My goal in this whole blog-writing thing is to be honest and transparent, in the hopes that it might bring someone else hope or clarity or comfort or all of the above. So here goes nothing… I’ve mentioned before here and here about how my dating experience with Dylan hasn’t exactly been like most people’s dating experience and so I thought I’d share why (with his permission).
Have you ever been in the situation where someone you love, whether that be a family member or partner or good friend, was going through something that regardless of how much you wanted to help there was just nothing you could actually do to help?
Well, that was me for the first 4 years of my relationship with Dylan.
It 1000% sucked!
Dyl was pretty sick for a long time. To his credit, unless he’d told you about it, you might not have even known. The kind of sickness that he had was pretty debilitating for him and it often made it hard to just go and do what you wanted when you wanted. For us in our relationship, it made it hard to go out spontaneously or to plan dinner or activities with friends as each day we just never knew how he’d be feeling. All the things that I considered “normal” couples did, we couldn’t do… Jumping in the car and driving for the sake of going somewhere new, or going out for dinner, or going to the movies, even going to friends places, all of these things we just couldn’t do. I often felt like we had to explain ourselves as to why we didn’t go to certain things which I hated. I also hated when people asked why Dyl had lost so much weight or why Dyl had put on a bit of weight. I hated that there was no consideration that maybe something else was going on and it wasn’t just “anti-social” or that he was eating better or eating poorly.
So here are a few places my thoughts went during this season of our relationship:
- Why us? Why do we have to be the ones who have to navigate something like this?
- This sucks
- Why, God, haven’t you healed him yet? A miracle is literally the only option
- Maybe there’s a lesson here somewhere…
- This sucks so much
- God, I’ll take some of the pain but not the symptoms… I want to be able to understand what this is like for Dyl (side note: thank GOD that he didn’t answer that little prayer, not sure I could have handled the pain)
- Alright, if we’re really stuck in this place, what can I/we be learning from this?
- I know it’s not about me, but I wish someone could feel how it feels to be me in this situation…
- Whyyyyy is he not better yet. This sucks so, so much!
- Okay, God, I’ll make a deal with you…
The hardest thing is not being able to do a single thing to help. It made me feel like a useless girlfriend, to be honest. I felt frustrated because I didn’t fully understand what it was like for Dylan, and then I felt frustrated because I felt like Dylan didn’t fully understand what it was like for me to feel frustrated that I didn’t fully understand what it was like for him. A big round-a-bout of frustration!
So what do you do when life gives you lemons? You look for the lessons or significant moments so that you can make lemonade. Here are some of the sweet things I’ve taken away from this “lemon”…
- Regardless of what we can physically see, God is always doing something and I had to learn to trust in that. Now, I know some of you mightn’t believe in God so you might think this is strange, but for me, this was a big thing. I guess I always had a head knowledge that God is always working a plan but this circumstance shifted that from a head to a heart thing.
- Everything we go through is building something within us for the next season of our lives. Even though Dyl and I aren’t married, I already know because of this situation that we can do “in sickness and health” because we’ve done it. We learned different ways in which the other communicate, we learned that even though it can be tough it’d be tougher to do it without each other. I have no doubts that what we have been through has set an incredible foundation for what’s ahead of us for the rest of our lives.
- Dyl is the best person on the planet. Period. I know that he was frustrated by the whole thing, but I don’t think I ever heard him really complain about it. I get a small cold and I whine like I’m on my deathbed, but this was not Dyl’s first response. He continued to give God 100% of himself and say yes to whatever was put in front of him. He still loved me wholeheartedly when I’m sure it would have just been easier to hide or decide it was too hard. He really is just the world’s greatest.
- Everyone is going through something, whether it’s obvious or not and kindness really is just so important regardless. This whole thing has changed the way I view others… maybe Person A isn’t actually just being rude, maybe they’re dealing with something that is so painful (physically/mentally/emotionally) that they just are doing their best to get through a conversation. Maybe Person B would actually love to hang out, but they don’t feel comfortable anywhere but their own home and that’s totally okay. I’ve learned to not take things so personally and to think creatively as to how to make the most of quiet moments.
For the last year and a half, Dyl has been 1000 times better than any other time in our relationship and I wholeheartedly believe that God has healed him! I am certainly so, SO glad that we are done with that season, but I will forever be grateful for the kindness God showed us through it and the things I learned along the way about Dylan, about God and about myself.
So there you go, a snippet into my relationship with Dylan and the biggest challenge we’ve faced to date. I hope you have learned something about me or found yourself somewhere in this and that you’ve been inspired to be a little kinder today than yesterday ♥
If you have any questions or are going through something similar, I’d love to hear from you. You can head to my Facebook page and message me there!