My husband’s 1st manic episode (in our marriage) collided with the birth of our 1st baby. I didn’t have to be Einstein to realize I was in WAY over my head. My baby was crying all the time, my husband never slept, AND he thought the world was coming to an end, literally.
Now, I had taken psychology courses and even done a few nursing rotations on psych floors – but NONE of that education helped me recognize a manic husband. Scary, huh? By the time he was hospitalized, it became crystal clear how clueless I had been. Introducing words like “hypomanic” and “manic” to my vocabulary eventually helped me understand my 1st 18 months of marriage….
But I was still pretty lost. I had NO idea if I was loving my husband in any way remotely biblical. I felt my marriage had suddenly fallen into some category that was not even IN the Bible. I had had to call 911 on my own husband because he was no longer safe around me and our newborn baby – THAT just isn’t in the Bible anywhere.
One day I read these exact words, “… Older women … are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:3-5
Well there. I definitely needed one of those “older women”!
I summoned enough courage to call the only older woman I knew in our church … You know anyone willing to be a Titus woman to someone like (as needy as) me? - embarrassing, but I was desperate. I was so relieved when she said she would pray. Sure enough, a few days later she gave me a name. Since thousands attended our church, it was no surprise I didn’t have the slightest clue who it was….
Soo I never made the call. How could I ask a complete stranger for the level of help I knew I needed??
Three months later it was my turn to host the wives from our young married class. Someone had invited a guest speaker, but I hadn’t been part of that planning. When I opened the door of our tiny duplex to greet our guest, she introduced herself, and I recognized “the name” I had not called. Wow.
I may have been chicken, but I was not blind. God personally brought her TO MY DOOR.
But did I say anything to her? Nooo.
SO about midway through her sharing, she mentioned (as a side note) she had begun mentoring a few young wives, about 3 months ago. She had been praying for women to fill the 4 seats at her breakfast table, but only 3 seats were filled….
I had been uncertain about so many things that year, but I was SURE I belonged in that 4th seat. GOD lovingly prepared a place for me, and held it, every week, even when I didn’t make the call …. He was waiting, she was waiting….
And this is what I love about Jesus: He knew I was too weak to initiate (that lesson would come later). He all but said out loud, “Here honey, I’m helping you….”
I couldn’t stand it any longer. That night I told her I was her “vacant” seat. I couldn’t believe how delighted she was! and how loving … it made me regret every single week I had missed.
For 5 straight years, every blessed Tuesday morning, I sat at her little round yellow table in her kitchen, where Jesus taught me how to love my bipolar husband.
When I get discouraged (like now) I remember this miracle, and it renews my confidence in God’s loving plans for me and my husband….
… accuser of our brethren has been thrown down,
he who accuses them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him
because of the blood of the Lamb
because of the word of their testimony….
Hold On, by 33 Miles
…a part of my testimony,