Prayers, Husbands, Answers and Patience

My good friend Jackie back in Ohio always used to tell me to be careful if I prayed for patience. With every prayer for patience, she thought, there came a trial. How else to develop the patience?

Over the years, though, I have prayed for patience. I needed it, whatever the trial. With the new year, I have been praying about how I could help my husband. The answer, it seems, is that I need to be more optimistic. For him. I wasn’t praying for patience. Which may be why I didn’t see today’s circumstance coming.

My husband took the job he has now so that he wouldn’t have to travel anymore, and I sort of like having him home. Transfers have reared their heads from time to time, and if the ones we wanted didn’t materialize, neither did the ones we didn’t. Fortunately. One of those was Elkhart.

See…NOBODY wants Elkhart. Not even the young and used-to-being-sleep-deprived. Nobody even wants the assistant’s job there. (Which is, of course, why the supervisor is overworked.) Finally, an older supervisor was assigned there. So far so good. Not us. But then we had to delay our vacation so the supervisor there could have his. We were not happy. At least i wasn’t. I don’t think the husband was. But as things worked out, I had three days off of school that week, so I was able to be with him most of the time.

When my husband came in the door for dinner he told me, as he usually does, of the day’s events. A bridge was actually shaking, so the speed limit over it is ten mph. There is a big meeting in Ohio tomorrow. Then came the bad news. The supervisor at Elkhart is going on vacation, and my husband is to cover the job next week.

Elkhart is just far enough away that you need to stay over night. If I didn’t need to be at school at 7:30, I could make the drive back and forth at least a couple of times, but it would involve leaving Elkhart at 4AM, which seems sort of pointless. I don’t get nearly as many family days as an aid as I did as a teacher. So…my husband will be in Elkhart next week. And I will not.

Now it seems a small thing, I know. He traveled for the first twenty-two years of our marriage, and I am not a child. It does seem to me, though, that it is an answer to my prayers, and, as usual, it did not come in the form I expected.

QUESTION (in prayer): How can I help my husband?

ANSWER: You need to help him look on the bright side of things.

And in my optimism, I replied,”Sure, I can do that. Seems easy enough.”


I should have been prepared for the test, shouldn’t I?

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January 2006
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