Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Is It Worth It?

Another question that ties right in with the question of “how could you marry someone with a terminal disease” is the following: was it worth it marrying someone who had Cystic Fibrosis? This once again seems like a pretty bold question but yet a question that some may be wondering if they are in a dating relationship or a marriage with someone who has a terminal condition. Not everyone gets to choose whether they will marry someone with a terminal disease because the disease may not show itself until after marriage. One of my good friends and roommate in college lost his wife while they were still in their twenties but yet I was supposed to be the one to lose his wife first. I also want you to notice that the question is not “Was” it worth it? but rather the question is “Is” it worth it?. You see, being married to someone with CF is not over for me. Tonight I went to starbucks and looked at pictures of Tiff on her mac as I took time to just stop and contemplate on the two month anniversary of her homegoing. Sometime soon I get to go to the CF clinic to deliver meds that can still be used by others -- being married to someone with CF does not end with the end stage of CF--it is a continuing effect in my life. So, looking back not only over the last two months but also at the last 17.5 years that I knew Tiff and looking forward to the years ahead that God may give me -- Is it worth it to marry someone with CF or a terminal condition?

I believe a key component to answering this question is having the right perspective on CF. I have read many blogs by CFers who live lives of anger and frustration and bitterness toward Cystic Fibrosis. The reality is that it is not an easy disease and that it does kill people much earlier than we would ever desire, but CF is not something to be angry about. I believe one of the problems is that people define themselves by the circumstances that they find themselves in rather than finding their identity in Christ.  For sure, CF shaped Tiffany’s life, but more than the actual CF, Tiffany’s response to it shaped her life.  Tiffany was not defined by CF, but rather she was and is defined by Christ and her faith in Him and Him alone. About a year ago, I had to work through some of these issues again. I found myself getting frustrated with CF and the hardships that it was bringing into Tiffany’s and my life. God worked on my heart again and brought me to the place where I could honestly say “Thank you God for giving Tiffany CF.” It is counting it all joy in the difficulties and trials of life not because pain and suffering and limitations are fun or “happy” occasions but rather that I can rest in God’s design for my life and my wife’s life. That God is using trials to bring us to a greater conformity to Him -- to teach us that we might change and give up our will to His will.

So I sit here in my house alone (o.k. our dog is keeping me company) having gone through the ups and downs of CF, having spent more nights in the hospital than I care to remember, having my wife die as I held her hand and quietly slip into glory, having experienced much of what CF brings and I ask myself, “Is it worth it?” YES!, it is worth every joy, trial, up, down, thrill, love, tear, loss, gain, difficulty, and experience as CF was uniquely used by God in Tiffany’s life to conform her to the image of His son and to conform those around her to the image of His Son. I have been changed forever by choosing to love that cute girl from CO who had a terminal disease -- It was worth it and I would marry her again!

No Response to "Is It Worth It?"