Last Sunday my husband woke up at work and could barely get out of bed. It turns out that he had hurt his back again and was in a lot of pain. Neither of us had expected this to happen again, and what I didn’t realize is what a huge lesson in appreciation God was about to send me.
For those of you that know me and have been following some of my posts, this past year we “made it through” the first year with our daughter Celeste. One of the things that I struggled with throughout the year was that I often felt frustrated, overwhelmed, and unappreciated. And of course I would have several talks with God, praying to him to please “enlighten” my husband. It’s a funny and amazing thing when you pray to God because often times he doesn’t quite answer as fast as you would like him to, and on top of that, he does it in a way that you weren’t expecting.
What I have learned over the years is that when you ask God for something like, oh, let’s say more patience he doesn’t just Poof! sprinkle you with extra patience, no, no, that would be too easy – and where’s the appreciation in that. He instead gives you situations and experiences that have you build on your patience. So why would I think it would be any different when I would pray to God to please enlighten my husband? Well, I definitely got my sprinkle in this last week.
As I said earlier my husband was in a lot of pain, he could barely get out of bed, and standing upright was out of the question. It was difficult to see my normally active husband unable to get around our home unless he used our hiking poles for support, which means that he couldn’t do anything. No walking our dog Biggie, not even pick up or carry Celeste. And I began to realize something really important, that while yes this past year I had had the bulk of the responsibility of caring for Celeste, I had taken for granted the small things my husband took care of that turned out to be a tremendous amount of help for me. Plus, I myself needed to be enlightened because I failed to appreciate the fact that my husband has the sole financial responsibility in our family and that alone is a huge responsibility in and of itself. You see, in getting lost in my own thoughts of frustration and feeling overwhelmed and unappreciated I had failed to appreciate the things my husband did, the small things that turned out to be big time savers for me and that allowed me to do other things. Instead all I kept thinking about was that I wanted more done, more help, and more appreciation. Yet in getting lost in my own self centeredness I had failed to appreciate all the small things, and I realized this in the days that followed.
God, in all his wisdom and love, had answered my prayer in a much better way than I could have imagined and he did it in a way to enlighten me and in the same token enlighten my husband as well. Not only did I come to appreciate more all the ways in which my husband lended me a hand with Celeste, in turn as my husband saw me taking care of Celeste and everything else around the house, he became appreciative of all the things I took care of on my own.
Thankfully my husband feels better and better with each passing day, and I continue to be amazed by how God works in us and that he is always present. Even when we think he may not be listening, he is, and I realize I just have to trust in that God is going to let me know in his way and in the best way he knows that I will pay attention.