So we recently had a cancer scare.
Is that the word? Yeah, we did. That honestly was a few weeks now ago, but it was pretty scary. Yeah, we were actually here recording and I got a call from my doctor and I walked out immediately because I had had a mole recently removed and she called me to tell me that it was melanoma.
And so it was pretty scary. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson. And I'm Dave Wilson. And you can find us at familylifetoday.com or on the Family Life app. This is Family Life Today. Melanoma is nothing to mess with.
No. I didn't honestly know that. Like, we were having lunch with our guest for Family Life Today program that day and you just took this call out of the room. I'm like, you don't take calls in the middle of that. And you came back with this look on your face like this is serious. And so I had surgery and actually my brother was great because I couldn't get into a local hospital until August.
And this was in June. And my brother pulled some strings and he got me into the James at Ohio State University within two days. And they said, come down and we'll do a consult. And I said, well, is there any way because I have to drive four hours that we can do?
The surgery in the same day. And they said, yeah, we don't really do that. And so I just told you pretty nonchalant, hey, I'm going to drive down to Ohio for our drive and I'll be back the same night. Between the phone call and the weeks leading up to that, I started to study melanoma. I mean, honestly. You never even told me this. Well, here we are.
I tell you in public on air. But no, honestly, I didn't know melanoma was that serious. I thought I was a little mole. You know, they're going to cut off a little tiny piece of your mole and I probably got a couple of those. Anyway, as I just researched a little bit, I was like, wow, this is serious, serious.
I mean, it could be. Yeah, we've had friends pass away from this. Just recently we sat at Gary's funeral and his was a melanoma that he didn't deal with for months.
So the fact that you were right on top of it. And we got into one of the top cancer institutes in the country down in Columbus, Ohio, which was a four-hour drive from us. So go ahead. So you tell me that, hey, I'm going down to Columbus this week and they're not going to do surgery. I'm just going to have an appointment.
They're going to just basically look at your test and decide, right? Yeah. And I felt a real peace about this.
For some reason, I felt like God was really protecting me, equipping me. I wondered, like, will Dave want to go with me? But I knew you had some, we had some interviews that day, which I had to get out of. And so I didn't expect that you would go with me because it was just a consult.
Well, we're sort of dancing around what actually happened is I did not go. I had a full day and it was, we both thought you're just going down to like a normal doctor's appointment. He's going to say, yep, we need to do the surgery. Let's schedule it for the next week or two.
Long story short is so, you know, and goes down. Yeah, I get there and they look at it and they said, well, how would you feel about doing the surgery today? And I said, awesome, because then I don't have to make another trip down here. And the nurses were great.
We're talking about Jesus. And they're asking me what kind of music I would like for the surgery. I'm like, let's do worship. So I had this great conversation with all of them. And it was amazing. Had the surgery and I hadn't looked at the incision. It was on your tricep. Yeah, my right tricep. And so my brother who lives in town said, let's meet for lunch before you drive back to Michigan.
And so we're eating lunch and he goes, well, can I see it? And they taped it. They didn't put sutures in.
They just, which was amazing. They just glued it and put this tape over it. Sutures were on the inside. Yeah, you could see the incision and it was probably eight inches long.
It was from like the back of your elbow to almost your armpit. And my brother's face was like, whoa. And so I took a picture of it.
And when I saw it, I thought, whoa. And then my brother said, where is Dave? And I said, well, we had some responsibilities and he didn't know that I was going to have the surgery. And he said, where is Dave? And I said, what are you talking, I just told you. And he said, your husband should be with you. And then my brother's wife came to lunch and she said, where is Dave?
And so they were teasing, but they were very serious and they were upset with you. And my sister-in-law said, when the word cancer is involved, I think your spouse should be with you. Especially now you have to drive back four hours with this big incision and you got up early to be here.
Where is Dave? Yeah, go ahead and laugh. I mean, I'm back in Michigan in these meetings and doing remote recordings for radio stations. Anyway, you call and say, they're doing a surgery now. I'm like, oh, my goodness, which is obviously good news because they were able to do that.
And that was like a miracle when I heard they did it. I'm like, oh, my goodness, I should have been there. Then your brother Jim calls me who I love to death and he can make fun of me pretty good. And he's like, yeah, I talked to my son, Jack, and he said he's going to, you know, put an abridgment into vertical marriage book because you didn't even live out what you said you wrote about.
