Weathering The Storm 

By: ellis j. still 

I am a big fan of keeping people around you who will take you to another level spiritually, professionally, friendshiply (@ my wife – wink wink), and within your marriage.  My family just went through its major first storm. We spent this past Christmas and New Years holidays in the below freexing cold and underwater at home.  Our heating boiler for our home died the day before Christmas Eve, and out sewer line collapsed a week before, flooding our basement with sewer water.

Home ownership is always better because you build equity, but you come against the oddest things when owning a home.  Thinking back a few years ago, when I had my one bedroom apartment, things were not so hard.  Rent was less than our current monthly mortgage payment, gas & electric was 10% of what we currently pay, and if something breaks, the landlord would take care of it. Yet, despite all of the challenges that come with homeownership, there is satisfaction in having something that I can call ‘mine’. No one can raise the rent, there are no noisy tenants around me, I don’t have to walk up five flights of steps when the elevator is broken and it can’t change ownership because I own it…I have equity.  The bible says that to whom much is given, much is required… the more your life is elevated, the more responsibility you have.  This is what makes life more interesting.

 The hardest thing for me as a husband and the man of the house  is trying to figure out how all of the house issues were affecting my wife (and my dog)… making sure that my wife is safe and is of sound mind. I deal with problems one way, and my wife another, but this is our first time dealing with something major as a married couple, as a team, so I had no real point of reference from which to draw.  For me, no heat, basement flooded… no big deal.  We would get it fixed (eventually).  However, men and women are wired differently, and so there are an entirely different set of emotions, feelings, and life experiences that I have to be mindful of as the husband when solving problems such as these… and it was my job to figure it out.

I did my best to be attentive, learning on the fly.  Making sure her needs were met the best I can.  I was in the midst of running into multiple challenges with contractors while trying to fix the problems when the enemy tried to trick me by saying “what if the best that you can do isn’t good enough???” Then he said …“You are a horrible husband!!!”. At one point, I really started to believe these things.  But staying prayerful allowed me to keep my sanity, along with my wife backing me, people praying for me and offering kind words of encouragement, and people reminding me of who I am in Christ and where my strength is… that nothing that comes against me shall prosper. Ever.

Now that these events are over, there is relief. My wife is happy and I am a lot stronger and wiser because of everything that has happened. What storms have you weathered? What did you learn from them?

© 2010, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved