Perfecting Love

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I awoke to Jalal standing over me.

It was 8 a.m.. A very late start of the day for me (especially in the middle of the week).

“Ready to run?”

Me: “Isn’t it raining?”

Him “Are you afraid of getting wet now? You are going to sweat anyway.”

Me: “Yeah, but I don’t like run on a wet surface.”

Then he said it.

“Stop whining.”

Knife to the heart.

Anybody who knows me knows how I feel about whining. Can’t tolerate it. Don’t allow it. Not even from my children. Not even when they were babies. Seriously. Are you hungry? Let’s eat.  Wet? Let’s change you. Sleepy? Let’s take a nap. But I don’t do the whining thing.  Cry me a river, build a bridge, and GET OVER IT.

I bolted up and immediately realized something. The games were taking a new turn. Jalal has babied me a bit since I’ve been out of the hospital. This round with my health really scared him I think. I catch him eyeing me… checking me for swelling, looking into my eyes to see if they are a pale shade of yellow (sign of liver problems), AND  he inquires about the color of my urine. Ugh. Not the sexiest side of our relationship but it is what it is. But I must admit I’ve kinda gotten used to this softer version of my ‘take no prisioners’ husband.

Calling me a whiner was a low blow and he knew it.

But there are other things he knows.  His wife two months ago would have never said anything about a concern about ‘wet surfaces’. Five hours later, I can’t even believe I said that. My willingness to push the envelope is part of my MO.

So what happened? I have been shaken to my core. There is no way to sugar coat it. This summer was scary.

I look back on my time in the hospital as Eight days of very Difficult Conversations.

Day 1: “Your levels are higher then anyone I’ve ever seen. We are prepared for your kidneys to shut down at any moment.”

Day 3  “Swelling of this magnititude could lead to compartment syndrome… I had to amputate the arms of a 16 yr old girl…”

Day 5  “Your liver enzymes are elevated and gallbladder is inflammed… we may need to do surgery”

Day 7 “Your platlet count is quite low. This is unrelated to your other problems.  You are danger of serious bleeding…”

The weeks that have followed have been tough.  I’ve slowly returned to working out.  I started by doing walk/run routines. The second week I walked less/ ran more; I was running only by the end of the week.  The third week I felt like I regained my stride so I added a day of Crossfit. Gulp. Four days later and my hamstrings are still mad at me for that one.

Back to today’s run. After I got over my brusied ego I put on my new Vibrams (a gift from him) and we headed out.

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What a run.

A baptism of sorts.

Rain represents cleansing. Washing away and starting anew. I focused on this during my run. Thanking God for another day; another opportunity to love.  I also focused on how thankful I am for the husband I have.  A husband who remembers who I am when I forget. A husband who loves me enough to remind me  of truth and hold me accountable against fear.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. ~ John 4:18

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