This morning I rushed about before I headed out the door to work, and as I stood yearningly before the coffee maker I glimpsed a small note. I had always left small love notes for my husband to find when he visited the coffee pot after me, and this particular sticky was a leftover from a previous work day. Although I had written it a week ago, in the midst of a trial, it didn’t hit me how true it was until today.
For over a month I had felt like our family was being hit hard with different problems. We had suffered through everything from lawsuits to palpitations, and fear of job loss to heart problems with our middle daughter. It had already been a stressful time, and I had watched it take a toil on my husband. When asked he would say he was fine, but I could tell by the look on his face that it weighed heavy on him. I think when you love someone so intimately you can just tell. I had been praying for him, but it wasn’t until the past week that I personally began to quake under the weight of the different stressors and unexpected trials we were enduring.
It seemed as if each day brought another bit of bad news, and after about day five I collapsed. Not physically, per se, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually I fell flat on my face. And as much as I tried to push the worry away, I could not. It became more than I could bear, and after crying for the third time one day I reached out to my husband. I told him exactly how I was feeling, and he shared his mirrored emotions.
Later that night we talked for hours. We prayed together, prayed for one another, and let no word go unsaid between us. We talked about the future and the plans God had for us. We discussed the spiritual battlefield we faced as God moved us forward, and we shared proclamations of our faith, even though we had felt very weak as of late.
As I sat on the couch that night a strange feeling came over me, and I recognized it as peace, but it was accompanied by gratitude. I realized my husband had been waging war for our family the better part of a month. He had been absorbing God’s word and strength through scripture and the Holy Spirit, but his battle wounds had also been noticed by me. I loved him more than anything in this world, and I realized at that moment that I was grateful to be able to share with him the trials he was walking through for our family and future.
“I’m grateful to being going through this with you,” I had said.
He had nodded agreement. He got it. Neither one of us was excited about the struggles we had faced lately, but if we had to go through it then it was best done together. God had put us together for a reason. We felt like He had big plans for us and for His kingdom, but the trek from one plain of greatness to the next is often a hard walk. We were grateful to make the journey together with God leading the way.
The following morning I had worked, and for the first time in a week I woke up hopeful again for my day. I still felt the fuzzy edges of the hard trial I had transversed, but it was getting better. I was still weary, but not as weak. I was shaken, but not broken. And as I poured my coffee, before heading out the door, I had penned these words to my husband.
I’m grateful to walk through fire with you.
So when I saw the note again this morning it struck me how relevant and raw was my revelation. We had been through a Refiner’s Fire. Maybe, even, we weren’t done yet. But we had walked hand in hand, faith intact. Not only had it made us stronger individually, but also stronger as a couple. When I looked at his face, the way his eyes crinkled at the corners, and how his countenance shown with the light of Christ, I always loved him immensely. But something about walking through fire with him made me love him even more. It was like the heat had forged the commitment deeper into our very souls, and when I looked at him now I felt not just love, but honored to live life by his side.
Is that what they mean by fireproof?