The husband was born in Idaho. He was the son of the man raised on a farm, the man who married the girl he met in second grade. The first years of the husband’s life were spent in college towns as his father pursued a higher education; an education that would take them far from the wheat fields of Southern Idaho. When he was four, his sister joined the family. Eventually the family moved to Oregon where his father became a professor at the medical school.
He grew up in an era where children were given freedom to explore the world around them. Days were spent catching crawdads in the creek, riding bikes through the neighborhood and hanging with friends. He teased his sister, listened to his mother and played basketball with his father. He was the typical American suburban kid.
As children his parents had attended church. When the pastors would not answer his father’s unending questions, they chose to not raise their children in church. They didn’t talk about God, read the bible or pray. Yet, the husband knew who God was. He prayed every night, “Please make me a great man.”
He loved basketball. Once he discovered that he could shoot a basketball through a hoop, he was hooked. During the summer he would wake up and spend his days playing ball. While other kids were hanging out, he and his best friend were running stairs, practicing lay-ups and shooting basket after basket. They would come home for food only to return to practice. Darkness was the only thing that made them quit.
During this time his father came to the Portland church. Every Wednesday night, Friday night and Sunday he went to church; the family stayed home. It became a wedge in their family.
The husband began high school and played for the high school team. Although he was good at basketball, he wasn’t good enough to be a star player on the team. A lot of people would quit; the husband would not. He spent hours and hours playing basketball. During these years he lost sight of the God he prayed to every night.
His senior year arrived. Three years of hard work was rewarded: the husband was a starting player for his team. The local sports news wrote about the team’s new ‘secret weapon’. For one magical season the husband was a star. He helped his team make it to the state championship. Unfortunately their story ended in a loss.
After high school he attended a community college while improving his game. He was a tough opponent and knew that if he worked hard enough he would make the NBA. He had it all … why would he need God? A couple years later he received a basketball scholarship to play for an out-of-state college. Unfortunately he arrived with a sprained ankle and a failed relationship. After one semester he returned home a broken man.
The husband spiraled. He spent months in a dark place. His dreams of playing NBA basketball were slipping away.
A local Christian college offered a full-ride scholarship for basketball. He accepted. He was different than most of his classmates who were a couple years younger and Christian. He was ‘wild’ and didn’t like church; he just wanted to play ball. It took one person to reach the husband. They began to tell him about Jesus until one day he believed. The ache he’d felt for years began to make sense. He still didn’t like chapel or church, but he desperately wanted to know God. He picked up a Bible and began to read things that made him ask questions. When he wasn’t satisfied with his professors’ answers he turned to his father. The day the husband received the Holy Ghost (or Spirit of God), his life changed.
He began to attend our church about the same time I moved to Oregon. His mother was the supervisor in the school, so I knew the man in the blue shirt who read his Bible all the time was her son. One morning she told us the story. The story of a mother who prayed that God would give her back her son. As she told his story tears slid down my cheeks. He was a special one. He had been saved from the darkness and death for a reason. I had NO idea that I was part of that reason.
The husband found a place that answered his questions, gave him purpose and soothed his broken heart. He wanted to be a perfect man and walk with his Savior. My seemingly ‘perfect’ life was attractive to him. Over the year we dated he became more “Body” than I was. What he found freeing, I found stifling. He was determined to be perfect and expected me to do the same. It would take leaving that place for his prayer to be answered.
I’ve lived with him for 21 years. I’ve been his biggest fan and his biggest critic. I’ve seen him fail and I’ve seen him succeed. I’ve seen him stand with integrity in his business. I’ve seen him treat his employees with kindness and mercy. I’ve watched him grow as a father. I’ve observed the hours he’s spent reading the Bible always seeking the one who quiets the ache in his soul. Every day I see him grow and change. The further he walks in freedom, the deeper our relationship with one another and Abba grows, the more he embraces who he is, the greater man he becomes.
You may see the man I call ‘the husband’; I see his soul. His soul is deep and mighty and it completes mine. The prayer of a boy was heard. My husband IS a great man.