Marriage Matters.TV: Our 4 Deepest Needs
Marriage Matters.TV: Our 4 Deepest Needs
Can a Day be About Just One Thing? A Combat Veteran’s View
As a Christian, I regularly attend worship services. During one such time of worship on a Sunday morning in November, the pastor decided to recognize the fact that each eleventh day of that particular month is also a day that our nation sets aside to recognize and offer gratitude to our veterans.
Legacy of Service
I should also inform you, dear reader, that I am a veteran. Among the living in my family I can also state that my father, my sister and her husband my brother-in-law, even my father-in-law can claim that same title.
I actually have a long heritage of service in my family tree going all the way back to the American Revolution and can name the battles and wars and conflicts in which my non-living ancestors served. For myself, I have served in two wars and spent nearly 8 years of my life in combat zones.
So, there it is. A veteran who came from veterans who married the daughter of a veteran in a worship service in early November. Naturally, I am in that number.
If I am completely honest, whenever I am recognized for my service, it is always meaningful. Truthfully, most times recognition offered by civilians is actually unwelcomed for a number of reasons.
First, at heart I am a humble man, and ironically a very private man, and accepting accolades for my military service can feel prideful to me.
Secondly, and purely intellectually, I also know that these same people will praise a goal, a home run, a hole in one, or a well-timed pass for yardage with equal or even greater zeal. So it often feels hollow, and even a bit insincere, when offered because I understand that they have little genuine understanding of what military service truly means.
To carry on even further in this vein of naked honesty, I think I often stoically endure recognition only for my children’s sake. They can look up to those years of service, those military accomplishments spelled out in the arcane hieroglyphics of medals, ribbons, badges, rank, and service stripes on my uniform and they can count the wars I survived just like counting the scars on my skin.
They can see the brutal and violent past that I endured and, indeed, often carry with me even still today, and they can know that they have no need to ever feel ashamed of their heritage.
So I make myself muster a tight lipped smile that somehow still doesn’t reach my eyes while seeking out any nearby fellow veterans with whom I can share a knowing single nod. We share that look and that nod and we recognize each other privately, silently, and our eyes meet, and that says more about my heart than any red carpet or standing ovation ever could.
On this particular Sunday in November, as has become the custom, all of the veterans present were asked to stand and be recognized. Along with my fellow veterans in the room, I did as I was asked.
We were each handed some gift, some token, some tchotchke, by the ushers which I have to say was so unremarkable that I will cease to remark upon it right now. Suddenly, and very loudly, a video played to the tune of “Letters from the War” by Mark Schultz and, since I’m already being brutally honest, I found it trite.
I stood there in my sock feet and tried to ignore the fact that my leg ached from standing. Just to minimize the pain, I had kicked off my shoes the moment I sat in the pew as I very often did.
I tried to ignore the eyes upon me as I stood there in pain pretending the entire time that I wasn’t in pain. I tried to ignore the music blaring throughout the narthex. I tried not to mock the effort in the corners of my mind while the lyrics tried their very best to jerk at least a few tears from members of the congregation.
I counted my breaths and waited for it all to be done and over so we could get back to the business of worship. The veteran’s day box is checked, now let’s all turn to the book of John.
Brethren In Arms
Then I started to notice something. There were an awful lot of men standing. Young and old, single and married, of every race, they stood with the same looks of discomfort and embarrassment as I surely wore. And I realized that for the first time in a very long time, I was in a church on a military installation.
These men were my brothers in arms. There were veterans here who had poured out sweat and blood under the same middle eastern sun as I. There were veterans here who had served in the jungles of Vietnam.
There were veterans here who had welcomed in the new year on the frozen Chosen somewhere south of the thirty-eighth parallel. And God Bless them, there were even a few who had battled the Axis powers in the Pacific or in Europe.
In that moment, I was no longer feeling like the “veteran” title was a little understood word. This was not a congregation intent on just checking a box on a very long to-do list. I wasn’t standing there like some misunderstood freak of nature at a carnival sideshow.
