Silvio’s been having so much trouble getting out of a depressive episode for so long. And I find myself asking why. WHY? Not that I think he has it for a God-sent reason. I know it’s just natural for him. But it’s still hard that God is still letting it happen. It’s still hard that so many sufferings have direct and evident benefits you can at least comfort yourself with, while this does not seem to. It is excruciating–my husband is physically present but I am cut off from him because he simply cannot be himself right now, cannot be here for me in the way we both long for. I feel utterly alone. What good can possibly be worth this endless crippling burden?
It occurred to me this morning though that this extended time has been stripping me of self-interest in his recovery. I’m still so anxious, but it is getting less and less about what I lose out of it–I’m learning, just a little, to accept that I just don’t have Silvio in the same way right now. And not having that expectation, which cannot be met anyway, is incredibly freeing. And I realized too then, that I can serve him better this way.
It quickly became evident that God helped me to see all this, because the wisdom of it sank into my heart as I walked to the other room to read my Bible. And I opened promptly, not intentionally, to Galatians 5.
“Through love be servants to one another.”
“Be guided in the Spirit and you will no longer yield to self indulgence. The desires of self indulgence are always in opposition to the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are in opposition to self indulgence. They are opposites, one against the other. That is how you are prevented from doing the things you want to.” (And by the way, serving joyfully has been IMMENSELY difficult.)
“Let your behavior be guided by the Spirit.”
And He promises freedom! Freedom from my griefs, the inner burdens that I let take so strong a hold of me, the despair that comes from clinging to my sorrows rather than to Abba. “Christ set us free, so that we should remain free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be fastened again to the yoke of slavery.”
As an aside, C.S. Lewis: “We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armor.” “Christ did not teach and suffer that we might become even in the natural loves more careful of our own happiness.”
I am so empowered to love Silvio as his servant. To expect nothing and give all.