Day 85 | A Love Letter to My Husband Caregiver

June 2, 2017

I’m not normally comfortable sharing things like this… but today is our five year wedding anniversary and I wanted to take this opportunity to honor my husband, Brett, for how he’s served me while I’ve been sick.

So I decided to publish the love letter I wrote for him this year.


Dearest Love,

As I sat here, thinking about our wedding day 5 years ago, I felt as though my heart might burst from all the emotion welling up inside me.

It was such a beautiful day… and yet it almost breaks my heart to remember your beaming smile and your heart full of happy dreams for our new life together. Neither of us could ever have imagined what a hellish future awaited us.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was very brave of you to make those vows and commit yourself to me so completely.

“For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.”

You had no idea that it would only be worse and poorer and sickness for so many years.

It’s not that we expected life to be easy or free of trouble. We were mature enough to realize that life was not a fairytale but we certainly didn’t know everything was going to fall apart so quickly and so catastrophically.

I’m sure you never could have imagined that in only a few short months, you’d be pushing your strong ballerina wife down hospital hallways in a wheelchair. But you made your promise and you kept it. I never doubted for a moment that your commitment was forever.

I already admired you so much on that joyous day but it can’t even compare to how much admire you now. There was so much more tenderness, bravery, and greatness in you than even my enamored 19-year-old-self could see.

You said you would love me no matter what, but now I’ve seen you do it. Even when I lost everything that first drew you to meβ€”my spiritual strength, my mind, my physical vitality, my outward beauty, my personalityβ€”you loved me faithfully. And you fought for me with everything you had.

Thank you for reminding me that God’s strong hand was still holding me when I felt lost and confused. Thank you for continuing to spend time with me when my mind was no longer able to engage in thoughtful conversation. Thank you for helping me get to the bathroom and back to bed when my body was failing me. Thank you for seeing the beauty in me when my long hair was thinning and I had gained so much weight.

Most of all, thank you for believing that the real me was still in there, even when the sickness was all you could see. Thank you for buying me stuffed animals and watching Veggie Tales with me when I was too fragile to be a grown-up.

Thank you for sitting with me while I screamed for hours in a state of utter panic when the infection was eating away at my brain. Thank you for massaging my feet every night just so that I could forget the intense physical pain long enough to catch a wink of sleep.

Thank you for coming to all my doctors appointments and taking notes when my brain was too sick to even understand what the doctor was saying. Thank you for spending all of your savings to get me better without even batting an eye. Thank you for working so hard to figure out a way to be a full time caregiver and still make enough money to pay for my treatments.

Thank you for recognizing when a situation became an emergency and taking decisive action. Thank you for being strong for me even when you were scared. Thank you for doing the right thing even when you were angry. Thank you for choosing me and our marriage over everything else.

You gave your life for me over and over again. You were so brave! Your courage and love made me want to keep living. You kept the hope in me alive.

And just look at how far I’ve come now. There’s no way I could have done this without you darling! You’re my hero. And as our lives move toward “better and richer and health,” I can’t wait to use all of that extra happiness and strength to serve and love you with all that I am.

Life sure looks different than we imagined. There’s so much loss and brokenness that we still need to process but I have no doubt that we can build something really beautiful out of these ruins.

Remember that song we used to listen to when we were dating? It’s even more fitting now…

“Out of these ashes,
Beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see it with our own eyes

Out of this darkness
New life will shine
And we’ll know joy is coming in the morning”

I love you forever,

Ana


By the way, Brett and I made a beautiful PDF of my favorite resources for suffering souls. I created the content and he made it look fancy with his superduper graphic design skills. It’s available for free to my email subscribers. Click here to sign up and receive 5 Resources for the Suffering Soul.

Get My 5 Favorite Resources


 

Previous Post Next Post

You may also like

55 Comments

  • Amanda Cunningham

    So beautiful, Ana. Happy anniversary you two πŸ™‚

    June 9, 2017 at 10:00 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… Thank you!

      June 9, 2017 at 10:33 am Reply
  • Grandma Zimmerman

    Beautiful, Ana! May the Lord bless you two with the “Better, richer and good health”.

