Click here to start at the beginning.
About three weeks after the onset of my Bell’s Palsy I woke up one morning and looked in the mirror, as I had done each morning, in hopes that I could move my face again. On this morning it seemed like maybe I had just a little more movement. It was ever so slight though so I wondered if it was just my imagination. I didn’t mention it to anyone, but I felt somewhat hopeful. The next day however, I was sure that there was just a little more movement than the day before. And so each day for the next two weeks I regained a little more movement.
I was extremely excited. I could smile again, albeit a little crooked. Someone reminded me that my smile has always been crooked! The neurologist said that I regained 80-90% of the movement back. Even though it is not 100% today no one would notice that I ever had Bell’s Palsy but, when I’m tired I can tell, especially in pictures, that the left side of my face droops slightly. I am just happy that I can smile at my husband and children!
When Grace was six weeks she had a procedure done to find out what was going on in her kidneys. The Dr. said that she did indeed have reflux in both kidneys. She would need to be on daily antibiotics to keep her from getting an infection that could damage her kidneys. I agonized over giving her daily antibiotics but found the alternative too risky. A year later, however, they tested her again to find the reflux gone! The doctor was amazed. She said it is very rare in girls to recover within the first year and that girls with this problem usually end up needing surgery. We had so much to thank the Lord for!
Things in my marriage got better gradually. I learned so much about myself during that dark time. A verse that came to mind often was “…for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)
I remember praying that my husband would be all the things I wished he was, not even realizing the selfishness in that. I cannot change my husband, but I am responsible for myself–to continually grow to be more like Christ. I saw that I could not be bitter and angry toward him in my heart all day and then be the sweet, loving wife I wanted to be. What was in my heart would inevitably come spewing out. During the day instead of dwelling on all the things I wished he would be, when my thoughts would take this route I would begin listing all the great things about him–and there were great things about him. As my attitude toward him changed the way he responded to me changed as well.
We began reading books aloud together in the evenings as I was nursing the baby. This became a great time of fellowship. We read several books none of which were on marriage, but this time together really did strengthen our relationship. The two I remember that we read specifically during this time were Shepherding a Child’s Heart, by Tedd Tripp and The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer, both I would highly recommend.
Well, there were hard times before this year, there have been hard times since then, and there will be hard times in our future, but I know that no matter what comes that as long as I trust God and lean on Him, He will get me through and grow me until the day He calls me home.
Thanks for sharing Esther. You definitely had one hard year. So glad things had a happy ending! 🙂
Beth Paulsen says
wow, reading this story has been incredible! Thank you so much for sharing! I have been challenged and inspired by it! Makes me thing about stories I should share! I read every post of yours! I just don’t comment enough! I love your blog! keep writing!!
ive enjoyed your story esther. thank you for sharing. i totally agree with you about the perspective on your husband-the heart and mindset in you have to change to see any actions or attitude changes. thanks for that reminder! love your blog, and am proud of God for how He brought you thru! 🙂
Wow. Thanks for sharing that, Esther.
Sarita Edgerton says
Thanks for being so transparent! you are an amazing person!
Thank you so much for sharing this story with us Esther it was not an easy time for you.
This was very inspiring Esther! I couldn’t wait for each installment to come. You have gone through alot and God has brought you through each time. I don’t think I would have been as understanding toward my husband as you were, and your story makes me want to work harder at thinking about the good things about him. Thanks for the reminder that out of the heart the mouth speaks!
THank you for sharing your heart! May God bless you and your husband as you figure out this thing we call life!
That is so true… Thanks for sharing your story in order to get to the most important lesson at the end.
Thank you for sharing your story, and what God has done in your life! He is so good!
Grumpy Grateful Mom says
A wonderful finish to your inspiring story. I love your outlook on what you went through. I think time has always been the best perspective changer for me. I just need to remember to keep my attitude in check while I am struggling with something.
I really appreciated your story, having been through several years of life-and-death experiences with my daughter. You are so right about trusting and leaning on the Lord…it is all we have to get us through anything and everything in life…no matter how simple or difficult it may be.
Thanks for sharing.
Kim @ Stuff could... says
I am glad you got your smile back mostly. Reading together helped hubs and I so much also….Thanks
Beader Bubbe says
I saw this quote and thought of you:
A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. ~Roald Dahl
I haven’t commented on each post, but followed along this journey with you. Thank you for your honesty, for your grace, and for being real. That is a difficult feat in todays world. Blessings to you 🙂
What a testimony Esther. Thank you for writing about it so honestly. I appreciated reading it, finding myself encouraged by the realness of it, and nodding in agreement with your conclusion.
Thank you for sharing. I’ve never heard of Bell’s Palsy before. Also your daughter and my second son were born in the same month, same year, 10dys apart. so cool 😀
Wow. That’s quite a story. Inspiring, honest, real. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thank you for sharing your story, Esther! It’s a great testimony and witness that God heals…bodies, minds, and marriages. 😀 I had preeclampsia with my last pregnancy too. I know what it’s like to lay in the hospital, fearing for your life because they don’t know what else to do to treat you. You are one tough momma…and I mean that in the very best way! Blessings to you and your family!
