Husband

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My Defender

Published January 11, 2018 by Dawn

I was standing outside my office chatting with a coworker today when a loud, angry voice cut into our conversation.

“Who do you think you are?”

We both froze. Her eyes got wide and she looked anxiously over my shoulder. I turned slowly to see what she was looking at, afraid to see what was going on behind me. The voice continued to loudly, sternly explain itself to an unknown offender we neither could see. Neither of us recognized the voice, but we stood there, shamefully listening, trying to figure out who was behind the tirade less than twenty feet from us but hidden behind a wall. Finally, we identified the speaker by what he was protesting. He angrily continued, “You may talk bad about myself or my wife behind our backs and we would never know, but you will not sit in my class and talk bad about anyone in my family.”

Right after I recognized his voice, the reality of what was happening hit me so powerfully: the quietest man I know, the calmest and most level-headed man I know suddenly became one of the fiercest. He was defending his wife against an attack she most likely knew nothing about in that moment, and he had put the accusing student in his place in such a powerful way, it sent shockwaves down the hallway that affected anyone within hearing distance. It was startling and wild and beautiful.

When I got off work today, I checked the mail on my way in the house and found something there that shook me. I am susceptible to emotional tsunamis when crises hit, and my initial reaction was to run into my room, cry and call my mom for a freak-out session. I reacted like I normally do, but when I got off the phone, I immediately remembered listening to my coworker defend his wife and I realized that I, too, have a defender. I have a heavenly Husband who loves me and the Bible tells me that He confronts my enemies. He vindicates me. He destroys the work of the enemy and scatters them in all directions. I finally understand what it means for God to be our defender. You see, God is not just love. Love is an attribute of God. So is merciful, graceful, and many other wonderful things. But the Bible also says that God is just. He is jealous and He defends those who love Him.

I qualify.

The turbulent waters became immediately placid inside me. The tsunami didn’t happen this time. For the first time in forever. I finally know what it feels like to know that God is going to take what Satan purposes for evil and turn it around for my good. I know what the face of a defender looks like. I know what the voice of a defender sounds like. And I know that the enemy trembles when a Husband stands up for His bride. For the first time in my life, I feel secure leaving all of life’s triviality in God’s hands. I pray the Holy Spirit reveals this wisdom to you in such a powerful way, you come to truly understand what it means to be defended by our heavenly King.  He loves us fiercely, and defends us even more so.

 

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Published June 4, 2014 by Dawn

I have been working with a nonverbal autistic student for two years, and the experience has been quite the enigma. Some days were the hardest days of my life, while others were rewarding and deeply satisfying, both spiritually and emotionally. I have also learned some of my greatest lessons while working with her. Such as how to love someone who attacks you everyday, how to hold in things and hold back when you’d rather respond or react. I have learned how to act in wisdom instead of in the flesh. All of these truths are priceless to me in my walk with the Lord as He molds me, and I feel very blessed to have learned them, even though they came at a high price. A painful price. A terrible price. But a necessary cost to become more like Christ.

The lesson that has been heavily on my heart the last few days, however, is one I learned within my first six months working with her. A violent six months; she literally beat me up everyday. When I took over as her para because she was moving up into the high school, I was introduced to her and given the practical instructions of working with her. Mind you, I don’t have experience in special education. It was just my job. You know, the necessary thing you only do because you feel the need to eat. In truth, this job is so far from the dreams in my heart, being there is a constant act of submission. I know God put me there. I struggle most days.

Anyway, back to the lesson. She was beating me up everyday, and I couldn’t for the life of my figure out why. Then it happened one day: someone asked me how my day was going, seeing my haggard look, and I began to tell them how awful she was being and I looked over at her to relay my exasperation, only to catch her rolling her eyes and snarling at me. And like a fist to the face, it hit me: I have disrespected her everyday since the beginning by talking about her like she’s not even there.

I had taken the cue from her former para, been told her mentality was that of a toddler, and completely disregarded the person stuck inside her disorder. I had discussed her dysfunction everyday with coworkers like we were sharing recipes, right in front of her with no regard to her feelings. No wonder she was beating me up everyday! She couldn’t stand me! If someone was walking on my heart everyday, I’d react in much the same way.

From the day on, I have kept a proverbial hand over my mouth and treated this girl like a person capable of understanding and feelings, and the behaviors have become so minimal, when they happen, I am completely caught off guard. Not to mention that the really extreme behaviors such as head butting and screaming have stopped completely. This poor girl has put up with rude people her entire life acting like she’s stupid. Clearly, she is anything but.

