This is a part of the Bible I never thought I'd relate to.
The Sad Psalms.
The ones David wrote when he was running for his life.
I am in a place of suffering. I am in a chair at the bedside of my one true love, while she lives the last hours or days of her life.
She is breathing shallowly. She no longer has he strength to close her eyes completely as she sleeps. On the rare moments when she communicates, she is distant, but not confused. Thank the Lord, the medicines have stopped her pain and vomiting. She can no longer eat or drink because the tumor has closed off her stomach outlet.
I promised her when she entered Hospice that I would not let her suffer. We also have promised each other "No cutting in line" to Heaven - no suicide.
So instead, I have placed myself in a vulnerable place for the last, and worst, temptation of my married life on this planet.
If I let her linger here, am I letting her suffer? If I give her enough pain medicine to stop her breathing, am I usurping God and murdering her?
Then the Holy Spirit hugs me. There is no dilemma. Terri is not suffering. I am. And I am not alone.
This is the desert place, I will stay in it, and the Lord will deliver me. Under the inevitable suffering, there is peace. This season will end with Terri rejoicing and dancing in the presence of our Savior. I will grieve, supported by hundreds of friends. And I will Persevere. (there's talk 14 again.) I will press on toward the prize of serving God on this planet, and then embracing Terri again after a season.
My friends keep saying "you are so strong", sometimes followed by "you don't have to keep up a brave front." I. Am. Not. Strong.
I am uplifted.
The tears flow. I cry out. And I know it will get worse. The strength my friends see is the Lord's. If you see this as my strength, then I am not being an adequate disciple. I want people to see God's strength, and yearn for it. Because THEN Terri's life - and Earthly death - will be an Alleluia to the Lord.
This morning, Terri awoke and needed to use the bathroom. I went to get the wheelchair; but she said, "No. I want to walk." which meant shuffling as we held each other, like so many slow dances we have shared.
It felt so good. I told her so. She agreed.
An oasis in the desert place.