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Dori's Merry Heart Dept. in ezine
Lost in Love
By Kay Brown
My darling husband is seriously ‘navigation challenged.’ When we courted years ago, he always found his way to my house, so I never noticed his disability. Later, when the children came along and he made numerous wrong turns, I chalked it up to the stress of having six miniature, noisy beings constantly wailing and/or throwing up in our vehicle. Now, our children have outgrown their car seats and my beloved is too young and good-looking to be senile, therefore, I am ready to face the truth about his condition. Certainly, I cannot ignore the volume of evidence that recently grew geometrically. Our entire family just returned from a 5000-mile, 13 state, twenty-one day motor home vacation.
We took the long way.
I was made aware that our love would be tested almost immediately. After only having slept three hours the night before, this momma was whipped; I fell asleep two hours into the trip. When I awoke, my honey mentioned that he was strangely seeing highway signs for a city in the northern part of our state when we had been heading south. Of course, we had actually been circling north for 75 miles, and much to his dismay, we had to turn around. It was an honest mistake; our desert state looks the same, no matter where one travels in it.
I determined that I would not nap again on the entire trip because he needed me to navigate. Sloppily drooling as I nod out is one of my best skills, but I was willing to sacrifice the experience to make my husband’s job easier. It was a sacrifice for my true love’s sake.
That first day continued to test us; in the afternoon we found ourselves barreling down an exit for gas into a highway construction site that sharply ended with an unfenced, gaping, gargantuan pit. I did not know they made holes that big. Thank God for good brakes. It was not my sweetie’s fault, either. They moved a couple of those barrels and he thought it looked a little like they wanted us to go down there.
They did not want us to go down there.
As we left the area, quickly driving the wrong way up the one-way down-ramp, I was delighted that none of those spiteful highwaymen happened to be coming down the ramp in a mammoth dump truck; my heart was racing. It might have been ugly, but God truly protected us. He knew it was our first vacation and we would have been very bummed if we crashed the very first day. As it was, the whole fiasco ended up taking us only 14 miles out of our way, as we ran on fumes and prayed we would not run out of gas.
That night things actually got worse. Entering Texas, we suddenly noticed we were in an early freak snowstorm and learned that southerners close up shop and go home when it starts snowing. Texans do not snowplow their roads. Texans do not sand their roads. When it snows in Texas, Texans do not even use their roads. Nervously, we followed semi tracks for hours in the dark through progressively deeper and icier ruts, precariously lurching back and forth, as we all held our breaths. Finally, we pulled off the highway into a tiny town and tromped through two-foot drifts to an ancient motel - so much for a great vacation. However, we did not mind.
We were just grateful to be alive.
Considering the misadventures of our trip’s first day, one might think we were doomed to continuously experience distress, disappointment and disillusionment, but we found the opposite to be true. After the day’s difficulties were past, more than ever, we were determined to enjoy our adventure. When the TV literally blew up, when I lost my driver’s license, when our plans had to change over and over…those things were insignificant compared to having risked our lives on the road.
The testings also produced a secret blessing.
Surprisingly, instead of fuming about getting lost on our trip, I thanked God I was able to be a travel helpmeet to my dear husband for three solid weeks. He genuinely needed me. Being needed is a good thing! I do not think I had ever considered how much I enjoy being needed by my husband until we made this ambitious expedition. His navigation weakness did not offend me at all, because I was important, I was vital; his steering failures made me love him even more.
Quite embarrassingly, my contentment with our fifteen-year marriage has not always been secure. Vain imaginations of an unattainable ideal relationship have slipped in and stolen the joy God intended me to have with the spouse he so lovingly chose. Somehow, no matter how hard I reasoned with myself, nagging feelings of ‘if only’ have persisted and whittled away at romance.
As I tangibly practiced being a helpmeet, a dynamic shift has occurred in my heart’s desire. When my greatest secret craving was to be ‘made’ happy, I was miserable. Desiring to ‘make’ my husband happy has become much easier on my spirit, my emotions and my body. Despite my grandest illusions to the contrary, I do not know better than God does what is best for me. My precious husband, with all his quirks and weaknesses, is precisely what the doctor ordered – no, what the Savior ordered. Sweet rest is mine as I thank Him for my wandering man.
I think I enjoy being lost in love.
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