I mean, there were jokes going back and forth. And then my friend Michelle called as I was driving up north back to Michigan and she said, what in the world are you doing in the car by yourself? Because I said I was going to have to pull over into a parking lot to take a nap.
I was so sleepy I couldn't stay awake. And she was so mad at you because you weren't with me. And I'm going to say, when I was talking to you, I was honest when I just said, I'll be fine. And even after the surgery, I thought this is no big deal. I'll just drive back by myself.
I do this stuff all the time by myself. All I can say is I blew it. I should have been there. Again, you know, you can look at the thing and you said, oh, you don't need to come. You said that several times. And that's who you are. You've used to pile three boys under the age of seven in a minivan and drive down to Atlanta without even blinking. And so that's just how you roll. And you kept saying, no, it's just doctor's appointment. And I kept saying, oh, OK, I should have just overridden whatever you said. Now, looking back and just said, I'm going.
Like Jenny said, the word cancer is involved. It doesn't matter if you're going down just to take a picture of it. I need to be with you on that journey, especially now that it ended up being a major surgery moment in your life and I wasn't there. I mean, I blew it.
It's one of those learnings that I'll never get back. It's going to be a family legacy now that I missed out on this moment to be your partner. And I'm sorry. And I one of the reasons we're talking about this on air is I don't want any other husband or wife to miss a moment in your life where you need to be there.
How whatever it is, it could be the most trivial thing in the world, even if they didn't do the surgery that day. I should have been with you. Drive down, drive back, cancel the day, which wouldn't have been any problem. I could have canceled everything and I should have been there.
Well, it's interesting. I told, like I defended you. I just said, Oh, I told Dave, I'm fine.
You don't need to be there. And my friend said something to me. She said, Why is that? Why are you so independent? That got me as I'm driving my four hours home. I started praying and bringing God into the situation.
It's always interesting when you bring him in. And I prayed and I was like, Lord, why do I not need anyone? Why am I so independent? Why am I so prone to say I'm fine.
I can do it. No big deal. Because I've done that our whole marriage. I asked God, like, Lord, is there anything, you know, is this a result of something from my past or wounds?
Because we all have baggage that we carry into our marriage. And when I prayed that, this remembrance came into my mind of being 10 years old. And I was at a baseball tournament with my family. My dad was a coach and we were in Memphis, Tennessee. We drove there from Ohio and I made this horrible mistake when I shut my finger in the car door. How old were you?
At this tournament, 10 years old. And we were about to go into this restaurant to eat dinner with the baseball team, my dad. And I walked in with my hand, I was holding it because it was bleeding so horribly.
I had shut it really hard in the door. And my mom said to my dad, I need to take Ann to the hospital right away. So we go into this hospital, huge hospital in Memphis. And I'm sitting there, my fingers bleeding horribly. But there's a man that comes in, I remember this at 10, he was shot in the chest and he comes in on the gurney and he goes right by me. And it took forever to get someone to look at my finger.
It was broken, I needed stitches, it was terrible, it was a bad break. And my dad comes in and I'm thinking, oh, good, my dad's here to rescue me, to reassure me. And now I'm going to say this, my dad was a good man.
But sometimes his priorities could get a little whacked. And he looked at me and he said, how stupid can you be? Like, what kind of dumb mistake could you make?
Like, how can you slam your finger in the car door? And I said, Dad, I didn't mean to. Like, it was an accident, I didn't mean to. And he said, well, this just changes everything. Now what am I going to do? And I said, I'll be fine.
Mom and I will just go back to the hotel and I'll be fine. And he said, well, this is terrible. Talk about an inconvenience.
And he said, you know, I've got a baseball game to play. And that night, oh, I was in so much pain as that little 10-year-old. I don't think they gave me anything for pain. But I remember not being able to sleep all night.
My finger is just throbbing and throbbing. But I couldn't get out of my head my dad's words to me. You know, like, what a pain I was.
How can I be so dumb to allow this to happen? And my response is, I'll be fine. Don't worry about me.
Just go back to your baseball team. And what I remember praying was like, God, is that my response? Is that my protective response? Isn't it terrible I get teary about it? Because I'm not worthy enough of someone's time or attention. As I was driving back, as I was praying to God, like, God, does my independence, my pridefulness of saying, I'm fine.
