In Sickness and Health

“I, Josh, take you, Tamara, for my wife,to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”

The older I become the more I feel the amazing blessing of being loved this way. When Josh and I said our marriage vows to each other on November 10th, 2007 I was in the midst of battling a neurological disorder. There were many unknowns about what our life would look like moving forward.

I became sick several months into our engagement. The save the dates had already been sent when we learned that the muscle weakness and paralyzation I was experiencing weren’t symptoms that would be quickly fixed or even had the potential to get better. Josh was under no obligation to stay with me. Walking was a struggle, driving a car wasn’t happening, and just being able to get out of bed in the morning was hard.

The reality is that most 23 year olds don’t get to start off a marriage the way I did. Our plans for the wedding and honeymoon changed to accommodate my illness. And never once did I feel like I was a burden to Josh. He piggybacked me around the streets of Monterey, California on our honeymoon gladly, carrying me when I couldn’t walk.

During our engagement when I became ill I never once questioned Josh’s love for me. He took time off work to come to my many doctors appointments, held me when I cried out in pain and frustration over my circumstances, and loved me in spite of what was happening.

The way Josh loved me during this time still takes my breath away. There was no guarantee that my health would improve or that we would even be able to have a family together. Although if you ask Josh he will tell you that he knew I was going to get better.

In this beautiful way Josh has sacrificially demonstrated God’s love for me over and over again. God loves me when I am sick and when I am healthy. My circumstances will change but the love God has for me never does.

Yet in the sickness it was harder for me to feel God’s presence and easier to gravitate to Josh. Josh was tangible. I could see, talk with, touch, and feel Josh’s presence even if he was in a different room. I knew he was there. But at times as I struggled with “feeling” somewhat forgotten about by God. What was supposed to be one of the happiest times of my life quickly became a dark and shadowy valley. Where was God in the midst of my pain and suffering? My illness taught me that I have to continually depend on God in sickness and in health.

The reality is God didn’t change. My feelings had.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Matthew 24:35

The word of the Lord abides forever. 1 Peter 1:25

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8

These verses tell me that everything in life may change, but God’s Word remains and His truth never changes. My feelings may be strong and the situations in my life can rapidly fluctuate but God’s Word is so much more than anything I can ever feel, experience, or face. His Word is true yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

While my marriage vows are a lasting covenant on earth with Josh until death do us part, God has promised to have and to hold me, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, from now into eternity. Even death cannot separate me from God’s love.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

We have a choice to either be controlled by our thoughts, feelings, and circumstances or we can utilize the self-control that has been given to us by the Holy Spirit to abide in God’s Word regardless of our feelings or what is happening in life. God’s Word is always truer than our feelings.

What I learned about my marriage and ultimately about God based on the phrase “in sickness and health” is that relationships require commitment. Living out our commitments can be difficult at times especially if our circumstances are challenging. We all have the choice of who or what we will cling to when times get hard.

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

The majority of people say their I dos under the most ideal circumstances, not when they are battling their toughest struggle. Marriage is a day to day commitment and continues to remind me of how God loved us and Christ died for us when we were least lovable and when the situation was the least ideal. These difficult times allow us to trust God even in the challenges while building a marriage that lasts. I am grateful for this lesson that I learned early on in my marriage.

Related Post

Share

Comments

  1. Happy Belated Anniversary, Tamara and Josh!!!

Your Comments Make My Day!

All comments are moderated.

* Denotes required field.

*

CommentLuv badge