I was dreaming…
How had I gone to bed in my new sweater coat? My fingers were wound around my knitted jacket. Everything was fuzzy and foggy. Finally, I came out of my sleepy state and realized I was covered in a knitted blanket.
A warmth spread through my chest and over my heart. My husband had covered me with a blanket after I went to sleep.
Earlier, I had very sleepily sauntered to my side of the bed, and before I hopped in, I said to Vance “I’m so cold, we need to add another blanket to our bed.” I was too tired to think of going into the basement to our linen closet to find one. I rolled into bed and fell into a deep sleep.
Winter is slowly creeping in and it brings cold, harsh days and nights. I had been cold all week when I’m sleeping.
My husband’s kindness squeezed my heart tightly. I rolled out of bed and padded through our walk-through-closet and into the bathroom, as a prayer was whispered from my lips;
“God, I don’t deserve him, thank you for giving him to me.”
Vance is always warm, and I am cold. He keeps our home colder than most people would prefer. I own a dozen sweaters and have been seen in two at a time, with a scarf layered on top. It’s easier for me to add layers, it’s not so easy for him since he only wears one.
I have been a wife for twenty-nine years in an evolving marriage to a man who has gone through four seasons of change since we first laid eyes on each other.
Fall and all its beautiful colours were evident when we were first dating, and we stared at our new love as we were infatuated with the other’s appearance and we overlooked each other’s faults. We dreamed of the future, and he got down one day on his knee in the mall parking lot and asked me if I’d spend my life with him.
After we were married, Vance was going through winter. Marriage was cold and bitter, with mounds of bickering and fighting. We threw snowballs with ice chunks at each other, trying to hurt the person we promised to love and honour. Life was lonely, cold and sad.
Our marriage was hurting us.
I was on my knees often with tears streaming down my face as I begged God to change my selfish husband.
One day, many years later, God heard my prayer.
God’s heart was filled with compassion, and he reached down and watered my husbands cold, dry heart and breathed new life into it. Vance started to sprout and grown and was filled with love and kindness.
Spring had arrived.
He became a good father and husband. The snowballs melted and Vance took the warm water and began to soften my hardened heart.
My husband started caring for a tender new garden.
Summer came, my favourite season…
We took romantic walks through our garden of marriage. Along the way, I amazingly became younger. I was dating Vance again, and we were giddy, happy and renewed. The man I married had changed so much I hardly recognized him. He was handsome, enchanting and charming.
Vance swept me off my feet and caused me to want to give him my whole heart. My garden had bloomed, and it had been because he loved and watered it and convinced me he wanted to do what was best for me. He put me ahead of himself and also became a fantastic father.
It seems ages ago since I was a wide-eyed young bride and yet it seems like it was only yesterday.
Many times I have wondered why I was given a second chance at love. Our marriage was hurting badly. Many men just give up when their marriages become overbearing and hard. I realize this should have happened to me. Vance could have gone out the door when I was slapping him with every insult I knew.
There is nothing about me that caused my husband to stay. I didn’t do anything to earn a husband with a changed heart.
I am reminded of people who are the only ones to survive a car accident, and the rest of their family has died, and they have a tremendous sense of guilt for surviving? That was me.
I knew I didn’t deserve this gift.
My daughter Aryanna was visiting yesterday and decided to bake butter tarts. She and I were having a wonderful time together in the kitchen. We were talking about all the difficult times our family has been through together. (You can read about our journey with our son Kyle, who has severe autism in my post My Brother’s Keeper)
Aryanna and I agreed that God had allowed us to go through this dark time in our lives so we could one day reach out to others who are hurting and speak of God’s faithfulness to our family.
He had written a story.
This is grace: when you are given a gift you knew you never deserved.
Maybe you have been asking God for a gift:
Baby. Wife. Health. The prodigal child returned. Friends. New job. Boyfriend. Home. Restored marriage. Husband.
Do you feel like God has forgotten you? He hasn’t heard your prayers? You may be waiting for one of the gifts mentioned above. Your heart aches for this prayer to come true. You’ve asked God many many times if he’d bless you with one of these presents. You’re wondering why it is taking so long?
I was where you are now. I was waiting. I was pleading. I was hoping.
God saw a story unfolding and knew it wasn’t finished yet. He waited. At just the right moment in time, he changed my husband’s heart. A minute sooner or a moment later and our story would not have been this one.
The timing was perfect.
Maybe you’re feeling impatient with God, and you’re wondering if he has forgotten you? I promise you, he hasn’t. He knows what is best for you and desires to bless your life and give you a story to tell.
Keep praying. Keep asking. Keep believing. Keep hoping.
God knows exactly what gifts you need. His timing is always perfect. He will bring the warm blanket you need when you are cold and cover you, and when you awaken cozy in the morning, you can say:
“God I don’t deserve this gift, but thank you, for giving it to me.”
Then you can smile and know you are loved💗
Answer me quickly, Lord;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
for I hide myself in you.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.
Psalm 143: 7-10 NIV