I’ve been thinking about this life lesson in relation to how we treat God. How we talk about Him like He’s not in the room. How we disrespect Him like we disrespect others when we talk behind their backs, hoping they never find out. I’m so convicted. How about the mockery we make of His timing when we’re unhappy with the way He’s handling things? Or the hateful things we say when we don’t understand what He’s doing? Or the way we question His authority in the affairs of this life? I’m not too proud to admit I’m guilty. In fact, I’m not proud at all. I’m deeply ashamed at the way I treat my Father. The way I treat my Husband. The way I treat my Best Friend. I’ve spent the last year of my life straining to hear His voice and I wonder, would I hear more of Him if I disrespected Him less? If I held my tongue and loved Him enough to trust Him with my life?

Jesus, I’m sorry.

To Simply Be With Him

Published August 6, 2013 by Dawn

I put the kids to bed earlier tonight so they can start getting back into the routine before school starts. We do this every year about this time, and its just so good to get back to the scheduled life. I like it better this way.

After both were snug in bed, I curled up on the couch with my Husband and leaned back into His chest and sighed … and then began to cry. Oh, how badly I have missed these times with Him. Sure, we see each other every day and we talk all the time, but how often do we just sit in the presence of one another and simply be?

I said to the Lord, “I want to go back to those times of simplicity between us. When I didn’t expect so much from you and graciously accepted each gift, in fresh awe of you.” He looked down at me and said, “You have been pretty demanding lately.” I cried more. I don’t like to be like this. I hate this place in a relationship, where the fire dies down and the passion fades, and you are left with coals to be flamed. I hardly ever have time for that. But I am desperate for it. I need that with Him again. Just a simple, passionate love between us. Sure, there’s work to do, and a lot of it is stressful and I need HIm to get it done. Stress develops in me and instead of working together, I tend to do my own thing. How silly of me, right? But nonetheless, I’m guilty of thinking I know something when I don’t. I go my own way, and look back to see if He’s following. He’s standing there watching me, beckoning me back to Him, but I won’t go because I’m stubborn. Before I know it, there’s a distance between us.

That distance has been there for a while. I long for the simpler days, when there was nothing more complicated than love going on. I laid myself over the gap tonight and prayed to him, “Please, take me back. I’m done being stubborn and going my own way. Hold me, because I need to feel your embrace. And let’s not talk about anything. I just want to love on you. The work can wait. The needs can wait. I just want to praise you in this moment, because you are my everything.”

Just to be with Him. These are the best times in my life. No striving, no whining. Nothing to say except “You are wonderful.” To look up into His eyes and forget for a moment all my dysfunction. To look at Him and know once again why it is that I love Him so.

Jesus,
Thank you for being my companion and best friend. I love you. Thank you for this time with you. You have fulfilled my deepest longing tonight. You are the most precious Husband a woman could ever have. My treasure.

Intimate Conversations in Marriage

Published August 2, 2013 by Dawn

I had the busiest day ever, it felt like, yesterday. I sat down across from Him and just started rattling off all of my thoughts and fears, concerns about the day and my life, and even our time together. He was so patient and quiet while listening to me, but there was a hurt in His eyes that I couldn’t understand. And then it dawned on me: I had told Him that this time was for Him, but then here I was talking only and all about myself.

Oh dear Lord, forgive me. I want only to worship you! I knelt before Him and just allowed my spirit to commune with His. I didn’t speak to express anything but His praise. Otherwise, I remained silent and just allowed His presence to enrapture me. Unspeakable peace descended. I felt secure and no longer in chaos and confusion, or fear. I was whole again and there was no longer a cry in me. I was simply full of Him.

It was the most precious moment. And in this moment, I realized how important it is to be a giver in a relationship. I don’t know about you, but I am a receiver by nature. The world tells me this. But instead of being a thankful, I am often demanding. I guess I’m a little spoiled after all. I expect so much, but the problem is more than that: I tend to give very little until I am reminded by the hurt in His eyes. My Husband needs to receive too. He needs to receive my love and adoration, my affection, and sometimes, my willingness just to be held and loved. It turns out, He can read all the stress and anxiety in my face and doesn’t need to hear all the specifics. Unless, of course, I just can’t contain them.

It turns out that in the end, His arms are all I need to feel at peace again. And singing praises to Him and loving on Him feels so much better than focusing on my festering problems. And those problems seem so less significant after I have been held by Him. Marriage is a wonderful thing, indeed.