At the conclusion of this worship service, no stranger would corner me and solicit my opinion of this or that current military operation with the sole intent of lecturing me at length about just what his or her grossly ignorant opinion about it was. After all, they get the most current and accurate information from the oh-so trusted journalists at CNN, do they not?
No. In that moment, I was standing beside my brothers in arms. I was surrounded by family. I found myself silently nodding a nod of recognition whenever my eyes met the eyes of one of my comrades. I nodded a lot.
Christ said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 (KJV).
No Greater Love
I was standing not in a church, but in formation, in perfect unison with men who loved me, and would literally kill for me, or literally lay down their lives trying. And I would do the same for any one of them. In that moment, it struck me just how Christlike that attitude of service is, and how honored I was to be numbered among those brave men.
The video ended. The church grew very suddenly quiet. The pastor, a chaplain and also a veteran, spoke very briefly into the silence, speaking about his own military service, men and women he had served alongside, things he had seen and done. His words infused additional meaning into the feeling that I experienced.
My brother in the pulpit knew and understood, and his tight-lipped smile spoke every word for him that he would never utter, and he nodded as he met our eyes, and we all nodded back.
As I took my pew I considered that if every veteran could experience this feeling, this kind of recognition, this kind of veterans’ day service, that it would do a great deal of good.
I thought about how I could perhaps volunteer or facilitate it in other congregations. I thought about the significance of our nation setting aside a single day and declaring it a Federal Holiday for the sole and pure purpose of honoring veterans.
The purity of that intent reached me not for the first time, but certainly that day in the most significant way. I briefly wondered if the men who had just been standing felt as I did. I wondered if they felt valued, cherished, recognized, and honored as I felt.
Then it all went bad.
The next words spoken from the pulpit, and I should note they were not spoken by the chaplain, were, “Let’s also remember all of our military spouses out there. We all know what they had to go through. Today is about them, too.”
My immediate and obviously acerbic question to the speaker may have been something coldly logical like, “What about the veterans who have no spouse? Can today just purely be about them or should they get married right quick? Do you only want to dilute today’s meaning from the married veterans or should girlfriends and boyfriends count, too?”
I should point out, before I write anything more, that I love my wife, Hallee Bridgeman, and I am unspeakably proud of each and every one of my wife’s accomplishments. I hope and pray that this truth is self-evident to anyone who meets us.
What She Is
My wife and I actually married practically on the eve of my first deployment to Afghanistan way back in 2002. We didn’t even live in the same time zone until after we had been married for more than a year. She is a war bride. She has endured many lonesome years without me right there by her side.
At no small sacrifice and rather great personal risk, she has given me fine strong arrows in my quiver in the form of children, all of whom are the very blood in my veins. She is the most amazing and natural cook I have ever met. Her creativity with any dish surpasses my understanding or explanation.
And as you probably know, she has written many books, all best sellers, each of which are a testimony of her deep and abiding faith.
I love her with a visible passion. I provide for her at great sacrifice. And I will protect her with every cell and fiber of my body. Say whatever you want about me. I’ll probably laugh and maybe even agree with you. Say something about my wife, son, and I will do my very best to put you on the floor. I will defend that woman with my very life. That is how important she is to me.
What She Is Not
She is all those things and more. What is not is this. She is not a veteran.
It is true that she is a spouse to a veteran and even the daughter of one and the daughter-in-law of one. It is true that every night I spent apart from her, she spent apart from me.
It is true that she has witnessed the bad dreams that sometimes come or dealt with the irritability I rarely display after a completely sleepless night. It is true that my silence about certain topics that took place in combat zones frustrates her.
It is true that she knows every ache and pain that resulted from years of service. But she has never been in combat.
She And Me
She never saw any of the things I saw. She never smelled the terrible smells that one never has to have smelled before in life to instinctively recognize what caused them. She never executed the lawful orders of those appointed over her that proximately or ultimately resulted in human lives lost or taken.
Her eyes have never looked into the helpless eyes of entire towns of little children who are hurting because they are on the wrong side of an equation that makes up the brutal politics of warfare.
