Monday, October 21, 2013

Marriage Monday: How a Wife's Unwavering Faith Strengthened Her Marriage {Link Up}










Welcome back to Marriage Monday! I hope you are enjoying my series of posts on how to maintain your marriage during a crisis. There are many types of crises that couples might encounter as they navigate the storms of life together.  Many times these trials tear marriages apart, as couples lash out at each other instead of clinging to one another and to the Lord during troubled times.  

Last week's guest post b
y my friend, Phyllis, was a blessing to many, as she shared about how she and her husband survived her young son's battle with leukemia. Today I'm sharing another story of a marriage not only surviving but growing stronger while navigating the life-threatening medical crisis of their son. This powerful testimony is by Cate Nunan, who is a Mum from Down Under!  :)



Cate and her husband, Geoff


I am a new visitor to Elizabeth’s blog, the wife of Geoff, the mother of two gorgeous children – Tom who is nearly 15 and Madeleine who is 13 - and I live in Canberra, Australia.

My son Tom had an emergency craniotomy in April, which involved a helicopter ride and emergency brain surgery, to remove a sub dural empyema (huge abscess) that was pressing on his brain. This was the result of an out of control bout of sinusitis, which is very rare in children. After the operation, which was successful, he then developed septicemia and we nearly lost him again. This was after making it through the lengthy operation with the neurosurgeon telling us afterwards that he had about a half hour to spare before Tom would have drifted into a coma and eventually died.

All this was after a routine visit to our Doctor who was concerned by Tom’s dreadful headaches and organized a CAT scan for the next afternoon. I will be forever grateful for his "gut instinct," which saved my baby’s life. Literally!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” ~ Proverbs 3:5 -6.

In all your ways . . . I sat there at home with my head in my hands weeping. I was trusting in Him with all of my heart, for the life of my 14-year-old son was in His hands. And it struck me that I was also acknowledging Him in the gentle manner in which I was tending to Madeleine who was ill with a stomach bug, which meant that we had to stay home in Canberra and could not be with Tom as he was operated on. It was also in the prayers I said, as I did the usual domestic duties that still needed to be done – animals fed, washing, ironing sorted. I acknowledged Him and his love, and I truly trusted in the Lord that he had it all under control.

I had not had a chance to say goodbye to Tom or my husband before he was rushed to Canberra Hospital and then on to Sydney via helicopter. Canberra does not have a pediatric neurosurgeon and if Tom was to live through the day he had to fly to Sydney immediately. I had last seen him at 8 am that Tuesday morning when I hugged him and wished him good luck with his CAT scan appointment. My husband Geoff was staying at home to care for Madeleine who was ill and taking Tom to his appointment, as I had a day of study with a local college. I did not see them again for four very long days. My son was being operated on, and I did not know if I would ever see him alive again. It was horrific.

Trusting in the Lord with all my heart was all I could do, and I repeated that verse to myself constantly. I am a new Christian and I knew that another verse was also speaking to me, but at the time all I could muster was, “Be joyful always; pray continuously; give thanks in all circumstances  . . .”  I now know that it is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 –18, and that the remainder of the verse tells me that giving thanks in all things is God’s will for me in Christ Jesus. 

What was there to be thankful for in these circumstances?? I can honestly say that
at the time my answer was – A LOT! Tom was alive and fighting to stay alive, and 
would hopefully suffer no ill effects. There is no way for me to explain why I had such unwavering trust and faith In God that all would be well. I simply did. I just felt it to the core of my being that resting in Him was the only way for me to cope with this time in my life.

Tom spent a long time in the hospital in Sydney, which is 4 hours drive from our home in Canberra. Geoff had to fly overseas to work 3 weeks after the operation and was gone for a month.  Also, he works away for 2 weeks of every month as a matter of course. This was a huge strain on our family life, but especially on our marriage.

We managed to navigate those hard months. I relied on my faith and read my Bible daily and said many prayers. Geoff does not believe in God, but was obviously comforted by my unwavering trust and faith that all would be well. He even said so. 

I was prompted to respond to Elizabeth’s original post on Marriage Monday as Geoff and I have been talking recently about how our marriage has not been negatively affected by this crisis. Sure, we feel as if we have not spent much time talking to each other about things other than our kids and medical matters. However, we still see our marriage as it was before the crisis. In fact, it may well be stronger. I will not lie and say that there were no hard times. There were. I cried and yelled at him, and felt overwhelmed and unappreciated, and so did he. But we still found our way back through that. 

