Real Life Romance: Refined by Fire
You are all in for a big treat today. Sandi Rog has been one of the biggest blessings in my path to being a published author. She was the first to see the potential in my story, and believed in it so much that she helped me polish it up and then published it herself. But she has a beautiful story of her own, and I LOVE how strongly you can see the real love in the relationship between her and her husband as she tells this heart-rending account of a very dark time in her life. Love isn't always the big gestures. A lot of time it's found in the little things. Read on to hear her story.
They say stress causes disease. And they’re right. My marriage was once infected with such a harmful virus, that this type of brokenness rarely found a cure. I was so damaged, I sincerely believed my husband didn’t love me.
Because of my broken and bruised heart, I was crushed in spirit, so I “knew” without a doubt my husband and children would be better off without me (I sincerely believed my mother-in-law, who is a beautiful woman inside and out, would do a much better job raising my kids than I ever could), and my husband could easily find someone to replace me. So, I’d begged God to let me be done with this life.
From all the stress, I got an autoimmune disease called M.S. (Multiple Sclerosis), which is a disease where one’s immune system attacks the myelin sheath in the brain that protects and insulates nerve fibers, basically causing a “short circuit” of the brain connections to different parts of the body. It had caused deafness in my right ear, severe vertigo, and also numbness on my entire left side. This was all due to the stress my disease-ridden marriage had caused.
To top it off, the M.S. medication and the huge amounts of prednisone I needed in order to fend off the symptoms triggered by this harrowing disease, lowered my immune system, causing Non-Hodgkins T-cell Lymphoma, a blood cancer. So, when they told me I had cancer, I was glad. That was my ticket out of here. I could finally go to heaven and get away from the spiritual warzone in my life.
Once I got the cancer diagnosis, my husband told me he’d not leave me and would be by my side every step of the way. The fact that he voiced those words helped. But still I doubted. I doubted if he truly loved me because his actions during the recent years of our marriage said otherwise. I just assumed he was “doing good” out of guilt and did what he knew was “right” because he didn’t want to lose his soul. It had nothing to do with truly loving me. It was simply about saving himself from God’s wrath. That’s what I believed, anyway.
After the first month of battling cancer, God showed me a truth. My mother-in-law came all the way from Holland to help our family through this ordeal. It was as if God said, “You think your mother-in-law would do a much better job raising your kids than you, then sit down on this couch and watch her raise your kids for an entire year.” That’s exactly what happened. I watched my poor mother-in-law raise my kids, working herself to exhaustion. It wasn’t that she did a bad job. Not at all! But what God showed me is that only a mother can deeply understand the needs of her children. And that was me! All of a sudden, I saw my value as a mother. God used cancer to reveal that to me. This knowledge terrified me because I no longer wanted to die, and I desperately wanted to live! My children needed me! So at this point, I asked God to keep me alive.
The second thing that God revealed through all of this was my husband’s love. Nearly every evening I’d be too weak to undress myself for bed. My husband was always at hand to help me. I’d cry because I was so exhausted, and he’d literally wipe away my tears. You know the song “I Won’t Let Go” by Rascal Flatts? That’s now “our” song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW9zMSwKIdU This song completely describes my husband. He was desperate to find God’s way for me to be cured. As I received my first round of chemo, he’d said between clenched teeth, “I know God has provided a natural remedy for this!” Well, he was right! He even defied doctor’s orders to give me what I needed to save my life (2 Chronicles 16:12-13). He’s my hero. After a two-year fight, God led him to my cure, but that’s another story (you can read about it here: www.beatcancerwithb17.weebly.com). In the end, it was a simple act of kindness that finally opened my eyes to the fact that he truly does love me. Keep in mind, my husband plans out everything, and is rarely spontaneous. I was sitting on a chair in the bathroom as he was shaving my head for the umpteenth time. I looked at myself in the mirror and saw this strange-looking, pale, fat woman with no hair staring back at me. How grotesque! How can anyone love this? But when my husband was done, on impulse, he bent over and kissed my bald head. In that one moment, I knew that he truly loved me. I mean, who would do that? Who would bend over and kiss their fat wife on her bald head if he didn’t love her? I cried tears of joy because God caused my husband to do this right at a moment I believed I was unlovable.
The final thing that God showed me in all of this was just how much He loves me. He disciplines those He loves, and He used this horrific circumstance to not only show me my value, the love of my husband, but He showed me that He was paying attention to me. He knew my pain. He knew my doubts. And He wiped them all away. God used cancer to repair our marriage and my self-worth and reignited a fire within me to experience the deep and everlasting love of my Lord and Savior.
Sandi Rog is an international and award-winning author of The Master’s Wall, Yahshua’s Bridge, and Walks Alone. Her latest novel, Out of the Ashes, won First Place in the 2016 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. Also a mother of four, she lived in Holland for thirteen years and now lives in Colorado with her husband, children, a cat, and too many spiders.
Nathaniel Ward, wealthy entrepreneur, needs a wife. But he’s not interested in the preening, high-society women who are offered to him on a silver platter. He wants one woman, and one woman alone: a girl who gave him all the money in her reticule when the Great Chicago Fire left him destitute. He sets out to find this woman and discovers she’s unattached. There’s only one problem, a shotgun wedding may be able to bind them, but will he ever be able to win her heart?
Amelia E. Taylor blows a kiss to a street rat. Little did she know, years later that kiss would follow her to Green Pines, Colorado. When a handsome stranger arrives in her hometown, she guards her heart from the stirrings this man ignites. Despite society’s disapproval of spinsterhood, she is determined not to marry, having witnessed first-hand the lack of love and horrors that accompany marriage. But will a shotgun wedding reveal blessings that arise out of the ashes?
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9/13/2019 08:39:25 pm
Good job, Sandi. Your story is touching and uplifting at the same moment. Cheers
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This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.