She has never known in her soul that there is nothing anyone can do to ease that hurt and she has never had to reconcile her own part in that equation.
She never laughed and worked and sweated and bled and stood shoulder to shoulder beside the once living man whose ashes we later scattered while his parents, brothers, sisters, young widow, and very young children stood stoically watching and maybe wondering just how much of those ashes were really once their son, brother, husband, father.
She never has bad dreams about any of that. She never spends a sleepless night keeping any of those memories at bay. She doesn’t have any of those memories.They are absent in her because she isn’t a veteran.
Every night she slept alone in our spacious warm bed built for two in our climate controlled home under the security of our well-made roof, I slept on the bare ground under a poncho liner, or on a cot which was either too short or not wide enough, or in a hammock above the dirt floor of a GP Medium tent, or in a “barracks” circus tent alongside a few hundred smelly, sweaty, annoyed men, or sitting upright in a MAC terminal or onboard a helicopter or high powered aircraft whenever I felt safe enough to let my guard down and close my eyes.
No matter where I never really slept beyond the surface sleep of instant wakefulness. No matter where, it was nearly always in the most inhospitable of conditions.
While I ate “meals” that literally could pass for pig slop, usually liberally laced with sand and purposefully without flavors, she ate fresh fruit, vegetables, and lean meats all seasoned and prepared by the most amazing cook I have ever met in my life.
While she could plan a picnic to watch fireworks on Independence Day, I could prepare myself every single day to hunker down in a damp bunker while we were being rocketed or return fire if we were ambushed or rush to the med-shed because they needed a pint of my oh-so-precious O-negative blood.
While she could work out carpools to music lessons or little league practice, I could avoid what might or might not be an improvised explosive device that could take me and everyone with me right out of this world.
I say none of this in a prideful way. My wife gets it. She respects it.
And she does NOT want veterans’ day to be about her. Or any other spouse. Or anyone at all who is not actually a veteran. At all.
In fact, she wants it to be about her veterans. Her husband. Her father. Her father-in-law. Her sister-in-law. To name just a few.
Besides every single day of my life on earth, there is actually a day set aside when I can formally express my gratitude and give thanks to my spouse for the sacrifices she made. That day also happens to be in November. It just isn’t on Veterans’ Day.
What is this compulsion, in our modern culture here in these United States, to dumb absolutely everything down? What is this irrepressible need we seem to have to dilute the power of a single pure idea and pollute it with so many irrelevant impurities?
Why is this acceptable to us as Christians or as a society at large?
Why can’t a single day just be about just one single thing? Why can’t it be purely, intentionally, and solely about just that one thing?
As a living veteran, why in the world would anyone – anyone – think it is even tangentially appropriate to “thank me for my service” on Memorial Day? Oh? Really? Thanks for not dying I guess?
See, there are men I served alongside who didn’t come home alive to their loved ones. Memorial Day is about THEM and not even one jot or tittle about anyone or anything else.
Why not let Memorial Day be entirely about Memorial Day? Why not actually memorialize our honored dead on that day we set aside to do so?
And in case you haven’t guessed already, yes, there is a larger point.
God Is Supreme
I am a Christian. Because that declaration means different things to different people, I will clarify by saying that I believe that there is just one God, Jehovah, and I believe that He condescended to communicate His will to mankind in the form of prophecy and scripture we know today as the Holy Bible.
I believe that the Bible is perfect, inerrant, God-breathed truth from cover to cover. I even believe the cover. I believe that in the beginning man sinned against God and the consequence of that sin is death.
I believe that about 2000 years ago, the Messiah arrived in the form of Yeshua, called Christ Jesus of Nazareth, and that he redeemed us from our sin. I believe that through him and him alone we are saved from an eternity of darkness. I believe these things purely and completely.
While I love my fellow man and respect every well-considered opinion, I do not respect the gross fallacies of secular humanism or this culture’s evangelism of so-called “enlightened” atheism.