When I became frustrated or bitter or overwhelmed by the stress of caring for Tom and keeping our home, I concentrated on the strength of our love. My husband is not perfect. Neither am I, and the last 7 months have been incredibly difficult. Many mornings in my quiet time with the Lord I have wept and asked for His compassion as I faltered under the weight of what was happening. I felt like a failure as a wife. 

This, however, is the key. My ability to continue to trust in the Lord and provide the strength and comfort that my unbelieving husband and children needed was in the time I spent with the Lord. I read my Bible daily and wrote down my anxieties and my prayers, and all my thanks for His blessings in a prayer journal.

My children and Geoff know that I feel God had a reason for this happening to our family. Today I feel that part of this was for me to be able to see the real joy of my family and the keeping of my home as the purpose for my life. I am here to glorify God in all that I do as a wife and a mother, even in the midst of the worst circumstances of my life – facing the possible death of my son – and I willingly do that . . .but only by trusting in the Lord with all my heart.



Tom 1 day after surgery that saved his life


A recent picture of Cate and Tom!


Wow! What a powerful testimony! Thank you Cate for sharing your story!


If you have a marriage that has survived a fiery trial, such as, a debilitating illness, the death of a parent or a child, deep depression, infidelity, loss of a job, loss of a house, financial reversals, infertility, a wayward child, etc., I would love to hear from you! Please email me at elizabeth@yestheyareallours.com with your story!  I plan to feature different stories in the coming weeks!   



Your Turn to Share:


I've heard from many readers who are being blessed by this series and who have a story of how their marriage survived a time of great testing. Do you have such a story? I encourage you to share from your heart by leaving a comment here on my blog or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged! You may also email me at elizabeth@yestheyareallours.com to share your testimony/potential guest post.




If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!



Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog!  Thanks!


marriage mondays







Blogs I link up with from week to week:

What Joy Is Mine

Happy Wives Club


Photobucket

The Alabaster Jar















TheBetterMom.com

http://aproverbs31wife.com/category/of-family-matters/helpmeet/


Courtship Connection










































I Choose Joy!




Wise-Woman-Builds

Messy Marriage






















Wifey Wednesday button




http://judithwholeheartedhome.com/wholehearted-wednesday-linkup/




http://essentialthingdevotions.com



































Please link up your blog post on marriage below by entering the url of your specific post.  Where it says "Your Name" enter the title of your blog post, not your personal name!  Thanks!  :)








If you have a marriage that has survived a fiery trial, such as, a debilitating illness, the death of a parent or a child, deep depression, infidelity, loss of a job, loss of a house, financial reversals, infertility, a wayward child, etc., I would love to hear from you! Please email me at elizabeth@yestheyareallours.com with your story!  I plan to feature different stories in the coming weeks!   


Your Turn to Share:


I've heard from many readers who are being blessed by this series and who have a story of how their marriage survived a time of great testing. Do you have such a story? I encourage you to share from your heart by leaving a comment here on my blog or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged! You may also email me at elizabeth@yestheyareallours.com to share your testimony/potential guest post.



If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!


Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog!  Thanks!


marriage mondays










Blogs I link up with from week to week:

What Joy Is Mine

Happy Wives Club

Photobucket

The Alabaster Jar















TheBetterMom.com

http://aproverbs31wife.com/category/of-family-matters/helpmeet/

Courtship Connection








































I Choose Joy!




Wise-Woman-Builds

Messy Marriage















Wifey Wednesday button




http://judithwholeheartedhome.com/wholehearted-wednesday-linkup/



















Please link up your blog post on marriage below by entering the url of your specific post. Where it says "Your Name" enter the title of your blog post, not your personal name! Thanks! :)

3 comments:

Beth said...

What a frightening position to be in, Cate! I can't imagine how difficult it is to watch your young son at the brink of death, but your faith stood strong and I'm sure grew even stronger through that ordeal! And what a great testimony to your husband. God is good to bring this to your doctor's attention in just the nick of time! Thanks also to Elizabeth for sharing!

Madeleine said...

God is good Beth and I agree that sometimes our faith is strengthened in the strangest of circumstances. I do also want to let people know that my husband helped me through this terrible time in our lives and we were a very strong team, but at the darkest moments it was my faith alone that pulled me through. This was all that enabled me to help the rest of my family to be strong.

Blessings,

Cate

nancy Alfred said...

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