When Adversity Happens

couple holding a heart - AdversityWhen adversity happens—when we’re hit with some of the tough stuff that happens in life, what do we do? Do we fall apart as a married couple? Do we slowly drift, or quickly push away from each other? Or do we work to approach it as a team, giving each other grace along the way?

Those are questions Steve and I have been facing this past month. Actually, we’ve faced it most of our married life. But this last month has been especially tough. A few weeks ago Steve got into a car crash. Our car was totaled, and is no longer useable. That throws into our life all kinds of challenges. But thankfully, VERY thankfully, no one was injured.

Lessons We’re Learning

What God has been teaching us is that it would be so easy to blame-shift all over the place. And it would be easy to worry about the many side issues that are involved surrounding this adversity. But God has been impressing upon both of us to step back, and work together on peaceable solutions.

It does us no good to focus on that, which we cannot change. Yes, we need to learn from this because it’s not just what you live through, but what you learn through, that’s important. And we are both doing that… not perfectly, yet it is happening in a “falling forward” type of way.

But right now, that car crash pales in comparison to the events of this last week and a half. Steve had a heart attack –a major one. Steve will explain what happened and then a bit about what we are learning.

Heart Attack Adversity

In the last two weeks we’ve experienced, by far, the single biggest tribulation/adversity in our 44 years of marriage. On July 11, I had what is referred to as the “Widow Maker” heart attack [100% blockage of my Left Anterior Descending Artery]. However, I didn’t know this until four days later when I finally went to the Emergency Room. Even the doctor we visited earlier in the week thought it was “just” a nasty case of heartburn.

The reason I didn’t “know” what was happening is because I wasn’t having the usual symptoms of a heart attack (pain down the arm or jaw, numbness, sweating, etc.). My symptoms were completely different. I was having extreme, relentless burning in my chest and down my esophagus.

A visit to the emergency room proved much different. We later learned that my symptoms are what are common to Type-1 diabetics. I’ve been Type-1 for 42 years, and I never knew that Diabetics have different symptoms than other people when they are having a heart attack. Please take note of this if you or someone you know has Diabetes.

Blessings Despite…

Every doctor, nurse and medical professional we’ve talked to asks the same question: “Do you know how ‘lucky’ you are?” My response has been, “I’m a man of faith – I know HOW BLESSED I am.”

The heart catheterization they did shows I’ve lost 35% of my heart function. I also have a 30 per cent chance of sudden cardiac arrest for the next 30 days. Instead of operating on me and implanting a Defibrillator into my chest, I am wearing a Life Vest for the next 90 days. It does the same thing as an implanted one (if my heart goes into arrest, this devise sends out electrical shocks to get it started again). This gives my heart the opportunity to heal better around the damaged part and then the doctor decides if I need a permanent one implanted or not.

We are praying, and hope you will join us in prayer, for God to cause new pathways to grow in my heart. We’re praying my heart and we will grow stronger, rather than weaker despite this “adversity.”

Tough Lesson

You’d think all of this would have crushed Cindy and my spirits. I admit that it has been tough in more ways than I know how to explain. And yet, even though we are facing difficult challenges in defining a “new normal” for us, we are “falling forward” in positive ways. More than anything we are so very grateful that God has given me/us the gift of longer life.

We know deep down that He has a plan for us to continue to participate with Him in helping even more marriages and reach more people with the message of Christ. We’re pretty sure the main vehicles God wants to use, are through the ministries of Marriage Missions and my Fire Department Chaplaincy. We’ll see.

If you’re wondering how can we have this attitude after such a devastating, life-changing event slam into us like this, I’ll tell you. It’s because we determined many years ago that there would be NOTHING that could happen to us that would take us down. We have anchored our marriage (and continue to do so) in Jesus, prayer and the Word of God. And just as Jesus promised us in John 16:33 that we would have trials in this world, He also promised that we could “take heart.” We “draw comfort from the fact” that HE HAS OVERCOME the world. We stand on His promise, together!

Please stand with, and pray for us, and especially for the ministry opportunities He is bringing our way. And for those who have faced or are facing adversity, please share your challenges and your “hard learned” marriage tips in the discussion below. Together, “let us encourage one another, and build one another up” as we’re told in the Bible.

Cindy and Steve Wright

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20 responses to “When Adversity Happens

  1. Dear Steve and Cindy: what an amazing testimony to your love and commitment to the Lord Jesus FIRST and then to each other. You are demonstrating under very adverse circumstances what the covenant commitment of marriage means. Your steadfast and deeply-rooted reliance on our Heavenly Father is a great encouragement to us to do likewise in our marriage. We are praying regularly that the Lord will heal Steve quickly and that He will sustain you in all ways as you experience this trial. Great is His faithfulness!

    1. Thank you, Deb & Chris. The phrase from the P&W song, “Every breath I take; I take in you…” has new meaning! My personal prayer is and will continue to be that I don’t ever take for granted this awesome opportunity God is giving me.

  2. My prayer for Steve to be completely healed in the Name of Jesus. I like what you said about learning something from every trial you go through, you never come out of it empty handed. God bless you.

  3. We thank the LORD for His great mercies in sparing Steve’s life. Bless you guys for your ministry and how many lives you impact by your faithfulness. We pray that the LORD would meet you at your points of need as you go through this season, and through it all may your marriage and your ministry be all the more strengthened. In Jesus’ name.

