Yesterday, February 1st, I turned 26 years old. To some of you reading this that might seem quite young, however, for someone making the transition from early 20’s to late 20’s is it a punch in the arm from reality reminding you how fast time is actually moving. Anyway, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to turning 26. My husband Matt took me out to dinner to “The Sanctuary” downtown Minneapolis on Friday night and then Kasii and Josh took us out to “W.A. Frost” downtown St. Paul on Saturday night. It was turning out to be a great birthday weekend; wonderful food and even better company all celebrating me!
Then I woke up early Sunday morning extremely sick. From about 5am up until Matt brought me to the hospital around 11:30am I could not stop vomiting. I know it sounds gross, but I was very, seriously sick. I have not been that sick since I had food poisoning when I was a kid. I absolutely hate throwing up! It is the worse thing in the world! You know you all agree!
Matt couldn’t have been a better husband about the whole thing. I sent him to church that morning because he had to lead worship in the 2 morning services. I figured I just had a bug that needed to run it’s course and I would be fine. However, by 10:30am I had called him telling him I had to go to the hospital. I just knew it was more than a bug and I could barely walk I had gotten so weak. Even though there was still another service for him to lead worship for he left immediately. He never questioned the seriousness of my illness nor did he ask if I could wait a bit longer until he was done. He put me and my health as first priority. The last thing I wanted to do was tear him away from his responsibilities at church, but I knew I needed a doctor quickly.
He came rushing home quite quickly and took me immediately to the hospital. When the ER finally put me in a bed, I was hooked up to an I.V. and given some medicine to stop the vomiting. I was allowed to rest. It was so nice considering all I had been through. I was there through the afternoon until early evening when I was released. Matt never left my side for a moment. He was so committed to being right there every time I opened my eyes, making me feel safe, loved and cared for.
About 4 or so years back before I met my husband one of my mentors and I were discussing love and marriage. We were talking about what we were looking for in a husband. This mentor is extremely well respected by all who know her and she is someone who many strive to be like. She is an absolutely amazing woman of God and some one I have tried to pattern my life after in many ways. Anyway, while we were having this conversation, she was telling me what she wanted in a husband. One of the things she told me was that she wanted to know that this person (whoever he might be) would take care of her when she is sick. Specifically I remember her saying to me, “Maria I want someone who will hold my hair back when I throw up.” I thought to myself, “Wow.” This amazing woman who is mature beyond her years in so many ways, my mentor who I trust to hear the voice of God almost more than anyone I know just told me she puts a high value on someone holding her hair back when she is sick. I couldn’t believe it. It certainly wasn’t the type of esteemed quality I would expect to hear from such a woman. It made a huge impact on me and what I started to place value on in a future relationship.
The other morning when I started to get sick and was in bed Matt looked at me and said, “Don’t worry I will hold your hair back if you throw up.” He did not mean to joke; he was dead serious. Even though I was sick as a dog, I remembered my mentor’s words from years earlier. They were clear as day. I could not believe it. It was almost surreal. Funny how things work out. Because here’s the thing; it is more than just someone “holding your hair back.” It is the character that he possesses and the love in which he shows. It is the level of commitment and the understanding of the concept of oneness that he enacts. It is simply and precisely the kind of man that he is. That is all I have to say. And of course this…I love you Matt, you are perfect.
“Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church-a love marked by giving…”
Ephesians 5:25, The Message