Leaning on Each Other

A friend of mine commented as Doug and I were preparing to leave for South Africa: “…you are only going to have each other to lean on over there.” The Oxford Dictionary of English defines “lean on” as to rely on or derive support from. We’ve done more leaning on each other this season of our lives than any other.

Doug has adapted much easier to our life here. He drives on the left hand side of the road with no problems and he comprehends what people are saying when I’m standing there with the look of irritation and thoughts of why can’t they just speak English. When I hear the word “humility” I think of my husband and when I hear “pride” I think of myself.

It has not been as easy for me. It took a while for me to be able to drive. Before I finally learned, I felt like a bird in a cage. If I try something a few times and fail the “I” of “pride” rises up and decides to quit trying. The fact of having to rely on anyone, even if it’s my husband, brings out the “I” that forces my heart to harden and drives my fingernail into my palm to cease any tears that might bring needed cleansing.

Yet we talk…asking ourselves the same questions that many a missionary has probably asked themselves after the honeymoon is over.

Then he takes my hand and prays…humbly thanking God for all He has done in our lives and calmly laying our petitions before Him. The “I” gets lost in prayer and a tear hits the pillow…

Thank you, Lord, for the husband you’ve given me to lean on. 

2 thoughts on “Leaning on Each Other”

  1. I think it is hard to adjust whenever one moves and wherever one moves–even in the States. I have found that after a year in a new place I start to feel more at home and I begin to fully all the beauty in the new place. I have found mountains, swamps, plains–all different terrains have their beauty. The hardest part is always learning to really love. I like what Heidi says in her book: “Ministry, however, is simply about loving the person in front of you. It's about stopping for the one and being the very fragrance of Jesus to a lost and dying world.”

  2. Such a beautiful post Debbie. Although I am not on foreign soil, I feel like I am sometimes. My husband and I started a bi-lingual church 5 years ago after working in ministry for 12 years. It has not been easy. I am still not 100% fluent in Spanish and there are times when I (as the pastor's wife) totally flub some cultural unwritten rule and then there's the “living by faith” for each paycheck. My husband has been my strength and like you, I've learned to put the “I” to rest as often as possible. You have my prayers.

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