A Giant Among Us

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Have you ever read, Giants in the Earth by O.E. Rolvaag?   I read it years ago in an effort to understand my brother-in-law.  He is a giant and quite stoic.   Swedish.  He comes from a small rural town in Nebraska.  See the connection?  Not an exact parallel but very similar. 

After reading the book, I understood the arduous task of being a pioneer with a dream.  Of being a tough breed who can accomplish much because of the need to fulfill a vision.  Through the difficulties of the frontier life, Per Hansa’s wife could not handle the losses and the struggles.  She falls downhill emotionally and he cannot help her.  He tries, but he can’t reach her need.  It’s a tragic book and the ending is even more despairing.  I did understand stoicism better, but mostly, I saw the frailty of weakness.

My husband is a giant.  Now anyone who knows us is rolling on the floor with laughter at this point.  Yes, he is quite short in stature, but not in strength and definitely not in character.  His stamina amazes me, and his lighthearted determination is a rare quality.  He brings much needed laughter to our home and a tenderness I find compelling.  He deals with the struggles of day-to-day living with a disabled wife and three very active teenagers. 

I felt a spark the first time I met him.  Really!  He was so cute and charming.  I was intrigued.  But did he pay me any mind?  No.  There were too many blondes around to see the short redhead blushing across the table.  I tried to speak about a common connection, but he didn’t even hear me.

Not too many weeks after, I saw him coming down the walk to ask for my vote for student body president.  His smile was incredible, his eyes dancing, his enthusiasm contagious.  But, did he see me?  No, not yet.

Months later… a new year… a new semester… something changed.  Now it could have been my constant watch for wherever he was located and hoping, beyond all hope, he would catch my eye, and in that moment giving him my biggest smile and then coyly looking away.  Or… it could have been God.

I tend to think it was God.  You see, my husband is a giant.  He has always been a giant.  He is a man after God’s heart and, above all else, he has asked God’s will for his life.   So, he had been praying…and somehow, at the right time, he spotted me.  I knew my life would never be the same.  It took him awhile to catch on, but eventually he saw me as the plan God had for him.

We will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this year.  Oh, they have been good years, but mostly, they have been very hard.  Almost like being on the frontier doing the best we can to make a life for ourselves and our children.  He has had the strength to do the hard work, and he has had a weak wife who desperately needs him.  But is our story tragic?  Some might think parts of it are quite tragic, but I don’t think so…no…not at all.  God has blessed us in many ways.  But, you know, I feel I have been blessed the most.  My husband knew when we were dating that I was not the healthiest person, but he still chose to marry me.  “In sickness and in health.”

I have leaned  heavily on him, and he has let me.  He desires to help me and I find him fascinating.  God put us together.  We both had been praying for God’s will for our lives and He gave us our hearts’ desires.

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17 responses »

  1. Michelle:

    I think that is the best post you have ever written! You’ve drawn a great comparison between life on the frontier and your own struggles, you’ve got realism and humor dancing with each other, you’ve got romance in the same room with your own youthful uncertainties, you’ve still got a positive perspective about your husband after 25 years of marriage, and you give credit to The One who deserves it. We should all be so fortunate!

    And you know…on the same subject…every once in a while, someone asks me, “Why aren’t you married yet?” My response has varied over the years, but, honestly, these days I just usually say, “If I ever find a woman who loves me more than she hates using relay, I am going to marry her.”

    Simple. And yet so profoundly true!

  2. NorEaster:

    I’m glad you like it. After “The Day of Mourning” post, I felt I needed to lighten the mood – somewhat. I do wish everyone could experience what we have, but most people would rather focus on the others’ weaknesses than their strengths.

    I must admit I had to google the term “using relay” to understand your comment. But in the search I found this link that gives great step-by-step instructions for any prospects you may find. Just pass it on, it is very easy to understand: http://tobermorey.com/deaf/relay.php 🙂

  3. Bless you both (and your family!). God does know what He’s doing, doesn’t He? Michelle, you are such a beautiful person, your husband is as lucky to have you as you are to have him. Maybe you could get him to answer your post, 😉 . Another post to blush about my dear, you never fail to brighten my day, no matter what you post, it is a good read. Congrats on the first 25, whenever that may be!

  4. Yes, this is a beautiful post. I love it when women speak so well of their hubbies!

    I tried commenting earlier, but it wouldn’t let me. I wanted to thank you for the comments on my blog. They were an encouragement!

    I also so admire the 25 years of marriage. Praise God.

  5. Michelle:

    I know relay is easy to use. Piece of cake, actually. With chocolate frosting! But…I can’t even begin to tell you the difficulties I have endured over something so simple. (Maybe that’s a post I could write once I’m done “hibernating.”)

  6. Paper Bubbles, Thank you for the kind words. You brighten my day as well.

    Hello Hollymark, I’m glad you stopped by. I enjoy reading your blog – you are so honest and vulnerable. I think that’s a good thing. 😉

    Hey, NorEaster! I’m ready for you to come out of hibernation, I miss your perspective. Thanks for continuing to stop by here. BTW, I know relay is easy for you – I was just wondering about your future prospects. The link is written for children, I believe, it explained things simply for me. 🙂

  7. Michelle:

    I have 24 chapters to go so I think it just might be a while before I’m done hibernatiing. I enjoy stopping by, though, when I need a break. And this morning I cut my thumb slicing some peppers so I figured I’d have a look-see over here. Heh.

    Take care.

  8. I don’t know how I missed this post the first time around. Beautiful. Vulnerable. Real. God’s plan. Christ-like love. Adoration. Thanks for being here, in blogosphere.

  9. Thanks, Sherma, I am a blessed woman. God winnows the path when we choose to follow Him. 😉

    Hey, Ric! Finding your blog early showed me the need to be vulnerable. You speak volumes to me…thank you for being here. 😆

  10. Pingback: Memorable Blog Posts « BrainTeaser

  11. oh this was a good one! did you share some of this in a comment on my blog a few weeks/month ago? it sounds vaguely familiar!

    thank you for sending me to this. i LOVE love! and i LOVE how we can boast about our men. i think it is the best thing we can do for our marriages these days-focus on the positive. focus on the blessings. and then tell others about it!
    thank you for sharing this with me, michelle.

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