Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Marriage (wish I had known!)

I just threatened to write this post when I was doing the last one, so I might as well get it over with. It's not going to be a long post, but I wish I had seen something like it before I made the decision to get married.

I heard an awesome sermon on the subject recently. Basically, it was about what a wife should expect from a husband. (There is also one for what husbands should expect, but I'm a woman, so...!)

In a nutshell, a woman should expect a man to be a man. In the relationship, he should be the 3 P's: Provider, Protector and Priest. He should be her "covering" and he should take that seriously.

Pretty simple, right? Like I said, if I had ever thought of a husband in that way, I would have been so much more careful in my choices (and I would have gotten it right ONE time, not having to do it twice).

Part of my problem is that while I was a "believer" at a young age, I was not a "follower." That sounds weird, but, like a lot of people, I was a believer in words only. I was brought up "in church" so I just went along. I don't think that I was a sincere Christian until the last maybe 3 years. Unfortunately, I married inside that time. I was not praying over things in my life. I was still operating on feelings and moods.

If I had looked at my husband through the eyes of Scripture - or even looked at myself that way - there is no way I would have gotten married to him. But, again, I was making decisions based on my feelings and moods and wants.

So, for anyone out there looking to get married, you might want to remember to take it to the Lord in prayer before you make that lifetime commitment.

{NOTE: I can't remember exactly which of the sermons spoke of the husband and wife roles. I think it was this one, but, if not, feel free to listen to the others on this page until you run across it. All the sermons are excellent for Bible study and prayer.}


Passing Storms

Ah, how interesting life has been these past months (years?)

I've been on rough roads. Beaten down, in despair, depressed, ill, hurt... But through it all, God has been good.

I went to the doctor yesterday for my first major check up after getting this nasty sarcoidosis. That went very well: good tentative prognosis (yay!) and the clearance to go back to non-strenuous work. (And, trust me, I need to be able to work after all these medical bills!) Most of all, the medicines seem to be doing their job and I should only have to be on the 20mg of prednisone for another month or two. That the bill for that appointment nearly put me into heart failure is minor since I was able to pay it - again, thanks be to God. The fact that I can go back to work is another blessing, and the fact that I might possible actually have a job to go back to is even more of a blessing! (I've already contacted my former employer, don't ya know? LOL)

All of this is like having been in the middle of a really bad storm. Right now I feel like it's still raining, but I can see a clearing up ahead. I don't know when it's going to be clear again and maybe I'm living in storm territory, but I know that God will be with me. And I have learned things from what I've been through:

I've learned to be good to people who are going through their own storms. Not just being good to them in the way I'm comfortable being good to others, or in the way that I want to be good to them, but good in ways they need. It's easy to give to people what you don't want yourself, but to give where it might hurt just a little bit is a real deed.

I've learned to be more sensitive to people when they are down. To watch what I say and how I say it. To understand that no matter how down a person is or why they are down is not as important as it is to either say something useful or shut up. LOL. I haven't always realized (until I was so much on the receiving end) how easy it is to poor even just a little bit of salt into a person's wounds. You want to really hurt someone who is already down? Go ahead and talk a lot about what you have or what you are able to do. I've done that in my life, but now that I have sometimes been on the receiving end... Oh, but we do learn the hard way, don't we? And, no, I don't think that it's done on purpose. I think it's done out of either thoughtlessness or out of fear (as in, "Wow, hope I never end up like that!"). For whatever reason it's done, it still hurts.

I've learned to be as thankful in the bad times as in the good. It's like all the sayings: "Hard times builds character," and "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

I've learned that God didn't do this to me. The Devil didn't do this to me. My actions, decisions I made in life, and genetics did this to me. Maybe if I had considered God when I was doing things and making decisions, I would have done things differently (please see a future post on marriage!) and not had as much hardship. Because I didn't always pray first over major decisions and actions, I ended up having to pray to get through the consequences.

I've learned that life can turn on a dime. You can be well, fat and content one moment and have it all crash down on you the next moment. It only takes a heartbeat.

I've learned that God does love me. When I was at my lowest, I felt like I deserved to be unloved. I felt like I was worthless. Something in me, though, would always remind me that God loves me. That's what kept me sane.

So, there may be another storm coming. There may be storms for the rest of my life, but God always sends me a reminder of sunshine. One day, we believers will bask in His light. Any storm is worth going through for that.