The process of Deputation (also known as fundraising) is an awesome time. We use this time to confirm God’s calling to us regarding our ministry with MAF in Africa. God uses this time to show us who He is and to grow our faith in preparation for the time when faith is the only way we will thrive. As a married couple, this season in our lives has a way of forcing us to refine and sharpen our relationship. On a personal level, we are put us in situations where we learn about ourselves (good, bad or indifferent).This morning, nearly all of the above happened.
It seemed that nothing was going right: we could not find our zip drive with our presentation videos on them, the printer would not print our presentation notes, and Tasha was "hogging" the bathroom! We had to get food in the crock pot for a lunch appointment, feed the dogs, and at some point eat breakfast.
The presentation was in less than 30 minutes and neither of us were dressed. As I was ironing my shirt, I began to grumble about how late we were going to be (being early IS one of the fruits of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22, see for yourself). As I began to brush my teeth, I began to growl. Literally. Then I noticed Tasha was tweaking the PowerPoint presentation, trying to get it just perfect. The growling then grew to a bark that sounded like this: "Tasha! We have to leave in 3 minutes and 35, no 34 seconds, we don’t have our notes printed, we don’t have the car packed, we still need to run by the store and grab a table cloth for the display and your hair isn’t even dried!"
My wife calmly responded almost in a whisper "WE are not going until you calm down and get your head on straight".
To which I responded "What?!? Don’t talk to me like a 5 year old; sometimes I wonder if you try to make us late on purpose just to aggravate me!"
Tasha replied with tears.
The instant I said it, I knew I was grossly out of line. Tasha was completely, totally right. As a husband, my first duty is to Glorify the one who called us (heart, soul, mind and strength) and my second duty is to treat my wife as a sister in Christ, as the companion God has entrusted to me. My actions did none of those.
After apologizing and rebuking myself, Tasha said she didn't need to dry her hair (which by now was mostly dry anyway.... and the power bun looks great on her) and we didn't need to get a tablecloth. As we drove to the church, we prayed together. We walked in 15 minutes later than I wanted to, but the world didn't end, class hadn't started and we had a warm welcome. The moment we walked in I saw some ladies spreading none other than a tablecloth on the very table we were to set our display on. Tasha looked at me, and her look didn't say "I told you so". With all the patience and grace in the world, her look said "God is good, and what a sense of humor He has."
We set up our display and greeted a few folks, and sat down for class. We picked up our Bibles and mine fell open to the passage in 1 Peter, Chapter 3. You know, the verse that talks about how wives should live with purity and reverence and an unfading beauty from the inside which is gentle and quiet so they can win over their unbelieving husband, and how husbands should be considerate as we live with our wives and treat them as the heirs of the same gracious gift of salvation we received.
I am truly grateful for my wife. I would not be who I am without her. I would not be where I am, following a lifelong dream of being a missionary pilot, without her. Several people have asked if she feels the same calling that I do. When work gets busy, and I get too distracted to do our Bible work, she pushes me through. When I got discouraged with the stress of the MAF application and interview process, she encouraged me to fly how I know to, and let God do the rest. When I act like a complete pig, she pulls me back into reality. When we stand together and smile during our presentation, it is because of her that our joy as a family, as a missionary couple, is not an act, but sincere excitement about the journey God is leading us on.