I have always thought the term "better half" was funny in relation to a spouse--especially since it is generally used towards the wife, not the husband. The term seems to indicate that one part of the couple is better than the other and, well, it is just comical.
Last week as the girls and I were heading to the city for girls day, Jordan informed me that the young man she likes had went to the Valentines Day dance at the middle school the previous night. I asked if he had a good time and she said she hadn't talked to him and that he hadn't text her in a couple of days. I teasingly asked her why he didn't invite her--knowing that he didn't because she is not allowed to attend school dances. I should have known better than to open that can of worms, but the top was popped and Jordan began to plead her case.
Jordan has wanted to attend school dances for the past couple of years, but I have remained firm in my stance against them. One of the perks of working with the youth is that they trust you and open up to you about many things--one of them being the goings on at middle school and high school dances--and it is not pretty. However, when you are fourteen years old, home schooled, and the boy you like gets to go to the dance....well......
Jordan began her persuasive speech by informing me that she had spoke to another home schooled girl who attends the middle school AND gets to go to the dances and SHE said the dances were really good and that NOTHING bad EVER happens there! Knowing that my response would cause Jo years of therapy for having the ONLY mom who doesn't allow her child to attend school dances--I carefully reiterated my reasons for being the meanest mom on the planet, but cheerfully told her she could look forward to going to the Jr./Sr. Proms. She was not very happy.
I have been a single parent for most of my parenting years and typically--I do not mind it. But, it is during times like these when I really miss having an earthly partner to back me up. Then, Jo's phone vibrated and she received a text message that reminded me that I am not alone in this.
Jo picked up her phone to read her message and said "Wow! That's weird! John just sent me a text message and we were just talking about him." I chuckled and agreed that it was strange and encouraged Jo to ask him how the dance was without her. His reply caught both of us off guard--"You don't wanna know!" I immediately thought he had went to the dance and met some girl and was getting ready to crush my daughters heart (clearly I still have some trust issues, but that is for another post) and I could tell Jo was slightly apprehensive in pressing the issue. Nevertheless, she did persist and John sent a text that said the police were called to the middle school dance due to fighting and drinking. While it didn't dawn on me right away, the realization suddenly came upon me--Jesus, my Husband and Partner, was stepping in to help parent His child. Jordan may have been able to argue with my decision based on hearsay, but when faced with the truth--she had to concede that the decision I had made was the right one.
As I pondered the unfolding of events that day something dawned on me--Jesus is my Better Half--literally. While most couples throw that phrase around jokingly, I speak those words with a heart that is both, humble and grateful. I love the incredible intimacy in which my Savior, my Husband, reveals Himself at just the right time--always when I am at the end of me.
This is a re-post from 2008, but it is just as true today as it was then....maybe even more so......
Since I have no 'earthly' husband, you would think that Valentines Day wouldn't mean much to me. You would be right.....most years. This year is different, though. I have a desire to celebrate this day of love. Well, who wouldn't when their husband is the King of Kings? So....I have decided to list all of the reason's my 'Heavenly' husband is better than an 'earthly' husband on Valentines Day (and every other day for that matter:)
1) My Conversation Hearts don't say dumb things like 'Will you be mine?'. They say things like "you are fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14)
2) Instead of a dozen roses, He has given me an entire planet filled with trees, flowers, and wonders. (Genesis 1:1)
3) I don't have to stand in the card section for an hour looking for the 'perfect card'. He hears the whisper of my heart (Luke 16:15)
4) In lieu of a box of chocolates, He has promised me treasure in Heaven. (Matthew 6:20)
5) He doesn't bring me a stuffed bear holding a heart that say's "I love you". Instead, He gives me living, breathing creatures to enjoy......(and not have to dust:). (Genesis 1:21)
6) I don't get diamonds, but He did place the stars in the sky for me. (Psalm 19:1)
7) He gave me my favorite perfume: the Aroma of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15)
8) We don't go out for a fancy, expensive dinner. Instead, He gives me daily bread to nourish my body and soul. (Luke 11:3)
9) He carries my burdens instead of giving me massages. (Psalm 68:19)
10) He loves me so much......He died for me. (Romans 5:8)
And, when I pick a daisy and pluck it's petals, I never have to say "He loves me not". I get to say over and over: He loves me, He loves me, He loves me, He loves me.................................
Thank you Jesus for being a faithful, loving, caring, devoted Husband. I love you!
It has always seemed funny to me how somebody can suddenly pop into your mind for seemingly no reason. Tonight, as I sat doing my Church History homework, that is exactly what happened. As a matter of fact, this particular girl has popped into my mind frequently for the past 26 years.