I can do this alone. Is that a self-protecting thing that I've gotten into because of that incident as being 10 years old, the feeling like I shouldn't put anyone out of their way. I don't want to inconvenience someone because I'm not worthy enough of that kind of love. And I bring all that up because I think that we carry so much baggage of our past into our present. We don't always realize why we're triggered. We've had a lot of the same arguments in our marriage, and a lot of it's because of my own past of what I need and want from you. And you're not meeting those needs, and a lot of those needs are because of things I didn't get growing up.
I think we're so busy and consumed with our everyday life that we don't always look back into our past. Sometimes that's a great thing a counselor can do to help us. Yeah, and when I hear that story about your dad, again, Dick Barron was an amazing guy. I loved him. And he apologized for that when I was older.
Like probably a few years ago, he apologized for that night. He taught me a lot about how to be a man, but I hear that story and I get so mad at him. I'm like, how in the world could you care more about a baseball tournament than your own daughter? And then I'm like, oh, I did the same thing. Made you feel the same way. So I know we had a deep conversation about this weeks ago when you really voiced what you felt. It's one of those, you know, we talked about it and I thought it was over. Like I said, I'm sorry, and then you said it's okay.
And then like a couple days later, I think you shared sort of what you felt in that drive home that God revealed to you that this has been something you've felt your whole life. Not important. Nobody cares. You're not worthy enough to ask for somebody's help. And then that's when it hit me how deep this was and is and always has been. And I contributed to that. I said it then and I want to say it again. I am so sorry.
I love you. You are worthy. You're incredibly worthy, not just because you're in Christ, but as a woman. And I am so sorry I missed that moment. And I ask your forgiveness. And I want to never miss that moment or any moment again.
I want to be the one in your life that makes you feel worthy, that you never have to doubt that I would drop anything and everything to be there in any moment in your life. And trust me, I will be there. Thanks, Un. I have forgiven you and I do forgive you. I love that I can process that with you. And I will say, too, the good thing about the gospel, about Jesus, is my worthiness comes from Him, His blood, His death for me. And I think that was a good reminder from God to me as Ann. The thing that makes you worthy is my love, my death, my blood that was shed for you. So that I feel like is so healing, but for your words, too, that is incredibly meaningful. And I know you'll be there. And I will try to not put all my needs aside, but to let you know when I need you and that it's okay to need you. So, what would you say to a wife that's operating with the same beliefs that you have?
I think a lot of us, as women, we can be self-protective because it hurts to be neglected or not seen or not heard or not cared about. I think the first step is to ask God. Isn't it amazing that God brought that remembrance to my mind? I mean, the Holy Spirit, we call Him the Counselor.
And I thought He was my Counselor in the car. And I remember even in that moment, giving Jesus all of that happened and admitting like, Lord, that was so painful. And I think what I've done as a result as an adult is I don't let people in.
I don't want people to get too close because they might hurt me like that. And so, I think that was a really good thing. And so, to be honest, I think it's great.
This is going to be crazy. I think it's great to share our life stories with our spouse. The things that brought us the greatest joy, the things that maybe were so hurtful, I think it really helps us to understand one another. I wonder if most couples have done that.
Talk about the real highs, but some of the great pain and lows. I mean, we didn't do it for decades, honestly. But when I hear you say that, I think a lot of wives, it may be flipped in some marriages, but I think a lot of wives feel what you felt about their husband. His job's more important.
He's chasing hard after other things. I'm not as important. Even the kids aren't as important. My dad used to tell my mom that. You're not as important as my job, just so you know.
There's another truth that you grew up with that might be a lie. So that's why I'm bringing that up, because I think what you felt a lot of women feel. And again, it may be flipped in the marriage, because I think that sometimes we can feel, the husband, like the kids are more important than I am. Oh, yeah.
You care more about their welfare and how they're doing than how I'm doing. And so it can go both ways. But I just know that moment in our marriage is one of those, oh, can we just go back, rewind, and I'm in the car, I'm driving down there. It's never going to go away. And yet it was connected to something deep in your soul, which is, you know, in my mind, not true. I love you more than anything in the world, but it didn't show it that day. When I shared with you my process and thinking of how I went back into the past, what did you think when you heard that with my dad? Like I'm the biggest idiot in the world. I mean, it's like, how did I miss that moment? I mean, I know your history and your past, and I know those wounds.
