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A Good Wife Learns to Survive the Unexpected

“This is not what I expected.  Sometimes I don’t even like being around you.”  My husband’s words shocked me into silence.  This feat of me being silent for any reason would have normally been impressive, but today it was just painful.  I wanted so much to be a good wife, and now I was finding out just how horribly I had failed.

It was the final straw to a miserable time in my life.  The last few months had been one bad situation after another.  If I wasn’t under attack physically, then emotionally the attack raged on.

After a bad reaction to medication during the first trimester of pregnancy, I had miscarried with our third child.  During the same time, the elders of the church we were attending decided to shut us out.  “They will do what ever it takes to keep you from getting plugged in.”  If that wasn’t devastating enough, my extended family seemed to be collapsing all around me after my great aunt had passed away.

Every where I turned, I faced death, destruction, and disappointment.

So, for the icing, my husband tells me he doesn’t like me.  In all rights, I should have beaten him with the crochet hook I was using at the time.  I think it would have been a legally defensible.

In stead of anger, there was a strange sensation that overwhelmed me at that moment.  As soon as the words came out of his mouth, a deep sense of calm washed over me.  There was only one way I could help the situation.  I had to change.

Over the next couple of days I prayed about the situation.  When I found myself in a bookstore, I looked for the answer on the shelves.  What I found was a book called “How to Encourage the Man in Your Life” by H. Norman Wright.  It took me just two days to read – even with two kids to keep up with.

The book gave me the direction that I had been searching for over those days.  It said that I had to change my heart – start focusing on those around me instead of on myself so much.  It went completely against everything I had heard from the world.

I began to face each day with encouragement in mind.  By looking for the good actions I could use to give a positive word, I found it impossible to focus on the bad actions.  Releasing the burden of judging the world (or even just my husband) was like a spring shower.  I was alive for the first time in my life.

I began to do things for him like fix his lunch before work, send cards in his lunch box, and have meals as a family on the weekends.  The act of  serving spilled over to others in my life and I began sending letters to friends and family or making special treats for the neighbors.  With all the joy that was pouring out of me, I just wanted to encourage, lift up, or touch in some way everyone that I could.

It took just two days for my husband to be able to tell a difference.  He even made a comment about what a good wife I was to him.  I’d like to be able to report that he rushed right out and bought “How to Encourage the Woman in Your Life,” but he didn’t.  I have learned through all of this that it doesn’t matter what he does or doesn’t do.  My walk is about me.

In the midst of despair, God pointed me to His joy.  For me, it came through a book.  The real answer is God.  If I’m focused on doing what He desires for my life, the rest will just roll right off my back.

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