You may be wondering where I've been. We've been in party mode at our house, with my husband Mark's birthday, my son Noah's birthday, and my mother-in-law Lorraine's birthday all in October. I especially enjoyed throwing Mark a surprise party for his 40th birthday two weeks ago.
But now that all the excitement is finally dying down, this monumental milestone in my husband's life has inspired some reflection on my part. FORTY. Wow. It seems like just yesterday he was a hunky 29 year-old who made me look twice the first time I laid eyes on him. Yet in just ten short years, my husband has probably taught me more than any other person in my life ever will.
That's because Mark is not a regular run of the mill guy. He’s the kind of man that would give you the shirt off his back if he thought you needed it. Really. He is a servant in the truest sense.
I’ll never forget the snowy Saturday morning when I was four months pregnant with my daughter Grace. Mark and I had a pre-baby tradition of going out for bagels every Saturday, and this particular morning I was having especially strong cravings. Mark told me he was going outside to shovel snow and that we would leave when he was done.
Ten minutes passed…then fifteen.
Now mind you, my pregnancy hormones were raging, so you can imagine that I was not too happy when I glanced out the window to find that he had finished shoveling our driveway and was busily shoveling the three elderly ladies' driveways next to us. He thought they may need to go somewhere. You see, my husband just does nice things for people without being asked. I on the other hand was bellowing for a bagel and really couldn't understand where three old ladies might possibly be going at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning.
Mark is also a conqueror. He has taught me much about perseverance, resolve, and utter dependence on God as I have watched him battle Diabetes, Epilepsy, and Multiple Sclerosis.
Three chronic illnesses…all before age 37.
I honestly cannot imagine what it would be like to willingly allow someone to drive me everywhere because of a seizure disorder. Or go from a 185 pound athlete to a 139 pound patient in a wheelchair. To not know if I would ever walk again. To wonder whether I would ever run another triathlon or ride bikes with my children. I mean, I can complain like no tomorrow if I’ve had a rough day with the kids. And woe is me if I happen to get a sinus infection or the flu. I’ll gladly take a week in bed, thank you very much!
But not Mark. In the midst of adversity, my husband is silent. I have never once heard him complain about the fact that he still needs a cane to walk, that he tires easily, or that he takes more medicines and injections than an elderly person. He lives out loud Philippians 2:14-15, which exhorts believers to do everything without complaining or arguing so that they may become blameless and pure, without fault, in a crooked and perverse generation... in order to shine brightly in this dark and often dismal world. He radiates resolve in the midst of suffering and in doing so reflects the character of Christ. I know I would not be the woman I am today without my better half.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the treasure you have unearthed in my husband.
So what about you? Do you have a tribute to your husband that you’d like to share? Let’s rejoice together that God in his infinite goodness saw fit to bless us with the covenant of marriage.