There have been several things that I have read and seen recently that have caused me to reflect on the importance having people you can count on. In the world that we live in today, we have lots of technology that is able to simultaneously connect us to more people in many ways, yet which leaves most of those connections still remarkably tenuous in nature. That is OK for some things in its own way.
Recently, I have been having a little fun with the Blog Madness competition over at SBC Voices. So far, I have garnered 19 votes as of the typing of this sentence. This is despite the fact that I have posted links asking people to vote on this blog and on facebook several times, however I have 375 facebook friends according to the count on my profile and numerous blog views over any given day. This means that most of those who potentially see the messages have chosen not to do anything about it. It is a trivial matter and they don’t “have my back” on this one. It doesn’t bother me either.
You may be saying, “if it doesn’t bother you, why bring it up at all?” That is a valid question and I am glad you asked.
Even though this contest is certainly trivial in the scope of things, this caused me to appreciate something that I don’t take the time to express often enough, which is the support I do have from those who truly know me and love me anyway.
At the top of that list is my wife, Amelia. She has been a steady and faithful presence in my life for over 16 years now and we will mark our 15th wedding anniversary with much joy in May. My wife has been in my corner through thick and thin, which is how it is supposed to be in all marriages to be sure; but in modern society, this is a rare and wonderful gift I have been given from God. I may have never told the story online before, but it brings tears to my eyes most every time I retell it in person.
When we were in Rapid City before our move in 2003, we went before the church that was voting on whether or not to call us to serve in ministry and were asked many questions. At that time, I was thrilled to relate the story of how God had called us to the Dakotas and the series of events that had confirmed that call right up to that present time in the summer of 2003. Looking back through the archives it seems that story never has been told on my blogs, I think I put it together for a newsletter years ago, but that will have to wait for another time. Suffice it to say, that when I had finished this somewhat long and involved story about God’s work in our lives to move us to uproot the family and relocate to minister in South Dakota everyone was speechless. Well, almost everyone anyway as the next question was directed to my wife. Someone asked her, “how did God call you to come to South Dakota?” Imagine my surprise, and there may have been a gasp or two, when the first words she spoke were, “God didn’t call me to South Dakota.”
I think my heart may have skipped a beat at that moment. I could see the look of surprise on the face of the person who asked the question and the uncertainty on the faces of all those others who had not five seconds before been in awe and near tears at the amazing things God had done to let me know we were destined to be in South Dakota as soon as they voted yes for us to come. It was the words that followed that moment of shock that will forever stay with me; and I honestly pray that if you are a husband, you will one day know this same joy if you don’t already.
My wife said, “God didn’t call me to South Dakota, He called me to be with him (me, Jeff); and wherever God calls Him to go is where He has called me to go! I know that He has called my husband to be here and I am going where he goes.”
Even when I write that out now, there is a moment that is too heavy to take it in. These aren’t just words. My wife has lived this sentiment and statement every day now for almost as long as we have known one another. We fell madly in love very quickly and even through an engagement that was far too drawn out for my tastes and hers, we have persevered in all things together. That means far more to me than votes in a contest or friends on a facebook. There is no one on this earth that has my back more than my wife, and that means the world to me. God has blessed me beyond measure.
So, I am not worried about the outcome of an online competition. Although I am not above making one last plea here at the blog for your vote, if you haven’t already done so (just vote for me only in the West regional :)). I just wanted to take the opportunity to share my feelings heart to heart and electron to electron.
If we are friends here in the world of ones and zeros and don’t know each other face to face in flesh and blood, it is my prayer that if we never manage to meet this side of heaven; I will meet you on that beautiful shore. God bless and shalom to you all. And know this, if no one on earth has got your back, God will always have it. He knows the hairs on your head and He knows everything about you and He loves you anyway. That is the greatest blessing of all.