I love my husband's heart. He gives and he gives and he gives. It's one of the things I admire greatly about him; his desire to help others in tangible ways. I have seen him grow in this area immensely-- especially in just the past few years and it amazes me the strength of his conviction and passion to reach out to others; being the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need.
Ironically it is this same sacrificial spirit that often causes me to wonder how I fit in. When the weekend is over and I've not had any quality time with him owing to the fact that he gave all his time away to ministry, I can truly identify with what a pastor's or doctor's spouse goes through. When he is signing up for a mission adventure that will take him to the other side of the world for two weeks and the only contact we will have is on that amazing invention known as skype, I find my heart sinking even as it swells with pride.
O, the conundrum.
I remember the very first mission trip we went on together was only a few months after we'd begun dating. We took our churches youth group to work at a church in Southern Oregon for a week. He was in charge of the construction venue and I was on kitchen detail. I was impressed then with his leadership abilities and his administrative qualities. I still am.
He became quickly and heavily involved with our local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity and I learned the joke about being a habitat widow every weekend as he enthusiastically packed up his tools and headed off to another volunteer work party. When the volunteer work yielded a paying job offer as project manager for them, I was the first one to encourage him to apply. Even as I knew it meant more 'widow' time.... I was-- and still am-- proud of him for what he does.
the first time he went on a mission trip without me we both went through a very painful realization that this just didn't feel right and we decided freely and fairly that we would not allow this again. We were either both on board for the mission or we wouldn't go. We stayed with that decision and even rejected a mission a couple of years ago because I didn't feel called to go and he chose to stay home, partly because of that. Then the call came to go to Japan with Samaritan's Purse and we both recognized that saying yes was right. Even though it meant I stayed behind. Even though it meant he was gone in the middle of winter and there were lots of chores that he normally attends to that would either not be done or would somehow fall on my (funky, sore, broken) shoulders. Even though it meant no income for the duration of the mission. Even though.... even though... even though. We knew it was something he was called to do and so I gave my blessing. I am not sorry.
Now he feels called to go to Honduras. (I do not) He feels called to lead the trip. To take other men who are ready and willing to experience being stretched in new ways for Jesus. He has talked at great length with our friends, who are full time missionaries in Honduras about the scope of the work. It's construction related of course, right up his alley and he is excited about all the aspects of the trip. Except of course for being separated from me but somehow he's making peace with that.
I am questioning the timing. I understand the work that needs to be done there and the timing on that end, the rainy season, the urgency for getting the construction underway.... But we JUST got home from Costa Rica and it's going to take weeks if not months to regain our financial footing. We may have been provided the funding for the mission trip expenses but we still sacrificed 2 weeks of paying work for both of us. I must say here that I am so thankful for how God provides! He has carried us through this time of leanness once again.
and as I explore my feelings in this post I find myself praying....
God you are so good! Please help me make peace with this decision of my husbands. I want to be the supportive wife who gives her blessing but right now I feel very cranky about it. I feel resentful of the time it will take away from us. I worry even though I know that's a sin, about the financial burden it will place on us once again. I am so tired of being in crisis mode each month at bill paying time and I wonder how the next 3 months of work will yield enough to not only catch us up but also pay it forward! I question the timing of this trip. The wisdom of it. I can survive the time apart but I don't know how well our relationship will take the quake of my not being fully on board. I want to give my blessing but I need more assurances that there's a good plan in place for taking care of us. Help me make peace with this... shift my perspective... or shift my husbands. Ultimately this is about You.