I do not assume that life, the universe, and everything just randomly “happened” as a result of pure chance because the overwhelming evidence supports the fact that life, the universe, and everything was intentionally and intelligently designed (i.e.: created) for a purpose.
So here is the larger point.
The One Thing
After weeks of prayerful meditation, I believe that the Holy Spirit spoke to me on that November Sunday and allowed me to feel the things I felt to come to a conclusion in order to make this exact point. Why can’t we content ourselves with letting one single day just be purely about just one single thing?
I think the answer is more than just that it isn’t cool. I truly believe that Satan has convinced us that all things are relative, including the things that happen in the sacred holy spaces of our places of worship.
Focusing all of our energy on just one thing is somehow uncool and unpopular and nothing we can take pride in, right?
Christmas can’t be purely about Christmas anymore. From that very same pulpit on Christmas Eve, when our church bulletins arrived late during our service, a congregation member (not by any pastor I feel I must clarify) announced that we should thank “Santa and his elves” that the bulletins arrived at all.
There are churches today that host “Holiday” parties during which someone pretending to be Santa Claus hands out presents to children. Because there just isn’t enough Santa Claus outside of the church walls, I guess.
I suppose they have their reasons why they would rather put an entirely fictional character on center stage than to commemorate and venerate the birth of Christ the Messiah, that occasion when our creator God condescended to enter into His creation and gift us, generations of undeserving sinners, with his only begotten son, the lamb of God, the lion of Judah, our savior and Lord.
Likewise, resurrection Sunday can’t be purely about the resurrected Christ.
There are congregations who hide Easter Eggs all over the church grounds and have someone dressed as the Easter Bunny hand baskets of chocolate coated rabbits to children.
I suppose they would rather have an entirely fictional character with unquestionably pagan roots take center stage than focus on the actual gospel truth message that Christ the Messiah returned from death itself and by the shedding of his blood gave all of humanity the gift of eternal life.
Who am I but one sinful man? I sinfully and pridefully took offense when I, as a veteran, could not enjoy the very secular holiday of Veterans’ Day and let that one day just be purely and solely about veterans?
How many times have I repented God’s heart when I cannot focus solely and purely on the truth? Every time I dilute and pollute the truth of God’s word with secular nonsense, am I offending my Lord?
Am I simply helpless to collude in the spreading of the lie that there is some fictional character waiting to shower children with gifts and candy instead of celebrating the truth of the living son of God?
Christ is the only pure and single and exclusive way to the Father, the only way to eternal life, so how does this please the creator of the universe when I pollute the Father’s house with impure, diluted, polluted secular commercialized messages? Have I exchanged the truth of God’s law for commercialism?
If Christ were to walk into my congregation today, would he dress up like Santa Claus or hop in with a basket of sugary sweets do you suppose?
Would he even recognize our worship as worship? If he did, would he make a whip from cords and metaphorically overturn our highly commercialized practices of worship?
Or can we find it within ourselves to make worship of Christ the lord be purely and specifically about just one thing – Christ himself?
American Military Veteran
My wife shared an article about divorce with me written by Lysa Terkeurst, the founder of Proverbs 31 Ministry.
We’re both big fans and followers of her site and social media platforms which reach about 40 million people. It empowers women and family, and is a wonderful resource for all.
I’d say that prior to Lysa’s June 13, 2017 article, Rejection, Heartache, and a Faithful God, she, her life and marriage were the standards by which millions of people measured their own. She was a light on the hill for what a true, bible-based marriage, Christian wife, and ministry could look like.
On June 13th she bravely shared she was divorcing her husband of almost 25 years. She remains that shining light on the hill, and even more so in her brokenness and faithful humanity.
My wife was crushed, as were millions of other wonderful women around the globe. I’ve been reading comments in posts and articles all week about their responses to the news. I’d estimate about 99% of all respondents were very supportive offering prayer and support.
If I were to paint a collective portrait of the sentiments, it would reflect most women expressing fear of losing their own spouses and telling how they hurried to their husbands and hugged them or assured them of their love and adoration for their marriage.
