Monday, April 19, 2010

Reflections of a man...

Paul entered my life in the last years of my childhood, and I have never been an adult without him. He, on the other hand, did not have the luxury of finishing his childhood. He was forced to become an adult long before it should have been over.
At 16 years old, Paul lost both his parents in an act that is beyond comprehension. I met him shortly after, and even in the midst of all this brokenness, Paul had a strength, a passion for life, and a heart that didn't seem to fit the circumstances. I think that is part of what drew me to him. We began our lives together almost from the moment we met.
There has never been a moment in our lives together that Paul has not worked hard. Not only has he always worked full time at jobs that provided for his family, but afterward, he came home and fixed everything on my honey-do list that needed his attention around the house. Then, he'd clean out the cars, wash them and change the oil when needed. Outside, he would fertilize the grass, mow it, manicure it and help me plants flowers. He did this, so that the kids and I could be outside when we was working and enjoy soft grass and a beautiful yard. For many years, I thought all men did this, because my father did all these things too, but I realize now, that many do not.
Paul also believes that a job worth doing is worth doing well. Our children would say that there were times in their lives that their father needed more grace for them in this area, and even I have been heard calling my my husband a painting Natzi, but in its purest form, in its best, these character traits of my husbands are full of integrity, wisdom, and love.
And now, after 35 years together, I find myself surprised by a new facet of this man that God created and gave to me. I say I am surprised, because I thought I had seen them all, and I had not.
This one though, is different from all the others. The light that is refracted by this one is warmer, more gentle somehow, and more quiet. I am watching him walk in humility with passion. I watch him work hard to give God glory as an employee in a place where that is often challenging. I see him managing another man's business like it was his own without any of the benefits. No one sees the hours he spends working at home but me.
God also gave my husband eyes to see what things could become at their best, and Paul could see this while things were often at there worst. So when he had a vision for a rundown ski lodge, he asked for money and trust, and turned it into an incredibly successful business after many hard years of sweat and tears. Our investors and partners had never made so much money in an investment before, and we too, reaped the benefits of Paul's vision. He set other things in motion during those years as well. Big things. Things that God put on his heart and gave him eyes to see what they could become. They were a dream in the making that had to be put on hold.
I then watched him grieve these dreams and worry about our future as everything fell apart and broke into pieces. But then, I watched God love him through it and heal his heart with the precious gift of our first grandchild. God poured out his spirit and His promises into my husband and got him back on his feet in faith. He restored him by a reminder of what He had already done and what he was doing still, and my husband stood tall and dug deep.
I know that Paul's journey is not over, nor mine alongside his since we are one. I imagine too, that there are still more facets to this man that God will reveal to me before our life on earth is over. I know too, that it is only by God's restorative love, and in His power that the shattered life of a broken boy, could be healed and made into a life that truly wants to glorify him. And for this gift I am forever thankful and forever in love with my sovereign, loving, compassionate, and faithful God. We could not do this without you.

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