I’ll admit, this picture is a few years old, but the only real difference is that I have significantly more gray than I did here. 

But this is my beautiful bride and me after a “walk” around the neighborhood in our power chairs after church. It was Father’s Day and unseasonably cool so we decided to enjoy the weather and being together. Because she’s left-handed and I’m right-handed, we can roll down the street next to each other, holding hands. 

Much has happened since this photo, but this is still how I see my wife. This is how I saw her when she was laying in a hospital bed near death for months on end, just over a year ago.

But, it’s not some silly dreamy thinking. This is who she is. This is the woman that has grown with me and is growing old with me. This is the woman that has worked just as hard as I have at learning to be good spouses. This is the woman that sees the same things in the world and in the calling that God has for us as I do. The beauty in it, is she’s seeing the same thing I am, on her own. She’s not just my “yes woman,” she prayerfully seeks God and listens. She’s then able to confirm what I’m hearing or makes me go back and check that I’m hearing correctly.

The work that we’ve done in our own lives is what enables us to counsel marriages and people with depression or anxiety. 

Those smiles, they’re not “Instagram” smiles where as soon as the camera goes away, so do the smiles (and yes, I’m smiling too). These smiles are authentic to who we are. 

We are able to be these people despite our disabilities and struggles because of our trust in God and our choices to focus on things that are true, pure, lovely, commendable, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).

That’s how I deal with my disability and she with hers. Yes, we’ve had hard days. Yes, I’ve had days where I made it pretty clear to God that I didn’t care for the way He was handling things. And I’ve had many many days where I just wanted Him to let me in on the plan.  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for… (Hebrews 11:1) So, if I insist on knowing the plan, that doesn’t show as much faith!

Like the Israelites wandering through the desert, I have evidence of God’s provision time and time again, and yet, I get tempted to worry or fear. But I have to say, without a doubt, that the years that I have had to rely on Him because I honestly don’t have what I need to survive have been the most years of my entire life!

But one thing that we really try to do is to follow the Biblical command to “Rejoice Always.”  The English dictionary defines rejoicing as feeling great joy. Then the dictionary says joy is to feel great happiness. So, “Feel great great happiness always?” No, I don’t think so. As a matter of fact, that’s just plain absurd! Rejoicing always is choosing each day at least to praise God and to be grateful for Him for something he’s given to you. I said each day. Tape a note to the inside of your bedroom door if you have to so that you remember to stop and choose to rejoice in Him or something He has done for you. But that’s not always is it? But START there. Then as you can remember, start doing it more often, etc. I’m not happy right now, I need a breathing treatment, my ankle hurts, and I don’t want to get dressed and go run an errand. I could focus on that. But, writing this post has reminded me to rejoice. I’m not happy, but I’m content and very grateful for all I have and all He has allowed me to do in His name.

Someone asked what I need or who could they help to connect me to. I have no idea who this person was. But there are two things on my heart right now. 

  1. I need to paint my house and put up a small awning to keep rain away from my front door to prevent further damage.
  2. I know God gave me the book that is out and the next book that’s about ready to come out – Blessed Brokenness: Seeing God’s Glory in the Ashes of Life. My wife and I are convinced that both of these are messages that need to get out, that they are messages God gave us. I need reviews on Amazon in particular (50 is the first magic number) and I need to get this mailing list and the books themselves in front of more people.

I have never sent an email that said, “Please buy my book.” And I won’t. Of course, I hope you do. I truly believe that it will bless you! I keep the link in front of you and leave it at that. But yes, spreading the message of how much God loves each of us is important and any help that any of you can give will be greatly appreciated. (You can share a link to a blog post that inspired you on your social media. If you have a blog of your own, I’d be happy to write a guest post. If you have a podcast, I’d love to be interviewed. Whatever comes to mind.)

I hope this little introduction brings us a little closer and you continue being blessed by what God gives me to share.

By the way, I’ve referred to things people have asked here and in the past, I have a quick 4 question survey that I would love for you to take to help me continue to bring content that serves you! You can access the survey here.

One Response

  1. Powerful reflections Matthew! Sorry for the hard seasons of life but I am thankful for examples like yours that paint a picture of a life lived in God’s grace and presence in the midst of the “betweens.” Reflecting on Roman 8:23’s “groan inwardly as we wait eagerly.” Thanks!

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