These women cherish their marriages, and instead of spreading hurtful gossip about Lysa’s divorce, they flipped the positive opportunity to assess their own relationships in physical and visceral responses.
I learned so much from my own wife sharing her heart about this matter in Lysa TerKeurst: The Female Response. In my wife’s response, she began a private group for women struggling with affair recovery as a way to support and love her sisters. She encourages you to connect if you’re so inclined.
While heavily under-represented in comments on her’s or any other social media forum, I’d intuitively say not many men rushed to their wives to embrace them over fear of ending up like Lysa and Art.
It’s not that men wouldn’t feel empathy for the Terkeurst divorce, or that men don’t cherish their spouses, but the male condition has become conditioned to the reality of marital failure.
Men aren’t as surprised when the other proverbial shoe does fall. Maybe it’s the hardened shell we build around our hearts as a distorted sort of protective barrier, or we’re culturally encoded to suppress emotions while wrapping our minds around rational next steps in a never-ending session of “what-if” bad things happen.
The reality is that we as men have failed in the business of marriage. A January 2017 study claimed between 50 and 60% of all husbands have engaged in extramarital affairs at some point in their marriage.
While difficult to determine data related to infidelity being the actual cause of divorce, studies show 37% (either spouse) occur as a result of cheating.
I’d add that while the legal justification for divorce is usually listed as no-fault or irreconcilable differences as a means to get the marriage dissolved as quick as possible, data suggests infidelity is involved at a substantially higher rate than reported.
In most states, infidelity is difficult to prove. Many factors prevent either spouse from launching that allegation for reasons ranging from embarrassment to legal settlement.
Despite the data, collectively, men have not equally carried marriage’s yoke. The principle of pursuing marital purity isn’t openly accepted or discussed in masculine circles.
Men look at a guy like Art and hope they either don’t get busted in whatever they’re engaged in, or wonder how they’d carry on if their marriages ever fell apart.
Unfortunately, we don’t mentor men to be husbands.
We say “I do,” and then do. But do what? That’s where we drop the ball. Unless we’ve had a strong God-centered teaching on the reality of Adam’s Genesis 2:24 experience of merging two into one, then chances are, men mistake the verse as combining two resources such as bank accounts or furniture into one.
Without mentors, we do as we see. What men have seen over the last decades are their parents divorcing, fathers abandoning the family by either choice or heavily-burdened custodial requirements, temporary live-in love interests helping raise the kids, and Herculean single-parent efforts to maintain a sense of balance.
These dynamics also create injury for the kids, and where the male child is physically, emotionally or spiritually wounded by their dad, the pain often manifest itself into efforts to medicate it as an adult through alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography or suicide.
Lysa shared that Art’s continued substance abuse and infidelity were the major factors leading her to divorce him. While saddened at Lysa’s news, I wasn’t shocked. Cheating runs rampant, and despite the “easy way out alibi” that men just want more sex, there are actual reasons why men act out sexually.
I’ve even begun a men’s outreach to encourage brothers to stand the gap for the kingdom and their family at Brick Breakers
It’s the failure to identify and address the cause that chains men to the bowels of hell through sexual bondage. Sneaky secrets or salacious lies are the devil’s tactics for trapping men and destroying families.
I’ve written on male infidelity in Why Men Cheat, and Men, Stop Cheating. Both may be worth your time to explore, and reference if you find yourself in similar scenarios. There’s also a confidential survey assessment in Why Men Cheat you can take to determine your risk of sex addiction.
What shocked most were that they appeared to have centered their marriage on Christ first. So how could this happen to people who love God and serve Him? How could God allow that to happen? Lysa’s such a shining example of a strong Christian woman, why would God do this to her, doesn’t He love her anymore.
The above are comments from articles about the news. The reality is, bad things happen to good people. Another truth is that good people do bad things.
While I don’t know either Lysa or her husband Art personally, these truths are universal. God allows His children free will. Otherwise we’d roam the earth like the rest of the beasts of the field chewing cud and mindlessly responding to exterior stimuli.
