I just had one of the biggest scares in quite some time. Sheila has been working on her take-home final exam for Environmental Law. It’s a 24 hour test; she began it at 12PM Thursday afternoon, making it due at 12PM Friday afternoon. She worked hard on it all day long today before we went to see A Christmas Story at The Cleveland Playhouse and to have dinner at Lolita following the performance. For awhile, it appeared as if she wouldn’t be able to get enough progress done to justify going out, so I offered to reschedule our date to a different time (I swear that this was not a ruse to allow me to watch the Browns game!), but as it turned out she was able to get enough work done. We got home, and after marveling at the Browns’ victory, Sheila went to go work on her final. Unfortunately, she could not find her answer sheet on the computer at first and it appeared that it may have been lost. As it turned out, her answer sheet was saved in the temp directory. Fortunately, Mikey G had defrosted following his frigid experience at the Browns\Steelers game and helped us identify the file’s location!
In between the initial discovery of the possible loss and the finding of the file in the temp directory were some of the most harrowing moments I’ve had in a long time. I feel rather selfish writing about it, considering that she would have had to redo all of her work if it had indeed been lost and all I would have had to do is chug energy drinks to stay awake with her and pray for her, but it was incredibly scary. Honestly, it was scarier than the car accident from this past summer—nobody was hurt, the facts and justice were completely on our side, and I knew that insurance would pay for all or most of the cost of the damages. This was much different—had the answer sheet been lost, Sheila would have had to redo all of her work and complete the rest of the exam—which is worth 100% of her grade—in less than 12 hours.
Being a powerless husband who cannot help your wife is one of the worst feelings that I have ever felt in my entire life. I felt it tonight when I couldn’t help her find the file and I have felt it many other times during our marriage. During premarital counseling, Pastor Joe stressed the importance of the man being the leader of the home, and when I can’t help Sheila and am forced to sit there watching her cry, I feel as if I have failed her as a leader and a husband.
However, I believe these situations prove to be beneficial in the long run because they force me to rely on the true Leader of our home and our marriage—Jesus—and to encourage Sheila to do the same. As much as I would like to provide everything that our family needs, I need to realize that I am an imperfect human being who needs the intervention of and blessings from a perfect and loving God in my life to survive and succeed in life, and that I should humble myself and admit that I need God’s help, guidance, and assistance to be a good husband and provider. Tonight, when this happened, I felt a brief twinge of anger towards God—why was He allowing this to happen? Did He really allow the file to get lost, knowing that Sheila had already put so much work into it and only had a small amount of time to finish it? However, I quickly caught myself and began praying hard that God would work this situation out and that He would give me the courage to trust and believe that this problem could be solved. I also reminded Sheila about how God had helped us through tough times and worked out solutions to other serious problems in His perfect timing. When it was solved, I felt as if my faith was stronger than it was when I woke up this morning, a fact for which I am very grateful. When calamities like this happen again, I believe that experiences like the one we had tonight will help me face these calamities with faith, courage, and strength because they helped me to remember that we worship a God who works all things for good in the lives of those who love Him.
I originally wrote this immediately after this incident occurred but didn’t post it before I went to bed since I wanted to marinate on it a bit. As it turned out, I had an opportunity to put this stronger faith into practice the next morning; we overslept slightly and woke up at 9:00 A.M. instead of 8:00 A.M. Needless to say, this put both of us in a panic! However, the events of the past evening gave me a sense of calm and I had no doubt that Sheila would get the final done, and done well, before 12:00 P.M. In fact, not only did she get it done well, but she even finished a few minutes early!