By Contributing Writer, Jennifer Ross
It was our anniversary, and I was about to receive the only thing I really wanted.
Six days prior, our daughter had been air lifted to Children’s Hospital three hours away from our home. Her runny nose had quickly turned into pneumonia, and she was suddenly very ill. The stress of a sick child and a segregated family is like no other trial a family can go through.
But that day came, our anniversary, and my husband called and said “we’re coming home!”
The LORD had healed our daughter, and in His graciousness, was sending her and my husband back to us! I am still *incredibly* grateful. It was late evening when they arrived home, and our reunion was sweet. The next morning we received a phone call.
We hadn’t been up even an hour yet when one of my husband’s employees called and asked if we had gone to the job site last night. The job site? After a week in the hospital with our daughter, I wondered why he would think my husband had driven another hour past our home to visit the job site?
“Well…” he said “I was hoping he had come and gotten the tools.” My mind filled with confusion. No, of course he hadn’t. Not knowing what to say I responded with; “Why would he do that? He and Jenna just got home from the hospital.”
“I know,” He said. “And everything is gone.”
“Gone?” Yes, a week of anguish that ended on our anniversary – then a blessed night that ended in despair. My husband had been building a custom home, and all that he had was stolen. Everything. All the way down to the last hammer and extension cord. Everything. The business he’d spent the last 10 years building was gone in an instant.
It was the first of many trials that would continue throughout the next six months. I know that we are called to “count it all joy… when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2), but just between you and me, this experience was anything but joyful!
The days passed and more trials came. Suddenly out of business, my husband was forced into another line of work. I would remind him daily that “blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial” (James 1:12), and that “God works all things together for good…” (Romans 8:28).
The Role of the Wife
He was the one being tried, and I was his pillar of strength. The role of “help meet” had never been so real for me. I encouraged him, prayed for him, reassured him, and gave him Bible verses that I hoped would bring him comfort. It was a difficult time, not in our marriage, but life in general.
What we learned is that sometimes the LORD uses drastic measures to grow us and guide us into what He needs us to be. He had something new for my husband and for our family; and as He molded my husband, He molded and shaped me to be a better help meet.
He changed our lives completely. He put us through a refining process and led (read: forced) us down a different path, a narrow path, that we would never have chosen on our own. Looking back years later, we are fully thankful for that process as well as the outcome. The LORD is indeed good, and we can truly “rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5