Broken

2 Corinthians 4: 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

My husband has damaged his knee. He is hyperactive, and a superb athlete. But he didn’t injure it doing any of the fairly dangerous things he loves to do (rock climb, ski jumps). He injured it moving oh so slowly training our four year old on the ski slopes.

I have the privilege and the pain of watching God court some one He and I both love dearly. My husband grew up poor, so he relies more than he should on his bank accounts.

He grew up lonely, so he is fiercely independent.

He doesn’t trust people easily.

I am watching as our Father deals with him on these things. For several days, all he could do was weep and mope. I have been on the broken end of this courtship more than once and it is painful. I have been carefully ripped limb from limb, only to be put back together better than new. But the breaking part is awful. Everywhere I have had doubts, mistrust, self-reliance, laziness, pride or a host of other sins, I have been broken and sometimes to my shame more than once.

This is where my husband is right now.

Then he realized he could still coach T-ball, albeit on crutches. He can still play drums in the worship team. He can drive.  The list of “can” is much longer than the list of “can’t”.

And I have watched as a joy I recognize is stealing over him. He’s laughing. He expressed trust that God would walk us through our upcoming court case. He just looks stronger.

There are so many wonderful things about him, that I could never explain to a non-believer my mixed feelings at watching this occur. I know the necessity of the breaking process. Clay jars have to have cracks in them, so the light can shine out. I know the absolute need for pruning, breaking, refining, and what it feels like to be the lump of steel in the forge – between the hammer and the fire – turning into a polished lethal blade.

And so I’m watching my husband have the same experience. I hate it for him, on the one hand, but on the other, I know that he will be immeasurably better for the changes this will cause. WE will be immeasurably better.

And so I am waiting, using this as a wonderful opportunity to adore and serve a man who doesn’t usually sit still long enough for me to do much more than feed him.

Peter had to be broken, suffering anguish when he denied his friend and our Messiah three times, before he was bold enough to proclaim the Gospel and receive the Holy Spirit.

Paul had to be broken, starting with blindness but also with jail, injury and pain, so that he would have the inspiration and grace to write and share and preach as he did.

Jesus himself was broken, not by temptation in the desert as we sometimes are, but by nails and a cross, and sometimes we have to share in that broken, damaged, painful state to participate with Him in the life, the glory, the rising again.

 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

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Adventure Magnet

Yesterday was my last day at a job I have really loved.

Sure, I frequently wished to dispose of a few of my colleagues in an untidy fashion but it has taught me that I can in fact work quite productively with people I’d rather see as lawn ornaments.

I learned I can work side-by-side with handsome thirty-something chaps and realize my husband is the most adorable of all, which would never have happened in my twenties, or marriage number one.

I stretched my brain a  little and my patience a lot.

I learned how to negotiate from the master of negotiation. I think I taught him a little about being less obvious about it. I learned that it is okay to be tough and a girl at the same time. And I got things my way, a lot.

I learned that my transferable skills are not what I thought they were, they are better than that. I learned that most people can’t do what I can do. I learned that the more I respect what they can do, the more they will do with excellence.

It’s not okay to cry at work, so if you cry a lot, it is time to move.

And that is just what I have done. Monday starts a new adventure.

So today I agreed with the Handsome One that I would go skiing (history of some trauma and drama there). I am the lodge-sitter and snack-dispenser and I have chunks of time to read my Bible and talk to people.

Not today.

Today, Handsome, who is an expert ski bunny, fell over the little one and ripped the patootie out of his knee. Badly. Crying badly. Not his usual thing.

So we had a race-car ride to the little dinky mountain village hospital, then another one home to call Doctor friend, and another race to next big town to see orthopedist and another race to get the MRI. I’ve never seen an MRI.

Considering I just learned some new things about my gifts at the women’s retreat (the same one I did nto want to attend), I stayed right beside him and alternated between admiring the HUGE machine and laying on hands. It was awesome and could only have been more awesome if it had not been a family member in the MRI.

My children were uninjured. Blessing number 1.

My husband will be at home (albeit not in ideal circumstances) so my nanny’s hours aren’t a stress source my first week at work. Blessing number 2, although I’d rather have the knee intact.

All the doctors we needed to find were RIGHT there, even Dr. Friend, who never works on Wednesdays and amazingly was in the office on Wednesday and has an orthopedist right down the hall. Blessing number 3, a big one.

We got all the last appointments of the day. Blessing number 4.

Our friends could take our kids. Amazing Proverbs 31 friend FED them and entertained them and returned them here. BIG blessing number 5. What amazing friends we have.

Husband is sleeping under the influence of three Advil and an exhausting day, having fretted about everything he can’t do for the next couple of months. But he is Polish and I have learned Eastern Europeans do that, it is how they process. By Friday, he will be ready to talk about what he CAN do, not fixate on what he can’t. But for now he is sleeping.

I do not have to be up this late, but my mind is at rest. This is the most amazing of all. We were under attack for the court stuff this week, my husband has a major injury, my job situation is changing and I’m…resting. This is possibly the biggest blessing of all.

Selah. My times are in YOUR hands.