Thank you Father for this new day, for your quiet voice, for your affirming ways. Thank you all for your continued prayers and comments.
Since Theresa’s passing I have been dealing with migraines and tense neck muscles. I thought it was strange that I am dealing with this now, when we had four years of stress and I never had a migraine and only had knots in my neck a few times. Now that the stress is over why is it getting worse? It wasn’t until this week that I think I figured it out.
Theresa and my love language was touch and words of affirmation. In the evenings we would talk through our days and in bed we would rub each others backs and scalps and Theresa would lay her head on my chest with her leg and arm across me and we would talk, pray and I’d continue to comb my fingers through her hair until she would fall asleep. We would reaffirm our love for each other all day and began our day and ended our day saying “I love you”. I didn’t realize until now how I depended on that connection over the past 25 years. No matter how bad or stressful the day was, we got it all out and soothed each other in the process. We did this nearly every night up to her last few nights. And even during her last day and night, I caressed her often, rubbing her temple, kissing her face, combing my fingers through her hair. Being around Theresa reduced my blood pressure, my stress, helped me recover from each day.
Theresa would tell me when I was away at night, on a rare occasion, that she didn’t sleep at all. Once I was home next to her, she could relax and sleep. She also said many a time that she prayed to go before me because she would be a wreck if I died first. I was less in tune to myself than she was, for I could sleep well because I knew she was safe at home, and I believed we would have a long life together. But now I understand where she was coming from. I have had increasing restless nights, neck strain and the headaches. I actually didn’t realize how much we really soothed each other, connecting such that it truly affected us physically. We always held hands when we were out and at times at home. I now realize how that touch connected more than our hands. We also hugged and kissed often.
With my contrasting increased bodily stress now while having lower stress, with significantly higher stress with Theresa’s cancer and less bodily stress I can see clearly how much physical touch and words of affirmation can play in our health (for those who’s language of love is touch). I can see how blood pressure, pulse, stress hormones, mental fortitude, contentment and strength can be affected by loss. The deficiency of not having this love language in my life, I think, has intensified my loss.
If you are unfamiliar with Love languages, Dr. Gary Chapman has written books on the 5 love languages: words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality time and Physical touch. It is worth reading to know how to speak your spouse’s love language.
In our marriage we actually spoke all five regularly, but Physical touch was most prominent. We affirmed each other every day, I would come home for lunch twice a week and would call her on the days I couldn’t come home. In the evening I would help make dinner and clean up the kitchen. I Would help with the laundry and what ever was needed in the house. And we made sure we had quality time together on a regular basis. We served each other daily, nurtured each other. The absence of this is a huge emptiness, a void, a vacuum that was once filled with satisfaction, contentment, love. I crave what I now don’t have.
Love is a gift, it is from God, it IS God. God’s love grew in our marriage, between us, in us, through us. He bound us together as one. As I have written a few times, we crave Him. For He is the source of love, of what binds, of what brings peace, contentment, joy. He is what we had. We were meant not to know separation from God and pain like this. But sin changed that. Now we experience the anguish of grief, of love lost. Yet thanks be to God – it is only temporary, a blink in eternity. We will be reunited to the originator of love and to those we love – and the bond will never be broken again.
“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. the Lord is at hand, do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Phillipians 4:4-8.
Thank you for your continued walk with me, for your thoughts and prayers. May God bless you deeply with intimacy in Him.