by Cynthia M. Dismuke On December 28, 2010, I found my husband on the bathroom floor nonresponsive. His eyes were wide open but no movement, not even a blink. As I dialed 911 simultaneously calling his name, our whole life together flashed before my eyes. Everything that I was angry about, disgruntled about, sad about went away instantly. As he lay on the floor, I began to cry out to him telling him. “Come on man, you can’t do this now!” He looked as though he was deceased. After about two minutes, he began to come around and I was breathing a sigh of relief.
If he had died, in an instant our lives would have been changed forever. This made me think about how trivial some arguments and disagreements can be. Sunday, I was barely speaking to him because of something he had said while my parents were visiting for the holidays. The following Tuesday, I was dialing 911 not knowing what type of crisis we were about to encounter.
The things we hold on to and argue about seem so important in the moment. But, we can’t allow our pride, ego and selfishness to ruin our lives and relationships. We have to stop taking each other for granted; tomorrow is not promised to you. We spend so much time getting caught up in the little things that we often don’t realize what really matters until it is too late.
Seeing my husband lying on the floor looking like a dead man made me think about how life is too short and too fragile for foolishness. Yes, there are legitimate issues that may come into debate throughout relationships but what is legitimate and what is foolishness?
I once had a neighbor whose husband was a pilot. They had been fighting about him proceeding with his flight plans in spite of the incumbent weather. Against her request, he decided to go with his flight plans anyway. He tried calling her before he departed, but she was too angry to answer the phone so she ignored his call and continued lunch with her girlfriends. So, he left her a voicemail message and took off. Later that day his helicopter crashed. He and his entire flight crew were killed. She was left with deep regrets, two young boys to raise and a voicemail message.
LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCES OF OTHERS!
- If you are having differences, work them out.
- If you are having martial conflict that you have not been able to resolve among yourselves; get a marriage coach or seek pastoral or professional counseling.
- Put away your pride and learn to say, “I’m sorry, will you forgive me?”
- When someone asks for your forgiveness, give it. When you forgive, you are not pretending that something hasn’t happened; you are simply releasing the right to punish them.
Each day we are provided the opportunity to live, love, give and respect each other. Don’t waste it on foolishness. Life is truly about perspective and what you make out of it. Don’t allow what happened to me and my neighbor to become your story.
Cynthia M. Dismuke is a Spiritual Advisor and founder of Still I Rise Ministries. She is also the creator of Free and Unashamed, a support group for women who have survived physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. She loves empowering women to become who God created them to be with practical applications of God’s Word. She strongly believes that life experiences are lessons to be shared to educate, free and empower others. She is the mother of five, grandmother of two and resides in Texas with her husband of twenty years.