    June 9, 2017 at 10:10 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you Grandma! πŸ’•

      June 9, 2017 at 10:33 am Reply
  • MartΓ­n Fernandez

    How to say this in English… you made me cry. You’ve taught me a lot about loving kindness, keep up the good work and happy anniversary.

    June 9, 2017 at 10:14 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      😊

      June 9, 2017 at 10:33 am Reply
  • Rachel

    So beautiful and inspiring – what you both have lived over the past 5 years is a testament to real love and faithfulness in the face of suffering and one that I know for sure most young couples can never say they have truly experienced. Especially right off the bat. Wow. Reading your story of all the pain and suffering and stolen joy and robbed happiness because of your ailments you’ve gone through also reminds me a lot of when I read the book of Job in the Bible. (I have no doubt that you can relate to Job on a spiritual level!) Personal suffering is something we have such a hard time opening up and being vulnerable about, but it’s very real and raw and present in life. I really appreciated your candidness. I am also so happy to see you pulling through and continue to make improvements and finding joy in life again. Thank you once again for sharing – you and Brett are in my prayers! I wish you both many more anniversaries, and that there will definitely be way more of the “better, richer and health” in store for you both.

    June 9, 2017 at 10:15 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      This is such a sweet comment! Thank you so much! I definitely can relate to Job. Thank you so much for the prayers! πŸ’•

      June 9, 2017 at 10:36 am Reply
  • Ana PeΓ±a

    Beautiful letter,Ana .
    God is good .
    Soon blue sky to you.
    Blessing
    Praying for us.

    June 9, 2017 at 10:35 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thanks so much Ana. You’re my name twin! πŸ˜‰

      June 9, 2017 at 11:34 am Reply
  • Bethany

    Ana, this letter is beautiful. God has blessed you both with His love that you are able to demonstrate it towards each other in this way. ❀️

    June 9, 2017 at 10:36 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thanks Bethany! He sure did!

      June 9, 2017 at 11:33 am Reply
  • Ruth Meyer

    Wow, Ana, I can’t explain how pure and beautiful your marriage is. Reading your letter felt like reading the Bible, because I just keep seeing how perfectly both of you exemplify Christ and the church. Your faithfulness, joy, and endurance through adversity is incredible to see. All glory to God! This is a poem I wrote a while ago, after reading your story for the first time. I hope you don’t mind, I wrote it from your perspective, Ana.

    ~ Fighter ~

    My dear one holds my hand, his grace surrounds me,
    I am bound by love that binds my wounds, and salves the pain I can’t describe.
    My dear one keeps my heart, through nights of endless grief,
    When touch is pain and comfort vain; I feel so lost, though I know I’m not alone.

    My dear one guards my mind; his song oe’rwhelms me,
    I am clinging by a thread, so full of dread; I hear his voice, and so I try.
    My dear one shields my life, provides, protects, though life redirects,
    The journey shows no end in sight; I cry! I cry–and he cries with me!

    My dear one holds my hand, his arms surround me,
    I am bound by deeper love than vows, and through the storm, I know who fights with me.

    April 2nd, 2017 ~ For Ana & Brett Harris, inspired by your story of love and devotion through dark trials. Fight on, and I will gladly fight with you in prayer, as a sister in Christ.

    June 9, 2017 at 11:54 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Oh Ruth! This is so sweet! Thank you for sharing that poem with me! It really touched me. ❀️

      June 9, 2017 at 1:49 pm Reply
  • Bethany Rose

    Oh, Ana~I’m crying! We have truly witnessed a miracle in and through your lives. Not just the healing-but how God can work through humans and give them such an unselfish and un-human character. God worked in your lives and has transformed you to reflect Him so brightly! Since I knew of your story, it has exemplified the miracle of Christ and His church to me. Thank you for sharing such a touching letter.

    June 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… Thank you Bethany for these sweet words! πŸ’•

      June 9, 2017 at 1:50 pm Reply
  • Nanette Fenn

    Dear lovely Ana,

    You do not know me, but I am so grateful to be able to get to know you by way of your blog. Thank you for choosing to allow your story to be known, and choosing to be honest and vulnerable with those who do not know you.

