I have been blessed to be able to remain at home and care for our house and my hubby, Salah for the last two years. God has been so gracious and has blessed us in many ways. Some of which were most unexpected and we found to be most welcomed in the end of course.
My hubby is not a Christian. He was born, raised and educated in Baghdad, Iraq. He left Iraq in the late 1970’s to further his education and walk his path. He lived in Yugoslavia, Turkey, and mostly in Austria until he was married in the late 80’s when he moved to New Jersey with his wife. He became a citizen shortly after coming here. He went to see his family around the mid 90’s and his wife filed for divorce while he was over in Austria seeing his family. He ended up staying there for two years until moving back in 1998.
Life went on for my Salah until…he answered my personal ad in May of 2002 ! We emailed and even instant messaged each other for TWO MONTHS before I finally agreed to meet him face to face. I was not sure I even wanted to do that. I finally did agree and we met in July of 2002. He lived in Milwaukee. I lived in Janesville and I worked in Madison. So I would travel over to see him and he would travel to see me. Phew!
It was nice; I enjoyed his company. In August of that same year , he was admitted into the hospital for chest pains and discomfort. He was released a day later. We went on seeing each other. Then a month later [September] he was taken by ambulance this time to the hospital for the same thing. Only this time they told him he was staying for double bypass surgery. This is where God really took over for both us!!
After his surgery, they released Salah after THREE days. He was sent home with no one to care for him. ALL his family is overseas and he did not have any REAL friends either. Here is a man I barely know, I like him a lot, I am concerned about his welfare, what should I really do? So down on my knees I went, asking for guidance. God worked it out for me to take time off from my job to care for him. I was also caring for my mom who was recovering from some extreme medical issues as well. So there was this double whammy…but in a good way.
Meanwhile, Salah gets out of the hospital…man oh man, it was HARD!! He was not a happy camper …I don’t blame him…after all I am not sure how I would react to facing the surgery and then recovery with a person I barely know telling me what to do! He was so difficult and in my eyes [admitting a bit judgmental] SO ungrateful for the help and care I was trying to offer him. So down on my knees I go…asking why me? Why him? Can’t I just walk away and be done? I don’t need this.
Hang on, I am getting to the end!!! You need to take a break??? I understand!!!
I prayed and prayed and prayed and PRAYED for Jesus to fill me with His strength and compassion. I asked for Him to it make clear as to what He wanted me to do. I got my answer, loud and clear, Jesus spoke directly to my heart…He told me "Love this man". I did as I was told. I loved Salah with all I could give him. In March of 2003, we were married. We saw each other’s good, bad and ugly sides. Jesus saw us through the whole way. God has a wonderful way of working things out.
Here I am 6 years later, I am blessed with a most loving husband. Although he is not a Christian, he does believe in God. I believe God is working in him, through him and all around him drawing him ever closer to Himself. I pray that I do not hinder or block his path toward Jesus in any way. You know how that can be…I want to try and fix it and make it better…when I really can’t. I need to give it to God, who is truly in control, and He will take care of it His way and in His time. Easier said than done when I am living in the moment!!
I was in the middle of my quiet time today…I was struck by the thought of God’s love for me and how He has shared His love through my husband. This man, Salah, I did not want to even give the time of day to at one point…wanting to find a reason to walk away from him…gets up every weekday morning so early and so unselfishly to go off to work [he has to drive 2 hours to work, that is one way] and endure a job he is not happy with and then drive back after being so beaten by the day…while I am at home…then sits next to me peels an orange and says to me handing me half of the orange, "Here honey, here is your share". What a gift of love. Just like Jesus…"Here honey, I died for you…here is your life." Only God can do such precious work. It brings perspective to all the little things Salah does because there are times I just don’t get him! Yet, if I pause and breathe, it becomes clearer. I may not agree with him but my eyes get a glimpse of his view…which opens the way to better communication. God has shown me my stubbornness and my resistance in a lot of those moments as well…and by revealing the meaning of 1 Peter 3:1-2
"In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives."
I wanted to share that with you…and praise Jesus for His work in Salah’s and my life. I remember seeing how much a friend’s boyfriend loved her in his eyes…and I thought to myself…I want to be loved that way someday…it is true that God gives us the desires of our heart. The best thing is though; it is when He is ready to reveal it to us and not by our time. Or is it more appropriate to say…He prepares our hearts and path in order to accomplish His work.
Thank you for reading…