February has been an interesting month for Alex and me so far.
As we were doing our Facebook live two weeks ago Alex starting experiencing some pain in his abdomen. It was in a very specific spot so we decided to go get it checked on. It turned into a week-long ordeal of hospitals and doctor visits. We went to a hospital first, we figured it was either a kidney stone or his appendix. We were told that it was neither given some medicine and told to go to our general doctor. We went to a general doctor who did some test and thought that they had figured out what the problem was and they gave us some more medicine. All the while Alex was not getting any better, in fact, he was just getting worse. Our doctor told us that if he wasn’t better in a few days to come back so when nothing changed we went back to the doctor and we were told that we really needed to go back to the ER because clearly, something was wrong. We went to a different ER this time and he was told that he did have appendicitis and that surgery was in his future. We spent the night in the hospital Sunday night and then Monday afternoon Alex had an appendectomy. Alex did great with the surgery. He woke up with the pain gone and we were able to go home that night.
Although I am so thankful that the problem was solved it has been a hard two weeks for us. One week was all about pain and doctor visits and the frustration of not knowing what was going on and this week has been all about recovery, rest, and caregiving.
A Change in Perspective
Monday while we were at the hospital I got a notification on my phone that A Beautiful Adventure had been tagged in a post. I went to look at it and someone from our marriage small group had tagged us on a posted where they had gone on a date.
*A little explanation, in our small group you are encouraged to go on a date once a week. I ask the group to post a picture and to tag us in it to promote the small group and also to just put some positivity on social media in regards to marriage. I have so enjoyed seeing all the couples happy and enjoying spending time together.*
I was excited to see the picture but I instantly had this thought-
Alex and I won’t get a date night this week.
So I started to have myself a little pity party right there in the hospital or at least I was planning too until I read the caption above the photo.
“Waiting to file taxes! Gotta get time together in somehow when our schedules are soo busy with work. #dateyourspouse”
This couple wasn’t at a fancy restaurant or doing some fun activity that they both enjoyed. They were sitting in a tax office waiting to get their taxes done. They had made a decision to make this moment special and enjoy each others company.
As I sat there the word “Perspective” popped in my head. So I looked it up!
-a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
Perspective is all about the attitude you have toward something. This couple had made a decision to make the most of their day. They could have been grumpy because instead of doing something fun they were filing taxes but instead they chose to embrace this as time together. They realized that they were together and they were thankful for the time.
Can I be real for a moment and just say that this yanked me right up and out of my pity party? The Lord gently but very firmly told me to check my attitude. I ask Him to forgive me for my moment and asked Him to help me to keep the right perspective. The Lord never ceases to amaze me with how He speaks to us. He used a Facebook post to grow me so much! It was not just in that one moment. I have not been able to get the word “perspective” out of my mind all week. It has literally been the background music playing in my head since Monday.
When we got home from the hospital, Alex was very sore and because of the incisions, he could not fully stretch out. He decided that he was going to sleep on the couch so he could get comfortable. What I thought would just be one night turned into 5 days of pillow fort couch camping.
Above is a picture of where Alex and I lived for 5 days. We slept here, ate here, and spent a lot of time together here. It was not our ideal situation. Alex was hurting from the surgery and sleep on the couch was not the best sleep I have ever had. Again the word perspective and the post just kept running through my mind. If the couple could make getting their taxes done a date I could do the same with this. I show you this picture so you can see this moment for us was not tidy. It was not glamorous. It was real and rare. The enemy was really trying to bring out all the negative in this situation, but God had already planted the seed of perspective for me and thankfully I listened to Him this time. I decided that I was going to make the best of the situation that we found ourselves in. So I started changing every negative thought I had with a positive thought.
- “Alex is sick and this is hard” turned to “I’m so thankful the doctor found the problem and fixed it. Alex is getting better every day”
- “Alex and I are not going to be able to go on a date” turned to”Hey, because of this we are getting to spend more time together than we would have under normal circumstances. We are having date days”
- “We have to sleep on this couch” turned to”We are camping and building pillow forts while watching movies together.”
- “Caregiving is not fun” turned to ” I am thankful that I get to be here with my husband and help take care of him.
I had to make a decision every time a negative thought popped in my head (which was often) to change the thought by changing my perspective. I made a decision to give our day to day a positive twist. Then I decided to take it a step further. I told Alex what the Lord had told me and I started communicating the positive to him. I was literally thinking and speaking positively over the situation.
Now here is the interesting thing- things became more positive. Our situation did not change overnight but when I got my attitude in check I was able to handle it better and with the right perspective.
Please get this-
Our situation did not instantly change! It was a process BUT we were able to handle the process better because of our attitude toward it.
I have given it a lot of thought in the last week and I believe this same principle can dramatically change our marriages and our lives in general. I believe that a lot of problems can be solved by a simple change of perspective. I have heard a lot of catchphrases such as “change your words change your life” or “change your language change your culture.” I am going to add my own catchphrase.
Change your Perspective, Change your Marriage
So how do we change our perspective on our marriage?
First- Check your Attitude
Secondly-Change the Negative to a Positive
Seems a little too easy, doesn’t it? Although it is only two simple steps those two steps can be hard to do something, but I encourage you to do the work to change your perspective. It really can turn a negative situation into a positive one. That is what the couple in our small group did and that is what we did because of their post.
This week really listen to your words and your thoughts when it comes to your marriage. If you find that they are negative make a point to find the positive. The enemy is really good at dropping negative thoughts in our head. It is up to us if we let them stay there. If we combat those thoughts with positive ones the enemy will flee. This is not a one and done process you will have to do this multiple times a day but if you get in the habit of doing this the negative thoughts will become fewer and fewer and the impact on your marriage undeniable.
Our natural response is to look at the negative. Go against the grain and see how it will help your marriage and your life in general!
You can do this! We are praying for you!