I remember the first time I saw her--I was in 9th grade and in my freshman year of high school. She was a senior and definitely one of the most popular girls. She was tall, blonde, slender, and beautiful. She had delicate features and yet, there was nothing very delicate about her. She was outgoing, bubbly, and appeared full of self confidence--you know--everything I wasn't. She was a stark contrast to me--the awkward 9th grader who felt like a duck out of water. This girl seemed to have everyone eating out of the palm of her hand.
It was Spirit Week in October of 1984 and the seniors called themselves the Senior Spirits. They wore white ghoulish costumes and ran through the school displaying all the spirit of a senior class enjoying their last year. Lisa was no exception. She happily displayed her 'Senior Pride' by participating in every activity and standing out as a definite leader. I remember watching her and being totally captivated by her presence.
Shortly after Spirit Week were class elections and it came as no surprise to me that she was running for Senior Class President. I don't know whether it was her nickname or what, but everybody was referring to her as "Toast". As a matter of fact, her entire campaign was centered around the word. I had no idea what it meant and frankly, I don't know if many people did, but it didn't seem to matter. "Toast" was plastered all over San Lorenzo High School and so was Lisa's face and name.
Then, one afternoon Lisa and I had a chance encounter and although I do not remember all of the details, what I do remember is the realization that Lisa was as beautiful inside as she was on the outside. As this captivating girl who 'ruled the school' crossed the path of an awkward freshman, she took a moment to flash a smile and say "Hi! I'm Lisa!". I smiled and introduced myself and couldn't imagine why she would even take the time to say hi to someone like me. But, I walked away feeling a little more special that day.
A couple of weeks later, in late November, there was a buzz around the school. Something wasn't right. The air was thick and the mood was somber. Nobody was talking loud, but people were definitely talking. As I walked through the halls some people were crying and others looked as though they were lost. Then I heard the news--Lisa Monzo was missing. She was last seen walking in the rain on the railroad tracks behind the school. She was on her way to work, but never made it. There was speculation around the school as to who had been with her last and suddenly everybody's lives were turned upside down. The school was filled with police officers as they questioned Lisa's friends and warned us to stay in groups and not to walk alone.
I couldn't believe it. How could this beautiful girl, so full of life, have just vanished? It's something you read about in the paper. It's something that happens at other schools to people you don't know and have never talked to. It definitely doesn't happen to girls like Lisa who, just a couple of weeks ago, took a moment out of her time to talk to someone that most people would have ignored.
Approximately four days later my mom woke me in the middle of the night to tell me that they had found Lisa's body--she had been raped, strangled, and left under some brush next to the railroad tracks. I remember gasping and saying "No!" and as I laid back down to go to sleep I felt my body begin to shake. It felt as though the wind had been knocked out of me and I knew sleep would not come that night. The day we met played over and over in my head like a broken record and I just could not believe that I would never see her smile again. However, with each passing year the wounds of that terrible loss for our school began to heal and by the time my class graduated in 1988--I seldom thought of her.
Over the past 26 years I have thought of Lisa often. I did not know her well--as a matter of fact, I did not know her at all and now, I can hardly recall her face that I once could not get out of my mind. But, what I will never forget is how she made me feel. Because of the way Lisa chose to live her life, she will forever be a part of mine. She left an imprint on my heart that the span of time can never erase.
I continue to grieve for her, but no longer as a young girl stunned by something so tragic and heinous, but as an adult woman with children her age. My heart breaks for the woman she was never able to become and for the dreams she was never able to fulfill. As I think back to her vibrant personality and the impact she had on those of us who went to school with her, I can't help but wonder what kind of impact she would have had on the world. Unfortunately, we will never know.
Tonight, as I did my homework and Lisa came to my mind, it dawned on me that I have never really shared this story. I have seldom spoken of her and on the rare occasion when I have told her story I have chosen not to share mine. Instead I have held it close to my heart--like a secret between lost friends. Somehow--tonight was different. I wasn't sure why, but for the first time I had a desire to share this part of my life. I am sure there are some who would say it is meant to bring closure to a painful part of my past, but I believe it is quite the contrary.
Even though Lisa has crossed my mind throughout the years I had almost forgotten about our encounter that day and the way she made me feel, but as I reflected on that day so many years ago God reminded me of something.....
People may forget what I look like or what I have said, but they will never forget how I make them feel--and I need to be careful about the imprints I'm leaving on the hearts of others.
Thank You, Lord for bringing Lisa to my mind tonight and thank You for that brief encounter so long ago. I pray she is with You Lord and that someday we are standing next to each other as we stand around Your throne praising You. I also thank You for using her to remind me of the impact I can have on someone's life--no matter how brief or long my time with them is. Help me to make others feel the way Lisa made me feel that day--special and important. I love You, Lord and I am constantly in awe of how You choose to teach me lessons. In Jesus' name...Amen!