    This most recent post bring tears to my eyes. I am the one in Brett’s shoes, but as a mother. How great his abiding love and commitment to you! But also, I know that as we watch our loved one walk through what is absolutely incomprehensible suffering, we are very broken ourselves at the sight of it…and we ask ourselves if we could ever endure through such great sufferings.

    You are healing! I smile with every post I read! I am so grateful to God for bringing to you and Brett a season now of healing. I pray for Jesus to cover all the past bad with splashes of joy. You give me hope for our, Petra ( On Facebook, “Petra’s Battle with Lyme Disease” ) and your stories of Brett and you, the details of the day, trials & joys, offer me encouragement and humble my heart.

    May His healing increase!

    Warmly,

    Nanette

    June 9, 2017 at 2:28 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Wow! Thank you so much for writing this Nanette! You are my hero! I think caregivers are so brave. Keep on fighting and don’t give up. I pray that Petra can find healing soon. Give her a (gentle) hug for me. πŸ’•

      June 9, 2017 at 8:24 pm Reply
  • Lizbeth E.

    I am praying for you always, this post just made me cry! Keep pressing on. Joy begin to rise, and hope, begin to light the dark. Our God exchanges old for new. Dawn has conquered night and death has lost to life, and now you are exchanging old for new.

    June 9, 2017 at 5:06 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Amen! Thank you so much Lizbeth! πŸ’•

      June 9, 2017 at 8:45 pm Reply
  • Marilyn Neel

    What a Man! What a Woman! What a God! He alone is the Great I Am and our Lord God Almighty! Praising Him for the work He is doing in and through your lives. Happy Anniversary, Dears.

    June 9, 2017 at 6:18 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much Marilyn!

      June 10, 2017 at 2:50 pm Reply
  • Kiki Stanton

    Ana, I just finished watching an emotional movie and now this…?! 😭
    Anyways, happy anniversary, you two. Ana, you are brave and courageous and above all… amazing! It’s no wonder Brett goes to these lengths to take care of you! You are truly a remarkable woman- and I just know that God is going to do great things through you!
    Brett, wow, you are the perfect example of what a husband should be like, and Ana is lucky to have you.
    Both of you, keep on pushing and fighting. You’re in a storm right now, but you are both being a shining light. And we all know what comes after a sunny storm–
    A rainbow πŸ™‚
    God’s promise, to be exact. That He loves you and knows what’s best for you and that He will ALWAYS be there for you in the darkest of times.
    Keep on fighting, guys!
    Happy anniversary!

    -Kiki

    June 9, 2017 at 6:37 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww….So sweet Kiki! Thank you! God bless you. πŸ’•

      June 10, 2017 at 2:51 pm Reply
  • Chris Barratt

    Ana, this post made me cry and then cry some more!!! This is truly one of the sweetest things I’ve ever heard!! And in an age when so many marriages are filled with such selfishness and people calling it quits for the smallest things!! You have no idea that through your pain you have influenced so many and may the Lord use this testimony to influence many men to care for their wives in this way. Brett is one of the few who lives not for this day, but for eternity. Imagine the legacy you will be able to tell your children!!! Thank you so much for sharing this very private, yet very beautiful letter. You and Brett have more than most and may God grant you health and happiness for an abundance of years to come. XOXOX

    June 9, 2017 at 6:57 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… Thank you so much for these sweet words! I agree with what you said about Brett living for eternity and I do hope that his example can inspire other men to love their wives in this way. 😍

      June 10, 2017 at 5:26 pm Reply
  • Christine Brassard

    Love it! Very touched by all of this love between you! HAppy for you Anna. Good anniversary! and I am sure that the best is coming for you and all of us..

    June 9, 2017 at 7:03 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much Christine!

