Friday, July 8, 2011

Honoring

This might not come out clearly but I feel I should preface this saying that sometimes I haven't exactly been a willing candidate and I'm not telling this to toot my horn.  While Doug was reading this over I jokingly said he will probably refer me back to this posting on numerous occasions.  BUT, I feel compelled to share this since I have been so blessed through it.  I hope you will be inspired to do the same.  And so with that...

I was blessed to marry a man who happens to be a dreamer.  I think most men are - and I love it.  But I think being married to a dreamer can also be a test of my trust, not in my husband, but fully in the Lord and what He has called me to do as a wife. 

In 2008 my baby girl was born.  We lived 20 minutes from my family and 45 minutes from Doug's family.  There was a panoramic view of 14,000' peaks from my front porch and I had a lovely established patch of asparagus growing in my front yard.  But Doug wanted to move to Oklahoma to start a construction business. 

Now I'll be honest, when I pictured Oklahoma I saw a flat and barren prairie with the "wind sweeping through the plains."  I loved my mountains.  I loved my family.  But I loved my husband more.  And I saw the light in his eyes when he talked about a business of his own. 

So a few days after our parent's one and only grandbaby turned 6 months old, we packed her and all our earthly belongings and moved to a little rental house in Perry, Oklahoma.  I cried.  A lot.  Charissa screamed all night for a whole week and if she did go to sleep, the train a few blocks away woke her up. 

But God was faithful.  He honored my honoring my husband. 

He blessed me with a fantastic group of friends.  He allowed us to purchase our first home on a lovely 5 acre lot.  I got a dog and a cat and a garden.  My baby boy was born in that home - a dream come true.  We had a pond to fish in, a wonderful church family, and a Braum's with the best ice cream ever.  But God was moving in Doug's heart.  He was feeling pulled in the direction of full-time ministry and the opportunity just wasn't in Oklahoma.  He missed the mountains, the wildlife, snow.  I did too, but not to the extent he did.  So he began to apply to jobs.  Everywhere.  For over a year.  It was exhausting.  Time and time again, he wouldn't hear back and if he did it was a "thank you for applying but...".  During it all, I saw his desire and I knew it was the answer to my prayers that God would use him, no matter what he was doing or where he was.  God pulled my heart toward Doug's desires, too.

We put our home up on the market with no idea where we were going permanently.  It sold far quicker than we had imagined.  Our plans changed dramatically.  We packed up, said goodbye to our home and our dear friends.  We gave away our doggy.  We moved back to Colorado, near family, living with family.  Then the job search began again in earnest.  That dreaded job search I was so jaded about.  We expected to be in Colorado for at least a year.

We were there for a month.

When Doug came home glowing about this opportunity in Montana, I smiled politely and listened.  At first I had been excited about new jobs.  That was 2 years ago.  Then I didn't want to hear about them.  But after 2 years of searching, I'd just learned to smile and nod.

And then, he was asked for an interview.  

Now I was excited, don't get me wrong.  This position has so many things we had been looking for, it was almost unreal.  But honestly, I was pretty excited about living in Colorado for a year.  I'm very close to my family.  Seeing my children light up when they saw their "Nana and Papa" brought a little lump in my throat.  I loved it there. 

After our interview, Doug and I were discussing what we would say if, by the grace of God, we were accepted to this position.  Doug looked me in the eye and said, "If you don't want to go, Hannah, I can find a job around here and we can stay in Colorado.  I don't want to take you away from your family."

But it wasn't even a temptation.  Honestly.  I had seen God work all this out - the business closure, the sale of our home, the time here in Colorado, a job with Doug's heart desire.  I wasn't going to say no.  I might *think* I'd be happier staying, but if it meant Doug working another job just to put food on the table when we had an opportunity for him to use his gifts and passions, there was no way I would look him in the eye and tell him "no, I'm happier here."  There was no way.  Because honestly, I knew I wouldn't be happier.  God has called me as a wife.  Nowhere am I better serving God than when I am beside my husband supporting him in his God-given desires.  

God is faithful.  He honored my honoring my husband.

This home, this place, these people simply breathe God's love on me.  I can't tell you how happy I am.  I know there will be struggles, trials and difficulties.  That is only human.  I miss my family, but I'm spending eternity with them.  I know this is a temporary position and we'll be moving again in a couple years.  Sometimes I worry about where we're going and when.

Then I remember just how faithful God is.  It might not be in my timing, it might not be where I "want" to go.  But God is always faithful as He leads through my husband.  He has honored me as I honor the one He has given me.

If you are married, I pray you will see the blessings of putting your spouse's desires first.  If you aren't married, encourage married women in your life to honor their husbands.  Husband bashing is so prevalent in our culture.  The world tells us to voice our desires, to "know who you are" and not be "pushed around" by anyone.  Marriage is so much richer than that.  By honoring God's plan for marriage, we believe who God says He is, and the blessings are eternal.

8 comments:

Donna said...

This is beautiful.

Kathy said...

Thank you for this, Hannah. It is a beautiful post and one more of us need to read and take to heart.

MaryLu said...

Dear Hannah,
Your dedication to your marriage and to the wishes and desires of your husband are a credit to the upbringing of your amazing parents. We knew you Zellers back in Leavenworth and are continually blesses and encouraged by the memory.
May God continue to richly bless you and your family.
Much love,
Mary Malone

Anonymous said...

I sure appreciate your encouragement! I am living what you wrote about. My husband too has a dream and we too picked up our family and moved thousands of miles away. It has been hard, but with many people praying for me and the peace and grace of our Lord, I am adjusting to the new way of life. The beauty we are surrounded by can't replace the beautiful faces of friends and family I left back 'home'. And because of one of those beautiful people back home, she introduced me to your blog. Which I am greatful to be surround by such beautiful Christian women, even if it's on line now. God Bless!

Sandra

Katie said...

I totally agree and totally understand!!!! You are exactly where God wants you to be and where he will use you best. I am so excited to watch where God takes you. Sometimes we don't understand what he is doing but he hasn't asked us to understand what he is doing but to trust him and to follow him!!!! That is what you are doing. God bless you!!!

Compleat Mom said...

Thanks for adorning the gospel, Hannah. http://2corinthians98.blogspot.com/2011/07/just-shall-live-by-faith.html

Hannah said...

I am thankful this was a blessing to you ladies :-) Like I said, it is always a work in progress but obedience to Him is always rewarded perhaps here on earth but always eternally!

Renia said...

Beautiful words to express what we are called to do. I have had to do this so many times. And I have been blessed by having a husband attentive to me and respectful in wanting my opinion b/c of honoring him. It truly does make life easier.