God did not punish Lysa, and He certainly still loves her very much. We are free to choose our own paths. It’s God’s desire that we come to Him to enjoy a deep, loving relationship. Unfortunately in Art’s case, and many spouses, their desire leads somewhere between a high and an illicit sexual encounter.
Just because Lysa became yet another victim to the ravages of satan’s war waged against marriage doesn’t make her any less of an example. In time and through God’s grace, this will allow her an even greater compassion for people, faith and now recovery from divorce.
In The Beginning
This began long before Lysa and Art.
God loves marriage. He created it to mirror the relationship He wants to have with us. The creation of man and then the gift of man’s helper, woman, was in fact the first marriage in the history of the world. It’s why Adams said:
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife;
and they shall become one flesh.”
Neither Adam nor Eve had ever sinned. They lacked the capacity to understand the concept or question the consequences of going against the will of God. Yet, because of the gift of free will, they chose to reject God’s one command. Eat all you want, but leave that tree for Me (to paraphrase.)
They coveted what God solely possessed, and they sinned in their selfish desire to have what God had. They in turn placed God’s will behind their own desires and feasted on the forbidden fruit. Sin separated them from intimacy with God, and with each other.
Men continue to relive this act of defiance, oath breaking and covetousness each time they flirt, text, bait-click pornography, steal a simple kiss at the after work happy hour, or commit to long-term or repeated sexual affairs.
Satan hates marriage because it is the direct reflection of God’s loving relationship with us. It’s why the serpent immediately attacked the first couple. It tempted them with something bigger and better than what God had given them.
Isn’t it telling that although history tries to blame Eve for bringing down Adam, he was right there as the deception occurred.
Remember, he was the one who spoke of two becoming one flesh. Where there was Eve, there was Adam. He failed her as the spiritual head of their household.
Adam allowed his desire for the fruit God forbade to fail in shielding his wife from the consequences of evil. Worse, when confronted by God, Adam threw blame on the one person who he previously claimed as his cherished own.
Do you see the similarities? Art’s willful desire for sex and substances places them above his passion for God, and therefore his wife. The substance abuse and sexual sin become his god (lower case g) while he failed to protect Lysa from the consequences of his sin. Also, the secretive nature is not unlike Adam’s attempt to hide from God before he was confronted.
In the end, we’ve really not progressed very far from the creation story.
God created marriage. There is no coincidence that He places emphasis on the act of marriage. The bible begins with a marriage in the Garden. Jesus’s first recorded miracle occurred at a wedding, and the bible ends in Revelations with a wedding supper.
God also created sex to be enjoyed within the blessings of that marriage. God has never been shy about a husband and wife enjoying each other’s bodies. Nor has He minced words about the consequences of sex outside of marriage. Here’s a few bible verses to hammer these points home:
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled,
for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”
“The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”
1 Corinthians 7:3-4
“Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”
1 Corinthians 7:1-2
Men can reclaim their place as the spiritual head of their households. But it will never happen as long as we conduct ourselves outside of the boundaries of marital purity.
Wives deserve better than to follow the lead of a corrupted spirit. Your wife is God’s very own cherished daughter. That makes Him your father-in-law. Do you think God will allow her to be deceived without detection?
Men, if Lysa’s reality doesn’t cause you to rush into your wife’s arms and reclaim the bonds of holy matrimony, then focus on your own. If you have been unfaithful, you should begin with confession and prayer. Concealing your affair isn’t the answer.
Studies show that 60-75% of couples who’ve experienced betrayal stay together. Confession, counseling and accountability in many cases lead to a deeper, more loving marriage.
The process through programs like the Conqueror Series is also vital for helping men understand the core causes of their destructive behavior.
Men, there is never judgement in my message. I only share what God places on my heart. God meant for us to be kings and conquerors, but instead we behave like cowards and saboteurs. Your family will only ever be as strong as you are. Are you ready to be strong in Christ for your family?
Keep the Terkeurst family in your prayers.
