more specifically, the life He had prepared for me and for my husband John, before the foundations of the earth.

At the age of 35, my husband, a man I had never known to tire, a man who could run circles around me and any other man I knew, was suddenly afflicted with a disease called osteomyelitis that settled into his spine and nearly took his life had it not been for God’s mercy and grace. I learned, as I watched my husband suffer immensely for months, what I believe is the true meaning of Genesis 2:24, which states, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife and they shall become one flesh”.

We had been married 16 years, I understood oneness in intimacy, but as I watched John suffer greatly, I suffered too. And that oneness God speaks of in Genesis 2:24 took on a completely new meaning and it was here that I understood the oneness between a husband and wife that rarely exist until a real trial comes. As the months went on, I pleaded with God to heal and restore my husband to the man he was prior to his illness. Yet, somehow as I prayed those prayers I knew God had put us on this path of suffering for a purpose and it might never end this side of heaven. My greatest fear was that God would leave us this way. In my mind I thought it would be easier to lose my husband then, than to live a lifetime in this condition. I thought I knew what was best for us, better than God, though I would never say that out loud.

But as I write to you today, 14 years later, I can say with confidence and faith that I believe what the Lord says in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

For years I have spent myself to the point where my own body was affected.  Then one day as I sat working on my Sunday school lesson, which took me to 2 Corinthians 12:8-9, I heard the Spirit speak to me through the Word: “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this that it should leave me.  But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’ “.

I knew immediately that this was my answer to those prayers pleading for healing, crying out in disappointment and mourning what had been lost.  God’s grace was and is sufficient for all of our afflictions, and today it is no different.  My prayer list in my midlife for my health and my husband’s health, for all of the things God has chosen not to restore, not to heal, not to give back, my faith, my comfort and my confidence rests in the wonderful words of my Lord. “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness”.

Now at 49, I have learned that I cannot run this race without my savior and I have no hope of victory without Jesus. Though, He has been my savior for over 30 years, I have not always been a faithful sheep.  I am still learning to humble myself under the mighty hand of God so, that at the proper time, He may exalt me; casting all of my anxieties (and there are many) upon Him because He cares for me.

Comments

  1. Bless you and thank you for sharing. Much love 🙂 you and John are so dear to so many….two of which are me and my Matt ;).

  2. Bless you and thank you for sharing. Much love 🙂 you and John are so dear to so many….two of which are me and my Matt ;).

  3. Sherri Stocker says:

    Thanks for sharing your heart and what God has taught you, Vicki! Many times God has used you to encourage and strengthen my faith as I’ve seen Him work in your life! You are a blessing!

  4. You’re 49?!? REALLY?!? Time flies eh? 😉

    Hey mommy, this was a really good post! Thank you for it. I liked the part where you quoted Gen. I never thought of “being one flesh” in the sense of suffering with your spouse. It’s especially interesting, in light of Pastor Matt’s sermons too. The gospel is related to marriage in SO MANY ways… It’s really amazing actually.
    When I am old, not that you are 😉 , I hope that I can grab the gospel and suffer gracefully with my husband and with the gospel. Even now, I pray that .
    Love you!

    • that if you lose your life for my sake, you shall find it, I meant lose it from your sense of self-salvation by being under the law.” Truely our weak & beggarly aettmpts to keep the law as a means to be blessed and right with God blinds us from the reality of true humility in receiving everything dieing to self-salvation brings. As you stated, when we are ‘totally helpless’ we will empty any and all self-righteous aettmpts to save our life by trying to keep the law. Grace is heavens ‘open arms’ inviting all who are tired of self-salvation by the law and are ready to find their lives by losing it out from under the law through Christ, by Christ and in Christ! I love you!

Speak Your Mind

*