“Don’t worry I will take care of you. I’m here for you.”
Edric said this a multiple number of times this past week when he knew that I was getting nervous about childbirth and labor. In fact, he cut down on his activities outside of the home just to be present and available.
This has meant so much to me. I know what a sacrifice it is for him to turn down ministry engagements, basketball on Tuesdays, game nights with the guys, and refuse commitments for hosting or speaking that could be income generating. But he has not been resentful about it at all.
Edric has this innate desire to rescue people, especially me, when I am a damsel in distress. And I was quite distressed the last few days when I got my latest lab results showing that I had UTI, GBS, and anemia. Plus, we had a home full of sick kids…one after the other, and then I started battling a flu.
I was tempted to fret and give in to stress but God reminded me through Edric that I need to be thankful and count my blessings. God is still in control and he has given me the special gift of a very loving husband who will, as he has often said, drop anything for me if I really need him.
I don’t want to put Edric on some sort of pedestal but I really appreciate what a knight in shining armor he has been to me through the years of our marriage. And it is not because he is such a perfect guy (although I think he is pretty perfect), it is because he loves the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. His priorities, ambitions, dreams and goals are God-centered. He would not be the consistently loving husband he is if God was not present in his life. After twelve years of marriage and the ups and downs that have come with it, I know that it is the Lord that has made all the difference.
With just a few days left till my birth, the thought of Edric being with me through it all provides me with a great sense of security. I am not an emotionally needy person but there are occasions when I really want him present, like the last stretch of pregnancy, childbirth, and the few weeks after birth when I feel exhausted because of breastfeeding. His presence is so reassuring and it is probably one of the reasons why I don’t experience post-partum. I feel like we go through life changes like having babies, together, as a team. I don’t feel left alone or abandoned.
Edric has been there to watch over me and make sure that I am comfortable and cared for. It’s really quite romantic. I don’t know how to explain the connection between excruciating labor pain and the sweetness of having Edric by my side. But I am pretty sure it has something to do with God’s design for a marriage, for a family. These events are meant to be shared with the one you love, with your spouse. They cause you to “cleave” to one another more.
As a matter of fact I get sort of leechy and clingy when I am pregnant. It’s like there is this GPS in my body that navigates me towards Edric. I want to be close to him, around him, and with him as often as possible. It’s great that he feels the same way, too. His priorities get re-ordered. His sense of responsibility as the leader of our family is renewed. And he looks forward to being at home. He makes tender statements like, “I really love being with you and the kids.”
On Saturday, as we were walking over to my doctor’s clinic, I talked about how I have changed over the years. When I was first married, I felt like I didn’t need anybody. I wasn’t so open about my emotions with Edric. Yet as the years went by, I found myself trusting him with my vulnerability. I felt like I could be more honest and fragile and he would not take advantage of this or trample upon my weaknesses. In fact, expressing my dependence upon him made him want to take care of me. It made him want to be the one to rescue me. And the more I told him things like, “You are my favorite person to be with. I still miss you when you leave everyday and get excited when I know you are coming home…” the more inclined he was to reciprocate and appreciate me.
In the past I had this idea that I should not reveal too much of my emotions or let him feel like I needed him. I didn’t even want to admit it when a movie made me cry! Where this poisonous disposition came from is a mystery. But I suppose it had a lot to do with pride and hearing about so many women who get their hearts broken in the process of giving themselves. So, I wanted to project this aura of independence and strength.
However I was mistaken. God designed marriage to be the context where husband and wife move toward one another and give themselves fully to each other, not hiding behind pretenses or living in fear of rejection. This is a bond of unity that is supposed to be forever so there ought to be no fear of losing oneself by giving oneself. In fact, the bible says, perfect love casts out fear. I had to grow in this area as a wife, to be able to make statements like, “hon, I really need you.”
So here we are again at the last stretch of it all, with my huge belly popping out in front of me…taking evening walks together, enjoying quiet nights at home, and saying all kinds of cheesy things to one another like we are dating again.
Tonight, he turned down a fun game night invitation from his buddies and I spied out of the corner of my eye his text message to them…”I’ve got to be near the wifey just in case…” Ooo…I love it!
Edric and I are busier now, with increased parenting responsibilities and commitments to ministry and work-related preoccupations (for Edric), but I feel like this has been the best pregnancy experience so far because we have kept as sacred priorities the most important things — our relationship with the Lord and our marriage.
Not every girl can be born a princess but she can marry a guy who will treat her like one. I feel like I got myself a modern day knight. But all the credit goes to the Lord who has put it in my husband’s heart to be one. Edric would not be this way apart from Him.
“You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.” (Psalms 16:2 NASB)