Hey Esther-I just finished reading this series. You are a very strong women and I know God does show us how we should treat others and want others to treat us. I haven’t experienced your struggle, but do understand the effects. I pray you remain strong and loving for you and your family. Give your mother a big hug for being the great role model every girl deserves. As you know, men do not change, so find those great qualities and focus on what is there, not what is missing!
Great testimony. I’ve also experienced some really hard years, as I know we all have. God is faithful to mature us through these hardships. Thanks for the story that is more encouraging than you probably realize!
What an amazing testimony, Esther. It’s so true that trials will show us how helpless we are apart from God. Marriage and then having children has brought out more of my weakness than anything else. So glad that God has given you reasons to rejoice in the hard times and that He sustained you in the darkest days.
Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve had bells palsy twice (at 17 for two weeks, & at 31 for six months). I know how awful it is. So glad you’re healthy:)
Wow, what a year! Yes, I got sucked into reading it all.
I could see my husband sort of shutting down like that- it’s how he copes with the tough stuff.
You definitely had me hooked by the end of Part I. Thank you for sharing what you experienced. I particularly admire you for having the courage to talk so frankly about the details. I would be interested to know how your husband supported you to be so honest about your marriage. I think it’s wonderful because it’s through testimonies like this that God gets the glory for the faithful, loving Father that He is. God bless!
Mary Beth says
I just read straight through! Thanks for sharing your story. I’m grateful for your testimony of perseverance during difficult times and giving your husband the benefit of the doubt.
@Sarah, My husband encouraged me to start the blog. He knew I would be writing about him and the kids and agreed in advance to let me! So far he’s never objected!
Thank you so much for sharing this.
I remember praying that my husband would be all the things I wished he was, not even realizing the selfishness in that.
I have SO been there!! It’s only when I give up on that and start being thankful for all the things he already is to me, that we start going right again.
I’m so glad both you and Grace are healthy again!
Esther, you have no idea how your story has affected me. I so wish you and I could have coffee together… please know that I can relate, with a not-understood pre & Post-baby distancing of the hubby, along with a terrible post-delivery scary situation. I relate to your all-over-the-place emotions that weren’t understood, and your need to draw good boundaries around yourself of what you can & can’t do, as a busy mom. I haven’t yet had the courage to “go deeper” in those places that I know I need to, since all that junk. I got through the crisis & have since lived life with each day that was presented to me, as that’s really all I’ve got time for. But, you can pray for me, that in those quiet moments of the night, I would “let go and Let God”… God bless you for sharing 🙂
Your story makes me feel like my aches and pains and daily “stuff” is not all that bad. What a terrible year it must have been for you. I was so glad to read the ending and the way God is working. Hang in there and keep sharing and find the healing that it brings. Thank you for your honesty.
Such an amazing story. Thank you for sharing it, and what you learned throughout such a hard time. You have a beautiful family!
Judith at WholeHearted Home says
I just read straight through your story and was held captivated by your conversational way of relating it. How amazing that you recovered!!It was like a book that I couldn’t put down. God is so good. I liked the most that you included the part about your husband. What is encouraging about that is that many women are in a similar situation and feel so alone. Hearing about someone else’s similar situation helps them to realize that they are not alone. You responded correctly and found the blessing of a renewed relationship with him. I have found the same thing to be true and found the blessing that comes with it instead of choosing bitterness and the road that would have taken me down.
I don’t know if you linked all of these “parts” but the first “part” held my interest until the end. Thank you so much for sharing this over at WholeHearted Home this week.
This was written so well! So glad things have gotten better. I miss you!!
Thank you for writing this! It is a good reminder.
I’ve been through some similar things. The parts that jump out at me are the story of you and your husband,particularly during and after pregnancy. As I still struggle with that relationship, it would be helpful to know how you resolved it. Completely your personal story so I understand why you may not want to share details of that. I’m sure it would be helpful to more than just me though.
Or maybe if your husband were to share a bit of his side of it. I know I’d like to understand why a man treats his wife like that-I think it would be a relief to know that it isn’t just him distancing himself from her, that he does still love her.
Thank you for sharing this. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone.
Wow, Esther! What a story. You are always so positive and wise. I loved our conversations during CC. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this story.
Patricia Van Essen says
It is so good to read this. In the many ways you described your relationship with Jason, it brought many memories of how I particularly felt after our baby, Daniel, died at 5 days. We had talked and cried and grieved while he lived, then after his funeral my mom went home and John became all absorbed in his Ham Radio Hobby. A month later I found myself in the psych ward. At this point I fast forward 33 years. I came to understand 2 things after John died. How an introvert thinks, and how men and women may experience grief differently. Looking back, I wish I had known more about these things. I am thankful that the Lord doesn’t give up on us. I’m thankful He even gives me grace to want to be teachable. There have been way too many times when I wanted Him to work on someone else. Thank you for sharing your heart.