Really Relating

LIFE, LOVE, AND THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT MAKE IT ALL MATTER

Still The One 02/26/2010

Filed under: February,God,Love,Marriage,Month of Love — Vickey Banks @ 11:36 am

February, the Month of Love, is drawing to a close. I can’t say good-bye to it without paying tribute to the man who still holds my heart in the palm of his hands.
  
I’ve been married for almost 27 years now, and I’ve never been more grateful. Should you not have a husband, or should you have one that you’d like to whack over the head with a frying pain, please don’t slam your computer shut or start yelling obscenities at me. I know how fortunate I am.
  
But, you probably don’t know why.
   
For the first 23 years, I was a really good wife. I worked hard at it. Constantly. Although far from perfect, I read numerous books and attended seminars on marriage, cooked and cleaned when I didn’t want to, embraced my husband’s family to the point that they truly become my own, trusted and followed him even when I wasn’t crazy about his decisions, made lists of all the reasons I was grateful for him, washed his dirty clothes, ran his errands, supported his dreams, served alongside him, prayed for him diligently, altered what I wanted to do and how, only spoke well of him, and tried with every fiber of my being to love my Brian like he wanted and needed to be loved. I even learned to like fish!
  
There are 2 problems with the above scenario. The first being that while it might make me sound good, the truth is that Brian made this all embarrassingly easy. Seriously. The man is the epitome of a servant leader. I’ve never met anyone that is easier to love and respect, more sacrificial and generous.
  
The second problem is that our lives took a violent turn 4 years ago and my little world was rocked. Tragedy upon tragedy left me feeling I didn’t have much to give to him or anyone else. But Brian, well he became more supportive, more loving, and more sacrificial.
  
That is why I’m grateful.
   
Ecclesiastes 4:10 says,If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble.”
   
Although he was hurting too, when I was at my worst, Brian refused to leave me there. He reached out and tried to pick me up. Again and again and again. That is my love story in the making.
  
Oh, how I do love that man. After all these years, he’s still the one I want to say “I Do” to.
 
Really Relating
Is there someone in your world who has fallen and feels all alone? There’s no alone like that alone. That is real trouble. How would God have you reach out and help them today?
 

A Future and A Hope 01/29/2010

Filed under: Circumstances,Future,God,Hope,Pain,Plans,Promises from God — Vickey Banks @ 5:57 pm

“What if things don’t get better?”

That’s the question a hurting friend asked me last week. It was a valid question, considering her circumstances. In a desperate attempt to encourage her, loved ones keep telling my friend what loved ones often say when we’re hurting:

   “Things will get better.”
   
But…what if they don’t?
   
I understand her question; honestly, it’s one I’ve asked God before. Like my friend, I live with chronic physical pain. Every flipping day. And some days, well, if I’m honest (and I am), I’m just done. Finished. Worn slick from painting on a happy face, I can’t help but wonder if this is as good as it gets. My weary self wants to focus on all the things I can’t do because of wacked out discs and the potentially grim future ahead. 
Ahhh…but then I remember a precious promise from God, 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD.
They are plans for good and not for disaster,
to give you a future and a hope.”
– The Bible, Jeremiah 29:11
  
While that might not change my circumstances, it radically rearranges my reality. Because of Him,  
  
I have a future… I have a hope.
   
The God of the Bible doesn’t do random. He’s the same God who created the plants before He created the animals and people who would need the plants to survive. He’s a God of logic and order. Along with His profound purposefulness, He is loving and not mean-spirited. That means that as long as He leaves me here on planet Earth, He has good reason. He has plans with my name of them; Plans for my good. A future filled with hope.
  
You know what?
  
The same is true for you.

Really Relating
How does it make you feel to know that God has plans with your name on them?