â€œThis is not what I expected.Â Sometimes I donâ€™t even like being around you.â€Â My husbandâ€™s words shocked me into silence.Â This feat of me being silent for any reason would have normally been impressive, but today it was just painful.Â 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.Â The last few months had been one bad situation after another.Â If I wasnâ€™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.Â During the same time, the elders of the church we were attending decided to shut us out. Â â€œThey will do what ever it takes to keep you from getting plugged in.â€Â If that wasnâ€™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 doesnâ€™t like me.Â In all rights, I should have beaten him with the crochet hook I was using at the time.Â I think it would have been a legally defensible.
In stead of anger, there was a strange sensation that overwhelmed me at that moment.Â As soon as the words came out of his mouth, a deep sense of calm washed over me.Â There was only one way I could help the situation.Â I had to change.
Over the next couple of days I prayed about the situation.Â When I found myself in a bookstore, I looked for the answer on the shelves.Â What I found was a book called â€œHow to Encourage the Man in Your Lifeâ€ by H. Norman Wright.Â It took me just two days to read â€“ even with two kids to keep up with.
The book gave me the direction that I had been searching for over those days.Â It said that I had to change my heart â€“ start focusing on those around me instead of on myself so much.Â It went completely against everything I had heard from the world.
I began to face each day with encouragement in mind.Â By looking for the good actions I could use to give a positive word, I found it impossible to focus on the bad actions.Â Releasing the burden of judging the world (or even just my husband) was like a spring shower.Â 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.Â The act of Â serving spilled over to others in my life and I began sending letters to friends and family or making special treats for the neighbors.Â 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.Â He even made a comment about what a good wife I was to him.Â Iâ€™d like to be able to report that he rushed right out and bought â€œHow to Encourage the Woman in Your Life,â€ but he didnâ€™t.Â I have learned through all of this that it doesnâ€™t matter what he does or doesnâ€™t do.Â My walk is about me.
In the midst of despair, God pointed me to His joy.Â For me, it came through a book.Â The real answer is God.Â If Iâ€™m focused on doing what He desires for my life, the rest will just roll right off my back.