Kirk and I have joked and laughed about growing old together and because he is 10 years my senior we have always joked about me wiping food off his chin or me giving him a bath and all the other daily tasks that go on in the bathroom. What we joked and laughed about is now a reality to us both. ......... This past September Kirk was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) with Parkinson's -17 at the age of 52. It's a nasty little disease that robs its victims of their memory, motor skills, cognitive and personality. Well here we are 15 + years of marriage, a blended/adoptive family and grandparents to be 6 months into this disease. There is one thing and mind you one thing only that I can say good about this thing is that, My love is not aware of the damage, the randomness and the sadness. Instead he is "HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY" these are Kirk's words by way of Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty. We, me and the kids, are learning to take life one day at a time. We don't plan too far ahead these days. My hope for this blogging thing is to get our thoughts, feelings, our tears and fears, our laughs and our joys, our lessons, our journey and our walk with God, tucked away for someone else to find peace through the words God placed on my lips to share.
Sometime in September 2013......
This was the first of several trips to Houston to see Kirk's doctor, with MRI in hand we would get our first glimpse at what was taking my sweet husband from me. I remember laying in bed that night after we got the diagnosis of FTD. I laid there gasping for air as I cried. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest! I held him and cried until I saw the morning light!
This is where God began showing me some things...... pay close attention. I started noticing that I didn't cry very often or get sad. We actually laugh way more! I get overwhelmed a lot, but not sad. Of course after a month of this I thought "OK, I'm either in shock or I'm growing hardhearted......I should be balling, right?" God began showing me what was taking place in our life was not about Kirk and I, it was way bigger. See, Kirk is going to be healed! One day he will remember and he will be able to pick out his own clothes and drive a car again! God told me, " Stacey Do Not forget this is not Kirk's home he is just passing through!" God will heal Kirk in His time, not mine.
The Fruits of the Spirit have all been easy to understand except for one.......long suffering. This does not sound as wonderful as the other Fruits. Long suffering, who wants that? It sounds painful. Give me love or peace...... No! God is showing me long suffering. My friend Jennifer and I have talked about what long suffering looks like and why that would even be considered a Fruit of the Spirit.
God is showing me what that looks like.
It's not always fun, but it is beautiful to witness! Mind you I realize I am in the novice stage. Go back to the overwhelmed comment......God knows that too! My blog tonight may seem a bit scattered but God is weaving it all together. The disease, standing strong on God's promises, long suffering, the big picture. That big picture is bringing others to Christ through a precious, intimate relationship, realness, brokenness, joy in suffering. Living out loud, Christ's love! Each person that has called, text, visited, prayed for us, fed us with food, fed us financially has been this very thing I am talking about. The BIG PICTURE! It's not about the Russells.........It's about each one of you! Your life, your intimate relationship, your realness, your brokenness, your joy in suffering. What does that look like? Are you standing on God's promises? I'm not only standing on them, I cling to them every day!