Although, yeah, I mean, it highlighted even since that day how often you still do that. I said to you last week, it's like, you don't have to do everything for everybody. And I never, I don't think I always connected it to you don't feel worthy of somebody serving you, so you serve everybody. Well, I do love to serve everybody. I know, but there's a deeper thing there, too.
It's both and. I mean, there are times when it's okay, the kids can manage without you, the grandkids will be fine. They don't have to have you bending over backwards to take care of them, and it's okay for them to serve you a little bit. Oh, yeah, I don't like people to serve me. That's true. But would I have ever said, I don't know if I feel worthy of being served? I'm not sure I'd have connected that in the past. Would you say to a wife, you need to go ahead and say to your husband, I need you there.
Yes. Even though everything in you doesn't want to say it. If I had said to you, can you please come?
I need you. You would have dropped everything and been there for me. I should have anyway. I should have been able to say that, but I didn't feel it. I thought I would be fine, but I think that that's a defense mechanism that's in my life.
And so, I think to be aware of those, you know, why do we have some of those mechanisms and protections in our lives? Yeah, and I think we've said it a million times. Jesus said it, love is sacrifice. And so, you lay down your life for your spouse. And if it means getting in a car and driving four hours down and four hours back, that's a little tiny sacrifice to be in a valley, which you don't even know is a valley, because I thought, oh, it's not a valley. Next week's the valley when she has the surgery, but this week's just the consult.
You just never know. So, I think God is saying to us and every couple, be there. There's nothing to add to it.
Be there. You added one little thing, which I think is significant. I think as wives and as moms, it's really easy, at least for me as a woman, to put my kids in front of you.
Yeah, let's talk about that a little bit. I remember my dad visiting us. I've shared this here before, but at the dinner table, he made this comment as he's eating with our whole family and my mom. And he said, wow, your kids really have it good. And I said to him, oh, thanks. That's nice of you. He goes, no, I mean, your kids have it really good, and they have it way better than Dave.
You treat them way better than Dave. And I was super defensive. You thought I told him to say that.
I did. But it's really easy for me to put them in front of you. And maybe it's because of little hurts, you know, along the way. I feel like my kids love me, and I can love them unconditionally. But there's a covenant between the two of us. There's a vow that we've taken. And I don't think I always live out my vow of putting you before the kids.
I don't do that well. I think that's true of a lot of us as wives. And why do we do that?
Maybe because we're hurt. Maybe because we feel like our husbands put other things before us. So I think that may be a little pep talk today of asking you, like, how are you doing with your priorities of making sure your husband, you're loving him and making him a priority above your kids or grandkids? Yeah, and I would say the same thing to the guy, to the husband, to the dad. And I know we know this as men. Our job is not the most important thing.
Our wife and our kids is the most important thing. And yet, I don't think we often live that way. It's like we really think at the end of our life we're going to care about our job.
We really aren't. Not saying your job's not important. Not saying you're not making an impact for the kingdom even at your job. I'm just saying in the end, all that matters is love God and love others. Those others first are your family, your wife and kids. I mean, when that gets out of order, all chaos breaks loose.
So I would say start there. You're listening to Family Life Today. Ann's got a scary but good question to ask your spouse tonight. That's coming up in just a minute.
But first, let's talk truth. Marriage takes work. You can ask your parents, ask your pastor, ask any couple you know. Great marriages don't just happen. And at Family Life's Weekend to Remember Marriage Getaway, you and your spouse really get the time to intentionally grow with one another. Weekend to Remember gift cards are now 50% off through November 28th.
And it can sometimes be hard to choose where to go right now. So a gift card can allow you to buy now and register for your location later because these things are happening all over the country. When you think about Weekend to Remember, you may even have another couple come to mind and these gift cards really do make great gifts too. All of them are half off right now through November 28th.
You can visit familylifetoday.com and find a Weekend to Remember gift card. Okay, here's a scary but good question you can ask your spouse tonight, if you dare. This is a scary question. Do you feel like I'm a top priority in your life? Like ask that as your spouse to your husband or wife. And then I would ask this too.
Tell me a time in your life that you felt rejected. Ooh, that's deep. That might be a really good question.
And how then, here's the next question, the follow-up question. How does that still affect you today or does it? And tomorrow on Family Life Today, Dave and Ann Wilson are joined by Kevin and Melissa Valentine. Who share a story about Kevin, a former pro golfer who had his dreams shattered when he was severely injured in a car accident. That's coming up tomorrow. On behalf of Dave and Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry, helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
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