Forty-six years ago today on July 30, 1971 I married my husband, Wayne, the love of my life. He was a wonderful husband, and we had a good marriage. We raised three sons together and were able to see each of our sons marry Christian woman. For two of these weddings we had to travel internationally to witness the weddings. (God has a way of bringing surprises into our lives that we could never have envisioned.) Wayne and I were also able to experience together the birth of seven of our nine grandchildren. The last two grandchildren were born after Wayne's death, the last one in October.
As I said before our marriage was a good marriage. We faced some trials, but we faced them together with the Lord's help. Wayne was the love of my life. But the last few years of Wayne's life and of our marriage were very difficult. As you know from my previous blog posts these years were the years of Wayne's neurological disease. These were difficult years, as I saw Wayne deteriorate step by step until he was completely disabled. They were emotionally and physically draining years, and they took all the spiritual reserves that I had.
As I think about this anniversary of my wedding to Wayne, I am thankful for who Wayne was to me in my life. I am so thankful for the love that he showed me in so many ways. I also am saddened by the years that his dignity was slowly taken from him by his disease which step by step made him increasingly disabled. I am saddened by what I went through as his caregiver during those years.
Yet I am also joyful in the thought of Wayne being free from all that now and with the Lord. I am joyful in the realization that I know the Lord was with me every step and will continue to be with me every step of the way the rest of my life. Yet I miss my husband even after six and a half years, so I ask that you will pray for me especially today on the anniversary of our marriage.
I have learned so much through my care-giving experience and my grief experience. I have learned that dependence on the Lord is the only way to navigate this life. I have learned that weakness in my self is a good place to be, for then the strength of the Lord can be shown. Another words I am the strongest when I recognize my weakness, because then Christ's strength flows through me in amazing ways. I have learned that I am in control of nothing, but I am never alone. The Lord is with me step by step. My relationship with the Lord has become so very sweet, and I know He loves me and delights in me. I have learned that He is sufficient. Others may fail me, but He will not. I may not always understand His ways, but I can trust Him.
So, you too can depend on Him, dear caregiver. He is your strength in your weakness. He is in control and will walk with you each step of your care-giving journey and throughout your entire life. He loves you and will be with you, dear caregiver. Because of my experiences as a caregiver, it is my passion to encourage you in these things as a caregiver. That is why I write this blog, and that is why I wrote my book. I care about you, dear caregiver. God bless you in all you do.
If you would like to see some sweet memories of Wayne and I, one picture of our wedding day and also some pictures of our children when they were very little; go to the link below. Here is a link to my Pinterest folder concerning that: https://www.pinterest.com/jesuschild54/sweet-memories/
Also if you wish to order my book to encourage family caregivers here is the Amazon link to my order page: https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Caregiver-Sharon-Vander-Waal/dp/1629524263?ie=UTF8&keywords=Dear%20Caregiver&qid=1464624581&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books
My book is also found at Barnes and Noble and elsewhere online. My book is available in Kindle and Nook versions as well as paperback. Finally, you can get a copy directly from me as well. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for specifics, if you wish to go that route.