With the weather changing (yes, it finally feels a little like fall in Texas) it has me reflecting on the changing seasons in our lives. We recently entered this new season of life now that we have 2 children. The transition hasn’t been easy, but it hasn’t been as hard as we expected either.
And now that my dad’s surgery is over and done with, it also got me thinking of the new season that we are entering now as we grow older. The things that we spoke about in our wedding vows, but at the time couldn’t really grasp just exactly what that would mean. “For better or for worse, in sickness and in health…” Yes, I understood the meaning of those words but I didn’t understand what life might throw at us that would entail “for better or for worse” and “in sickness and in health”.
So I thought I’d write a bit about what we have learned that has helped us to best deal with the inevitable stress that comes along with times of change.
Last week when my dad had his surgery, Uri really stepped up for our family. I saw him in this new light. Yes, he’s always been supportive but it just dawned on me that this is what was meant when we said “for better or for worse”.
Last week was one of those “worse” moments. I was scared out of my mind with the possibilities of what could happen during his surgery or in the time leading up to the surgery (You can read about his surgery here). Yet Uri was my calm in the storm. He would pray with me when I was feeling overwhelmed, let me cry on his shoulder, and he took two days off of work last week so that I could be at the hospital, kid free, on the day of the surgery. I was even able to spend the night with my dad at the hospital so that my mom could go home and rest. That meant so much to me.
And the struggle was real for Uri, he took on my responsibilities at home with the kids for 2 days. Something he is not used to doing day and night by himself. He fed them, washed them, picked out their clothes, did their hair, got Camila ready for school, brought me and my family food at the hospital, cleaned the house (well……). He did a lot of things, just to show me how much he was there for me. I didn’t have to worry about taking care of their needs for those 2 days, I could just focus on my dad and his wellbeing.
THAT is what it is to support each other during seasons of change and for better or for worse.
But don’t get me wrong, this support doesn’t always have to come from a spouse. It can come from anyone, a parent, a friend, a coworker. Anyone that you feel you can turn to for the support that you need during your own times of change in life. The key is to just find someone, anyone, who can offer you that support. And be that someone for them when they need it too.
Learn to adapt
My dad is back at home now and is recovering well. And something that I’ve seen my mom do is learn how to adapt.
She’s had to learn how to do a lot of new things. Just yesterday, she was stressing out because my dad needed a prescription for something that he didn’t have yet. Obviously my dad can’t drive during this time, so my mom had to go and get it for him. She had to drive to the VA hospital, call my dad’s primary doctor at the VA, call his cardiologist, figure out where the VA hospital was (because my dad is always doing the driving), and a bunch of other stuff. Stuff that she is not at all used to doing.
But you know what? She is doing it all anyway!
She is learning to adapt to her situation. Something that is so key for anyone in a hectic situation. If you want to learn how to cope, you need to learn how to adapt.
Something that my dad has always said to me is “You panic, you die!” I know it sounds a little harsh (it’s so my dad, if you know him at all) but it’s something I ALWAYS remember in a stressful or scary situation. I can hear his words in my mind so clearly and it helps me to stay calm, focused, and do what needs to be done.
Seasons of change are inevitable, you can either choose to remain worried and ignore the situation completely. Or you can learn how to adapt, embrace the change, and grow from it.
This is a big one. And I feel like this seems to be a recurring theme in my blog posts, see here. I know that I often times struggle with not only asking for help but accepting help when it has been offered. But it is so essential during seasons of change or hardship.
While my dad has been recovering, family and friends have been bringing him and my mom meals. It has been such a huge help and blessing for my parents and I am so eternally grateful for everyone who has showered such love and encouragement on them.
I was a little hesitant when one of our church friends asked if it was okay to set up this meal calendar for my parents because I felt like it wasn’t anyone else’s responsibility to take care of them, only mine. I thought “I can handle it, I can help my mom to take care of him.”
But then when I really started to think about it, it became clear to me that I could not handle it. I have 2 small children that need my care 24/7. Not to mention, they would probably be a nuisance to someone who is trying to rest and recover from surgery at home.
But I realized that I don’t have to handle it all on my own. I have family and friends who not only want to help, but who are, in fact, waiting to help! I just have to accept that help!
Seasons of change and new adjustments can be some of the most difficult times in our lives. Finding support, learning to adapt, and accepting help can make it a little easier to navigate and cope with the stress that comes along with these times.
What are some ways that you deal with stressful situations in your life? Do you have a support system that you can turn to?
Amanda Elize ♥