Marriage is messy, and “til death do us part” is a long time. We rarely know what sharp curves and pitfalls we’ll encounter when we begin our Marriage Adventure. We hope that taking the scenic route means quaint country roads with spectacular views and sunsets. But, if we stay on the journey long enough, we’ll inevitably hit potholes, have flat tires, or encounter detours that have us wondering if this was what we signed up for.
Our longtime friends, Josh and Kristy Webb, will tell you today that hearing the words “you have a brain tumor” was not one of the stops they had scheduled for their Adventure together. A year after Josh’s diagnosis with an acoustic neuroma, they confess they don’t have it all figured out. We were blessed to sit down with the Webbs at our farm and talk about their unexpected path, the impact it has had on their relationship, and the surprising lessons God has taught them individually to give them strength for the journey. We’d love for you to hear their hearts on our most recent podcast, EP//77: The Road to Recovery. Today, it is our pleasure to share a guest post from the Introduction of Josh’s book, Success in Suffering: Searching for Significance and Finding Meaning in Times of Pain.
WAKING FROM SURGERY
Waking up, I was being rolled into a room. I vaguely heard a nurse say, “that has never happened to me before.” I think I woke up faster than expected. They picked me up off the gurney and onto a bed where the anesthesiologist said, “Mr. Webb! Can you hear me? You are being brought to the ICU recovery room. What is your name?” I had to think for a moment. Yes, I was Josh, and I’m in the hospital. As I started speaking, I realized I couldn’t hear out of my right ear, and I couldn’t feel the right side of my face. I said, “I am Josh Webb.” Only it wasn’t my voice. I heard a mumbled, distorted voice. I realized I was talking funny, and I panicked. How will I make money? I was a marketer. Will I ever lead worship again? I used to sing and lost my hearing. Will my wife still find me attractive when she sees my face? This is not the future I imagined for us.
I do not intend this book to be a story of how one man faced overwhelming odds to overcome them by going to the Olympics. Though those are inspiring. This is not a book about how our failures and disappointments lead to success. Though that is true, it is a book about my experience of suffering, my pursuit of significance, and what I imagined my life to be versus what God wants it to be. This is a book about empathy and surrender and how it all points to Jesus.
This is when I would think you would close the book. But hear me out. I am not claiming to understand your suffering, and I have never lost a child, fought in a war, starved, divorced, lived outdoors, or experienced a crime against myself or someone in my family. I have never experienced those things, and I don’t want to. Everyone’s suffering is uniquely their own. If you or a loved one have experienced suffering, let me say I’m sorry. If you have never been through significant suffering, you will. The question is when. What will you do now, and will you be ready for it when it comes?
I once heard Dave Ramsey say on the radio, “Having a testimony is great. Getting one is a pain in the butt.” When someone experiences major suffering, it sends them away from God or towards Him. This is my experience of how and why my sufferings pushed me towards God, and the things that seemed so important were not as important as I thought. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33
To continue reading more of Josh’s journey, CLICK HERE.
Used by permission. Introduction from Success in Suffering: Searching for Significance and Finding Meaning in Times of Pain by Josh Webb.