Today is my hubby’s birthday and since he has everything he wants gadget-wise and since I rocked his Christmas present this year, I’m giving him a gift of a piece of my heart today.
This guy’s story is too special to not share. He’s my greatest gift of this life besides my salvation and our children.
His entering my life changed its course away from my wants to the life I was created to live. I love this man with everything I have and I hope you’ll enjoy a glimpse at how a rough hewn third baseman quietly exemplifies the impression a godly man leaves on the world.
Struggle Leads to Foundation
A couple of years ago, my marriage hit a hard place. I was struggling through a lot of pregnancy hormones (two pregnancies back to back will do that to you), a really clingy baby, the move of some very good friends and a lot of life.
Struggle has been a constant in my life more than it hasn’t.
A friend of mine posted this scripture to social media yesterday:
“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. (I Peter 5:10)
I think this is one of the best ways to describe struggle. It’s a suffering for a little while followed by strength and restoration. I think it often shortens when we seek the kindness instead of the struggle. But I’m stubborn. I fall into struggle and hang out there before I let go and seek restoration and support.
When I first wrote about why I needed to marry a third baseman, I was in one of those stubborn struggles. I was striving. Trying too hard to do things my way. Getting in my own way.
But God knew I needed a firm foundation. He gave me that in a Savior. I can always get back to that cross and find restoration. But he also gifted me a firm foundation in my marriage. The guy I love the most in this world was a gift to me.
Crossing Third Base
I actually asked God to give me him or to let me give up and be alone. I was a very bookish girl of 20 years old when I was going through my toughest struggle – loneliness. I can be lonely among people. Loneliness amongst people is probably the chief reason for my struggle.
I’m a pretty deep thinker and often don’t find a fit among the multitude. I do better with a few inner circlers. And this July I speak of was a time when my inner circle was almost non-existent.
It was my first summer away from home. I’d broken up with a long-term boyfriend a few months back. I was in a place of complete freedom and complete loneliness. It was exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time.
I felt like I was at a crossroads of life and now that I look back, I really was. The decisions I made that summer set the course for my life. I was crossing third base about to hit a home run for my future.
I’d gotten an unpaid internship offer from a foundation in Washington D.C. for the following spring semester, and I had to figure out how to pay for it. I’d also gotten an internship offer in Little Rock at a magazine for the same semester.
I had a terrible car. I had a full scholarship to a great university. I had an apartment that I couldn’t really afford. I had a tan and was running again for the first time in 10 years.
But everywhere I went seeking a resolution to my travel and stipend problem, I kept hitting a brick wall. I wanted to be a political reporter making no money, but writing about the issues that meant something.
I had been asked to represent my school that previous fall at the Society of Professional Journalists conference in Ohio (this conference cost me a B in Spanish, but asÍ es la vida). I sat in on a panel about political reporting and I said, “That’s what I want to do with my life.”
I was also good at research and loved my public policy coursework. I had the interest, the skill, the clips, the recommendations, the tenacity, but I didn’t have the money to go to D.C. or even Little Rock. 🙁
And I didn’t have a boyfriend. I had freedom to do something all about me and something big.
But this guy I’d once loved came back into my life for a few minutes. I realized that I wanted long-lasting love too. And I almost took a step back into the past.
But remember that vague prayer, “God, please give me a man worthy of my time and love, or let me be alone?”
Yeah, so the answer to that prayer came out of nowhere on a Saturday night of college girl antics.
I’ve told the story about how Warren and I met before on this blog. I won’t rehash it again, but it’s a funny story and worth a look if you haven’t ever read it.
My Third Baseman Today
In the two years since I sought God’s intervention in my heart’s strongholds and wrote the letter brought a new intimacy to my marriage, this boy I’ve loved for 15 years has really become a man.
Here’s a little update on what I’ve noticed most.
He’s still an adventurer.
When many of our close friends left the area we were living in, he suggests a new adventure. He moved us back to our favorite place on the planet, the city where we fell in love.
It’s been fun year. It’s different living in the place you went to college 10 years later. Life looks different, but it’s fun to drive by the places you lived and walked.
He’s become a mighty man of faith.
Warren has always had a strong faith, but I’m seeing it in the tiny daily details. I’m seeing the confidence that believing and living the gospel brings to a man live out in him. When I fall into the sin of insecurity and let my faith get tested, Warren points me back to the promise that God is going to take care of us.
I went looking for a specific example in Romans of faith being confidence and didn’t find what I was looking for. Instead, I found something better. In Romans 4:16-25, Paul discusses Abraham’s unlikely fathering of the nation of Israel. I loved this phrase “Abraham in hope believed.” (v. 18)
In this same passage, Paul writes, “[Abraham] He did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (v. 20-21)
Warren is faithful and trustworthy. Even though it irks me to the nth degree at times, when Warren gives you his word, he’s faithful to follow through. Sometimes that gets under my skin because I often feel like I’m being looked over.
But that’s my selfishness getting in the way of his servant heart. He takes care of people and takes care of us. He works tirelessly to give us a life without worry and gives the glory to God for providing everything we need and more.
Even when things look bleak and dim, Warren sees these promises as the end game. He knows God is going to stand by us, behind us, for us and sometimes in our way – for our own good.
He’s found his passion.
For the first few years of our marriage, I worried about Warren and his long-term passion. I didn’t see a passion for anything serious in his eyes. He always worked hard.
But he’s the kind of person who needs to build a business and a life from the bricks of conversation. He’s a salesman, but he’s got to be an expert in order to do it well.
He got involved in a business venture that just didn’t suit him and I worried about him.
I also worried about us and started praying those big prayers again. I asked God to give him a passion and a purpose. And you should see him every day.
He works because he loves it. He loves connecting with people and helping them solve problems. He spends three days a week just working and while I worry about the long hours he puts in, he finds it exhilarating.
He has no regrets. He uses the past to guide his future.
Warren is gifted in his delivery of questions. He’s even said that’s one thing he learned in the business we did not love. He learned how to ask questions and to help people find graceful ways to handle sticky situations.
I’ve seen it time and again in his work. He’ll get into a situation with a client and I’ll start twirling my hair because the awkwardness of talking money and hard stuff makes me want to squirm. I think he wants to squirm too, but he pushes that away and looks for the solution that helps everyone involved. And typically, the problem is resolved with grace and usually a referral or a positive outcome.
And almost weekly, Warren shares a story of how he shares his faith through careful conversation and thoughtful questions. I love that so much. It makes me proud to be his wife.
I am proud to be this man’s wife. Even though there are days I wonder what it would’ve been like to be a reporter in the big city, I can’t dwell there. I wouldn’t trade being the help meet and mother to this man’s children for anything.
Y’all help me in wishing my third baseman the happiest of birthdays.