Much Love / Much Respect,
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How do you encourage your kids to lean on the truth?
FIT@50 / Week 89: Thanks, Thanksgiving
Earlier this week I’d posted a question about fried or baked. I received plenty of comments that not only left me hungry, but realizing there are many more ways for preparing a turkey.
The next day I asked if you could have anyone – past, present or future join you for Thanksgiving, who would it be. I first expected to get answers like George Washington, Jesus, and Tom Brady.
Instead, the outpouring was so emotional, I once considered removing the question from my feed. Then I considered that everyone was only expressing what they felt most deeply in their hearts.
Deceased and estranged parents, siblings, spouses, children, in-laws, grandparents, friends and loved ones lost way too early or who had grown way too old.
It first felt like a punch in the chest as I read every one of the responses. I thought about my mom who I would’ve loved to have met Liliana Hart and Max. Next I thought about my dad who passed in September, who had it not been for the ravages of dementia, would’ve loved knowing Liliana Hart better and enjoying a little more time with Max.
Then the wrenching of my feelings turned to empathy for all of us who’ve lost uniquely special people in their lives. People who enriched us if by only their mere presence, and not by their bold actions.
I was reminded by so many answers that a deeper lost was felt for those unknown, never known or passed without passing paths. The spouses who never met their in-law, or the adult whose grandparent died long before they were conceived.
Greater still were the wishes of spending a day of thanks with angels miscarried, aborted or taken back into the merciful arms of Christ before reaching an age of accountability.
It was a humbling day of thankfulness, but for so many like myself, it’s also a day of re-mourning, regret, wishful wishes and realizations of never will be’s. But, by the grace of God, it is well with my soul, as I trust it is with yours.
I don’t regret asking that simple question, and I do rejoice in the responses, who instead of harboring the sadness of loss or missing, chose to share not only their replies, but their memories with everyone else. Isn’t that one of the most wonderful ways of ensuring they actually did spend the day with you?
This Thanksgiving was a bit different for Leah Silverii & I, but what looked like a doomed day inside a cross-country airplane ride, ended with leftovers at family and one excited Max. For that, I am also thankful. So here’s to getting through the day with a grin to end the night.
FIT@50 / week 80
I’m going to take a breather on this one. This week’s FIT@50 is probably best spent just being human. I’ve come to understand that it’s okay to just be human. That being FIT@50 means it’s alright to chill out every once and awhile, and allow life to be just so.
Of course, as I say this, it’s on the heels of another fast-paced week of networking and meetings for Liliana Hart and I. But just like the week before and the month before that and the year preceding that, we promised each other we’d slow it down.
Honestly, I don’t know that slowing down is an option.
It’s called being human.
If I could show you, right outside our suite window is an amazing sugar-sand beach with warm crystal waters. We’ve yet to stick a toe in either of them since we arrived on Monday.
Why? I’m really not sure why, but neither of us are complaining. We’ve been blessed to share this week catching up with friends and meeting new people who are as passionate about business as we are.
One of the best parts of this week has been how many people have taken the time to express their condolences for the loss of my dad. I mentioned that our circles on social media allow us to get to know so many people on a personal level. I’ve appreciated everyone who has made the very real effort to pay their respects.
It’s called being human.
Speaking of being human, I got caught up earlier with the reality that it had already been a week since my dad’s passing. I had that brief moment of chest compressing panic, but quickly tapped my heart with the tip of my middle finger to reassure myself it would be okay.
It’s a habit I picked up years ago while still in law enforcement. The bulletproof vest I wore on duty had a heavy plate covering the heart. It’s called a shock plate, or trauma plate. I’d tap that plate with my finger as a reassurance reminder that my heart was covered by a metal shell.
I didn’t realize it was something I still did. Although, having matured in my needs for reassurances, it’s not the steel plate that protects my heart from the trauma of grief. I have God’s reassurance that I’m protected, and blessed with a wonderful wife, family, and friends who care about what that heavy steel plate once protected.
It’s called being human.
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