  4. Dear Steve and Cindy, I am regularly inspired by your Marriage Messages. It never ceases to amaze me that you can still come up with fresh Marriage ‘Insights’ after the number that you have already written. I was shocked to read about your heart attack Steve, but rejoice with both of you at God’s amazing hand in keeping you. It is inspiring that you are able to write a Marriage Message and encourage others so soon after the event.

    I recently had surgery for breast cancer and am slowly recovering. Like yourselves we as a family have been through several challenging situations in short succession including my ill health, which obviously cause challenges for one’s marriage. I am slowly learning to rest in the Lord and to trust Him with the challenges in our marriage too. I have been encouraged today by Matthew 11 vs 28: Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.
    I pray that God will continue to strengthen you both and to quicken your recovery Steve.

    1. Caroline, Thank you for your encouragement and prayers. Cindy and I will reciprocate for you and your family. BTW…I get stronger every day and when I get tired, I fall into His arms. Blessings!

      1. Hi Steve! It is good to see you back after your recent heart attack!! Very encouraging! WP (Work in Progress)

  5. Having gone through the story of what has been going on your lives, I pray that as long as the Lord lives, He will see you through this difficult period. He is mighty to save.

    Your messages of love to various families all over the world is teaching and healing homes. God will continue to keep you both for greater works. Affliction shall not rise a second time. God bless you.

  6. Thank God he preserved Steve’s life. I am glad that God has been faithful to his servants and that you have had the grace to practice what you teach others. That is a sure encouragement to us. God Bless you.

  7. Thank you for your loyal service in Christ, your love, encouragement and gentle rebukes. I am really sorry to hear that you have had a major setback Steve, and that you and Cindy are most probably still in the throws of mentally and physically coming to terms with what has actually happened. Yes, it means both of you having to create a new lifestyle, a huge challenge as you move forward, discovering, learning and finding what suits you best and what actually works. Remember that although you are in this together, each of you occupies a space which is yours alone, different and equally valuable. Fondest love, Harriet

    Dear Lord, Your perfect timing continues to manifest itself in the lives of Steve and Cindy, in the big issues and in the little things. Help them see manifestations of this constant reminder that they are never alone and that You are with them every step of the way. If there are times they are unable to pray, Lord, show them to breathe deeply, knowing that they are carried on the cloud of communion prayer. As You help them to adjust to this new situation guide and teach them to know when to say yes and when to say no. I ask this in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ.

    1. Thank you Harriet… we appreciate your kind words, encouragement and prayer more than we could ever express. He sure has kept us and is leading us in amazing ways! How we praise Him! May the Lord bless and keep you. :)

  8. Hie, I’m sorry to hear about the accident and Steve’s heart condition. I am here is praying to God and knowing that all will be well. I also would like to take this time to thank you guys so much for the good work that you are doing. I’m a married man with 2 young kids currently unemployed but our young marriage is surviving through your teachings. I pray that the good Lord continues to use you in His work and I pray for your well being and good fortunes. – Josephat (Zimbabwe)

  9. Hi Guys, Great message. When we got married we used the words from Ruth for our vows – ‘may the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely if I allow anything but death to come between us.’ In tough times this seems all the more important – to ensure that even the circumstances don’t come between us.

  10. Dear Steve and Cindy, I pray for God to heal you and bind all of you with cords of love as you have demonstrated. Your family view of life in times of adversity is very challenging to me. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us of Gods’ plans for us and I pray the same for your family. Regards, Mathews (from Kenya)

  11. Thank you for these beautiful articles… They are one of my most cherished marital resources.
    I’d like you to know I am praying for you both during this time of adversity and personal trials. Your courage, strength, and transparency is so inspirational and appreciated. What really sticks out to me is your decision to both work together through the major things that you’re facing. I love that you *accepted the unction of God to “… step back, and work together on peaceable solutions.”

    That’s really all I want for my marriage.

  12. Maude from Botswana wrote: Thanks for all the messages you have been sending us. We shall definitely pray for you guys. And as we join each other in Prayer, we should be inspired by the word of God as written in Romans 8:28, as well as Philippians 4:13.

  13. James from Uganda wrote: This message has touched my heart, and has shown me what it means to be totally committed to the Lord Jesus, our anchor and hope.

    On my part, I am going to pray earnestly for the health of Steve. That the damage that the heart attack has caused will begin to reverse, in the Name of Jesus! That in all the effort you two have put into this Ministry, one of the most tangible of fruits is your right to a healthy, thriving and vibrant existence. I am also going to pray for Cindy. That Cindy may remain strong, cheerful, thankful and prayerful. That this event may make Cindy love Christ and Steve more than ever. You are more than conquerors in Christ, nothing will move you nor shake you.

    Lastly, may you get a better, bigger, more economical, safer and stronger car compared to the one that got written off. He is your loving father, He will not withhold his best gifts from you.

  14. Liz from Zambia, Africa wrote: Thank you for sharing what you are going through and for sharing your hearts with us. You are a great blessing, may the Lord remember you and meet you at your very point of need. Psalm 46 & Psalm 103. Praying for you both.

  15. Dear Steve, I pray to God for your speedy recovery so you can continue your good work.