I’m a firm believer that nothing we experience falls outside the realm of God’s all-knowing, merciful care. My husband’s 15-year battle with MS gave us an opportunity to see first hand how God’s loving kindness was ever with us, regardless of how incredibly hard the road which led to Chris’s death in October, 2009 was.
Despite our continual awareness of God’s grace, the burden we carried every day was a heavy one—the logistical needs of Chris’s special diet (homemade everything, no wheat, no processed foods, juicing, etc.), plus helping him each day with multiple personal needs (dressing/undressing, helping him on/off his scooter, in/out of his car, etc.) became a big part of our “homeschooling curriculum”. The constant disruptions to the academic side of our homeschooling discouraged or frustrated me, if not every day, at least every week during school each year.
Then there was the emotional toll Chris’s MS took on us all. His anguish over his failing body melted our hearts often. My seven children sometimes verbalized a wish that they could each take his MS for one day a week so Daddy could have a break. At other times, my kids dreamed about having a normal life—longing for the opportunity for a job outside the home, and to engage in extracurricular activities which the daily needs of their dad could not afford.
Even still, we experienced joy as we served my husband together. Knowing we were helping him stay in the race and continue to serve homeschoolers through his work as HSLDA’s Senior Counsel gave us a strong sense of purpose. Surprising, as well, was the effect suffering had on us—it helped us embrace in life what was most important, it reminded us again and again of God’s daily presence and help, and it united us as a family on a very deep level.
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