      June 10, 2017 at 5:27 pm Reply
  • Hannah Edlin

    Your wedding day was beautiful, but your marriage is even more so as it just shines of Gods grace! even more so because of the suffering. I can’t tell you how many times I would plead with the Lord on your behalf to take this bitter cup from you when it was at its darkest. it broke my heart reading and watching and feeling helpless to do anything even though I knew prayers were not useless.
    As I have seen and watched you start to recover I just keep praying that you will be blessed beyond compare. Even more so than if this hadn’t been your story. you have stood the test of suffering in ways few can imagine or compare to. not once did I see a hint of questioning your faith or our God. May His blessing and gifts abound! In health, riches, happiness and all things that are FUN! Today my prayer is that you two would find fun this week, this month, even amidst the new hard working routine. Happy anniversary you two. We love you guys!
    – Hannah, Harlan, McKendrick

    June 9, 2017 at 7:25 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Oh Hannah! This is sweet beyond words! THANK YOU! I took a snapshot of your comment so I could save it forever. You have no idea how much we’ve appreciated your prayers and comments on PostHope. I wish I could have seen you when we were in Portland! Sending love to the three of you! Yay! Three! ❀️

      June 10, 2017 at 5:29 pm Reply
  • Kimi

    This is a tear jerker, Ana. I love you guys both so much!

    June 9, 2017 at 7:34 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww! I love you and miss you so much Kimi!

      June 10, 2017 at 5:32 pm Reply
  • Melissa Jones

    Ana,

    I’m literally am partially living for your updates, riding on the coattails of your recovery for hope. You’re a beautiful person inside, Christ shines so brightly through! Praising God for your journey and how He’s using it for such big, big things. And Brett, man…has God got rewards for you too.
    My husband and I are a similar journey. Praying for you daily!!
    Hugs,

    Melissa

    June 9, 2017 at 10:37 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Oh! That’s so encouraging to hear that my story gives you hope Melissa! I pray you too will start to see the sun breaking through the clouds. Thanks for the encouragement!

      June 10, 2017 at 5:34 pm Reply
  • Hannah Mead

    Happy Anniversary to you two!! This post gave such a beautiful example of what a Christ-centred marriage should be like. As I’ve watched you go through this dark valley these past months, you have inspired me so much. I admire your bravery and your determination and your love for each other and our Saviour. May God bless you for the witness to his grace and power that you have shown and continue to show every day. And I pray that soon you will be able to look back on this hard period in your life, and remember it only as a memory, not a current reality. I’ve been reading through the NT recently, and as I’ve been thinking about you, several verses have popped into my head. – Rom. 15:13, 2 Cor. 4:16-17, Eph. 3:16-21 in particular. I pray that both your hearts will be encouraged today! <3

    June 10, 2017 at 2:54 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so so so so much Hannah for these encouraging words! God bless you sweet sister!

      June 10, 2017 at 5:34 pm Reply
  • Rose

    May the Good of peace keep you two. Your life is a testimony.

    June 10, 2017 at 6:48 am Reply
  • ashley nicole

    Happy anniversary Ana and Brett! You both have really inspired me and this sweet letter just made me cry. I hope to find a love like the two of you have one day πŸ™‚ Prayers for both of you on this special day!

    June 10, 2017 at 1:25 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… Thanks Ashley Nicole! 😊😊😊

      June 10, 2017 at 5:35 pm Reply
  • Denise

    Ana,
    All I can say is thank you, thank you for for sharing your heart.

    Jesus loves you so much! I often think of how God was preparing your amazing husband to love you like Christ loves the church as he no doubt watched his father love and care for his wife (Brett’s mom) during her difficult battle with cancer.

    You and Brett are an amazing powerhouse for the Lord together.

    I am so grateful that you all are seeing a silver lining and hope.

    I’m praing that your ‘richer, and in health’ season is just beginning with the best yet to come.

    Praying for you and Brett. Happy 5th anniversary <3

    June 10, 2017 at 5:11 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Oh! Thank you so much Denise! You are right the God prepared him for this. πŸ’•

      June 10, 2017 at 5:37 pm Reply
  • Denise

    P.S. I forgot to mention how touched I was to read your letter to Brett, tears streamed down my face as I read the ups and downs of your journey together.

    May God be glorified as you and Brett run the race with endurance.

