A blog about the life of the Balentine family: Adam, Amy, Teddy, Simon, Thomas, Peter and Goldie

Friday, March 21, 2014

Q&A Part 3

How is Adam handling the pain?  What have you seen from him over the last several weeks?

Amy's answer:

First I should start by saying not a day goes by where I don’t forget to thank God for Adam.  I always thought Adam was a really special person.  Our friendship was strong for nearly six years before we entertained the idea of dating, seven before we promised ourselves to each other.  God had quite a plan for us, as he does all marriages.  If I would have known on move-in day at KU freshman year (August 2001) that I would not only marry Adam, but then have two sons with him, one of which would be very sick and not live, I would not and could not have believed it.  I presume this is one of many reasons why God doesn’t give us a written book of our days when we are born.  Adam has always been “in touch” with his thoughts and emotions more-so than most of our peers, I’ve always thought.   Our marriage has greatly benefitted from Adam’s willingness to talk to me about our feelings.  Watching Adam evolve over the years has been a true gift from God.  I’ve seen him make mistakes and he’s seen mine too, but most importantly, I have seen him mature and grow closer to the Lord.  When Adam was challenging himself to read the bible in a year in 2012, I felt encouraged to dive into the word as well.  What pressure must be on our husbands to not only provide for and love our families, but also be our spiritual leaders and encouragers.  Adam has always made this look easy, even though I know it’s not.  Over the past two months since finding out about Simon’s health, Adam has been the one person on Earth who truly understands what I am going through.  Adam is my earthly comfort.  He uses words to lift me up when necessary and somehow also knows just when to hug me and not say anything.   I know it’s hard for him to see me hurting.  I too feel helpless when Adam has tears in his eyes and is feeling low.  I wish I could take this pain away from him, from us.  But at the same time, I am selfishly thankful I am not doing this alone.

Adam’s second day back to work after finding out about Simon, Teddy took an extra-long three hour nap.  Most days, I would love to have the extra time, but this day, I had been alone with my thoughts for too long.  I called Adam around 3:30pm and told him the day was getting harder by the minute.  Adam said he’d be home in a few minutes.  Within 10 minutes he was walking through our door.  Teddy had woken up by the time he had gotten home and he found me crying in Teddy’s nursery waiting for him.  I still don’t know if that day was wearing heavy on Adam too and he needed to escape from work.  Either way, he came running and it was that moment when I called him that I realized I am not the only parent going through this. How self-involved my thoughts can be.  Adam might not be shedding as many tears as me on the outside, but he mourns just the same as I do.  I’m not sure why I am surprised over and over again when I tell something to Adam about how I am feeling and he responds with “me too!”

To really get to the point of the question, I am seeing Adam gracefully walk with Jesus Christ through this trial. He is clinging onto him more strongly than I have ever seen him cling before.   I have seen my strong husband turn into an even stronger man with an even more tender shell on the outside.   He builds me up when I am feeling low.  He reminds me to lay my worries at the foot of the cross.  He sends me scriptures to help me get through the day.  I remind myself that Adam cannot be my rock as my one true rock is Christ.  It’s not fair to expect Adam to be my full strength – he will always fail as he wasn’t made to handle such a role.  He is my partner and we will get through this together.  Adam has always listened to sermons over the years, sharing his thoughts on them with me and encouraging me to listen to them as well so we can spend time discussing them.  Since finding out the news regarding Simon he has been seeking out sermons and podcasts that speak to his soul and to our circumstances.  Many sermons on pain and suffering, fears, and this life and the next.  He is a great example to me.  Adam is walking by faith not by sight.  I love how this journey has grown Adam spiritually.  It brings a smile to my face to listen to him talk to others about his faith and love for Christ.  I am proud to call Adam my husband.


I have always had a desire to show others the love letters Adam writes to me.  I have always known he has a gift for writing.  I, of course, have never shared his letters, but I feel like this blog is a small glimpse into what a great man, husband, and father Adam is.  His writings have captured my heart for years and I am thankful that others are now hearing his heart through his words.  Thank you, God, for giving me Adam as my gift.  I know he was given to me on loan from you, God, and I am thankful I was entrusted to be his wife, supporter, and mother to his children.

How is Amy handling the pain?  What have you seen from her over the last several weeks?

Adam's answer:

I am living with my hero.  All who lay eyes on her see the face of bravery.  The subtitle of Angie Smith’s book, “I Will Carry You,” is, “the sacred dance of grief and joy.”  Amy is embracing this sacred dance and mastering it.  She lives daily with  sadness, anger, pain, exhausted thought and confusion.  But she does not feel unworthy of joy, laughter, love, smiles and hope.

Many of Amy’s fears are the same as my fears.  The fear seems to be the toughest part for her.  What will delivery be like?  Will Simon struggle for breath?  What will it feel like to arrive home without him?  The pile of fears becomes a mountain with no summit.  Fear takes you into the wilderness, and only prayer can be the compass that brings you back to safety.

She is a beacon of light in the darkness.  The light comes from her knowing absolutely that God is real, he walks with us through the suffering and carries us as our feet fail.  This journey has already been so difficult, but Amy’s feet are getting stronger.  Some days she leads me, some days I lead her.  As long as we’re both pointed toward Jesus, the path we take matters not.  Her commitment to daily scripture and devotional reading has been inspirational for me.  She knows she needs to force feed herself even when she doesn't feel like it, because she knows she has to progress daily with God to continue to allow him to shield her.

I occasionally weep when she isn’t around, if not only because I don’t want her to be a party to more pain.  We have wept together, but some of the tears are meant for only God to see.  Especially the ones that come in anger or lamentation over the suffering my wife must go through.  I’m thankful God accepts our anger and grief - he rejects no part of us.  I am crushed by watching her go through pain.  The pain she will see in the days ahead is a beast I trade blows with.  I wish I could be her shield from the pain, but all I can be is her resting place when she is nursing the wounds.

We take for granted the breaths we breath, the food we eat and the water we drink.  Today Amy is more of a sustenance for me than these elements.  She is second only to the Word of God.  She is joy embodied.  She is courageous and committed to living-out her beliefs.  She’s not perfect, but she pursues holiness.  How much more power and light will we see from Amy once the sting of this trial has dulled?  This experience with Simon is stripping away her chains.  Without the chains she can fearlessly stand up and say, “Death, where is your victory!?”  She stands with the only person who ever had victory over death, so Simon’s soul - and all of our souls - may live.  I am so thankful she is my wife.  I am yet more thankful we share the same convictions and love the one true God.

I should disclose that hardly a word above was written with a dry eye.

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