    June 10, 2017 at 5:13 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww…πŸ™‚

      June 10, 2017 at 5:37 pm Reply
  • Katherine Forster

    Oh my word, Ana, this is so sweet. It made me cry (and I never do that πŸ˜›). Your and Brett’s marriage is such a huge inspiration to me, and I hope if I ever get married I’ll be able to love like you guys do.

    June 10, 2017 at 5:58 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… This is so sweet Katherine! Thank you! I hope you find a love like this too. ❀️

      June 11, 2017 at 7:24 pm Reply
  • Sister in Christ~

    This just made my morning… Wow, praise God.
    Lord, thank You so much for this beautiful testimony πŸ’—

    Thank you for sharing this with us, Ana.

    God formed Brett just for you, and although you haven’t been able to give him what you perceive to be that joyful, happy life that you “knew” be was looking forward to, you both have been able to partake of a profound journey with the Lord of healing and restoration, and are helping so many others with this story.
    Just how you both have been there for each other is such an encouragement and such a beautiful picture of the faithfulness of Christ in our lives. Good job, Brett. You represent your King very well. How amazing will it be to hear “well done, My good and faithful servant. Enter into My joy”
    HalleluYah πŸ’•

    Ana, I believe that the Lord will give you back so much more than your wildest dreams could have fathomed.
    Your beauty shines through you, and although you see a skinny ballerina beauty who once was, we all see a strong young woman who is over coming in Christ, beautiful not only on the inside but on the outside as well🌹
    The Lord will restore to you both everything the enemy has stolen, including pieces of the past 5 years of your marriage.
    Get ready for a second honey moon! πŸ™‚

    Psalms 126:5-6
    5 Those who sow in tears
    shall reap in joy.
    6 He who goes forth and weeps,
    bearing precious seed to sow,
    shall come home again with rejoicing,
    bringing his grain sheaves with him.

    June 11, 2017 at 7:25 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww! This almost made me cry! Thank you so much dear sister for these kind words. So encouraging! Hope to see you again sometime! Hugs!

      June 11, 2017 at 7:27 pm Reply
  • Erin

    Okay, Ana, I’m NOT an emotional person, but I’m literally crying right now!!! So touching!!!! I love you and Brett!!!!

    June 11, 2017 at 9:33 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… 😊

      June 11, 2017 at 7:28 pm Reply
  • Amy Best

    Oh goodness, you have me crying. Praise God for this testimony to his grace! You two have been an incredible encouragement to me. I still look forward to meeting you someday, Ana (and so does Natalie!)- I was planning on it while you were in Portland, but you kind of up and moved rather suddenly! πŸ™‚

    June 13, 2017 at 4:17 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… πŸ’•I know! I really wanted to meet you guys! Especially my little pen pal. Hugs! πŸ€—

      June 13, 2017 at 5:06 pm Reply
  • Sarah Grace

    This is beautiful, Ana. Tears streamed down my face as I read it. I hope someday to find a husband as faithful, caring, and unselfish as yours. Just reading this, he reminds me of my amazing dad. πŸ™‚ (Belated) Blessings to you and Brett on your special day! <3

    June 13, 2017 at 5:38 pm Reply
  • Lisa Dedinsky

    I know that God is looking down and smiling at you both – “well done, good and faithful servants.” He doesn’t promise an easy life yet through it all you have reflected His love. What a beautiful tribute to love and marriage in this day and age! Thank you!

    June 13, 2017 at 8:03 pm Reply
  • Gabrielle S.

    Awww, this was beautiful Ana! Happy Anniversary! You guys are both such an inspiration to me, and I love you both! #marriage goals

    You and Brett are constantly in my prayers! Stay encouraged, and always remember God’s got you, as years continue to go by! I pray you continue to have a strong, loving, self-less marriage that glorifies God!

    June 13, 2017 at 9:03 pm Reply
  • Courtney

    This is so sweet. You’re right. Brett is a hero! And Brett is right too. You are still beautiful.

    July 21, 2017 at 6:57 pm Reply
  • Leave a Reply