Thursday, 27 February 2014

When you need a hero

Don't we all need a hero/heroine to look up to?

Didn't Bonnie Tyler make us all yearn for one?

Someone who has made tracks in snow while we tread careful in their footprints.

Someone who makes us sigh with aspiration...if only... we could look/act/be like them.

If you asked who inspires me, I'd be hard pressed to name but one.

There are so many writers/poets/bloggers who consistently call me to come up higher. 

There are faithful, Christ-loving, family-centred, life-affirming, hope-giving individuals who give me pause for thought.

And yet...

Is choosing maybe a little closer to home?

Inspiration can be found anywhere. Heroes are not all adrenaline-fueled, go-getters.

Sometimes it's the person quietly and faithfully living out their days, battling life's challenges with perseverance, steely-eyed endurance, grit and determination.

Courage wears many faces and can be seen in the unlikeliest of places.

What if this person is not only on my doorstep but in my home?

A man who would rate himself a zero in the hero and courageous stakes.

A man who lives a life circumscribed by fear. Haunted by "What if?", taunted by, "If only".

A man who shies away from crowds. Avoids public places. Has to fight demons of his own on a daily basis.

Here's the thing. On paper he may look the least likely candidate. But, put him in the fire of adversity for nearly 40 years and though he may be a little scorched around the edges, he rises to fight another day, and another, and so on.

Displaying courage and tenacity he never knew he had until tried and tested.

Not many men could find it in their hearts to give and give and give some more to a woman who failed to fully return their love and affection due to her battle with childhood sexual abuse ~ especially when his primary love language is 'physical touch'.

Not many men could see their bride collapse a few short weeks after the wedding as her mind and personality splintered before him ~ and not feel shortchanged by the new woman who emerged.  

Nor could they have all this hanging over them, only to witness her painful deterioration in health ~ resulting in loss of career and any kind of active life ~ then become the main person to take care of both her and the home when his own job prospects were gone.

To my mind this is the stuff of heroes. Any coward can walk away from a marriage or a life they didn't plan for. It takes real love and guts to stick it out. 

To not only stay but keep on loving, keep on giving, keep on sacrificing, keep on believing for better.

No-one else mirrors the servanthood of Christ to me like my husband. His actions stem from a heart set on fire by Love Himself.

If he wasn't around to tend to my needs, take care of the home and take on heavy responsibilities, then this blog (and wouldn't exist at all. 

There would be no spare energy and time for me to write if he didn't make sure the majority of the household tasks were taken care of. 

He bakes bread, cooks, cleans, irons, drives, shops, tidies, keeps me close in his loving arms and dear to his heart.

All this effort given willingly, even though he struggles with his own physical and mental health challenges.

There would be far less opportunity for me to work through my past in the expressing of it here {with the hope of helping others feel less alone in their pain} if he wasn't around to see to life's essentials. 

And far less ability to befriend, communicate with and offer mutual support and encouragement to all my on-line friends, including those with M.E and chronic illness, and fellow writers/poets.

My world would narrow considerably. Life would be more of a struggle and challenge. Finding another loaf of bread to suit my fussy tastes would be just the tip of the iceberg!

So this man, my husband, chief confidant and best friend, is the most inspiring person I know and the one who impacts my life hugely.

Just like the best wine, appreciating my husband's finer qualities took time and maturity. He grew gradually into his role. Now it fits who he is like a well-worn pair of slippers.

I only have to witness his words and deeds to know Jesus lives in him and inspires him to be my 'here on earth' helpmate and hero ~ even if he never considers himself as such.

"Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?" ~ Proverbs 20:6

He's not perfect. Some days frustration sours him, discouragement sits deep and he treads weary. But he means the world to me and I see far more light in him than darkness. 

Because heroes come in all shapes and sizes yours may look entirely different, but you'll recognise them anyway. 

I'd already found the greatest hero of all in Jesus before I met this one. And He knew who I needed in my life to inspire me to live well too. 


Who inspires you the most?

Feel free to join in the conversation in the comments.

**NOTE** ~ To celebrate how much of a gift and blessing my husband is to me, I am giving away a free copy of 'One Thousand Gifts' by Ann Voskamp to a person chosen at random from those leaving a comment below.

Joining here with Holley for #coffeeforyourheart

And with Lyli for #thoughtprovokingthursday


  1. Thank you for this. I often think that my husband didn't quite get the woman he thought he was marrying. He's steady and faithful while I have changed like the wind.

    1. Oh my thoughts entirely, Rebekah! I can so relate to what you say, "He's steady and faithful while I have changed like the wind." Yet they love us! And God knew just who we needed to be a steady, reliable, trustworthy spouse to enrich our lives and offer all the support we require. Our task of believing we are worthy of them can be a challenge.
      Though, very often in a marriage where one is weak the other can be strong. It's worth remembering we bring qualities to the partnership which our husbands need too. Blessings to you and your husband. :) x

  2. What a beautiful testimony this is! Thank you for sharing your story with Thought-Provoking Thursday. I need to give my husband a call right now and tell him what a hero He is. :)

    1. Thank you, Lyli. I am happy to have inspired you to further appreciate the hero in your own life! Blessings to you both, my friend. :) x

  3. Joy,
    What a beautiful testimony of how your husband has loved you like Christ loved the church: sacrificially...praying continual blessings on you both...and my husband is one of my heroes :)

    1. Dolly, I am so grateful to God for the gift of my husband and how his faithful care has given me this testimony to share! And I'm delighted to hear your have a hero of your own at home. Blessings on you both, my friend. :) x

  4. A beautiful, emotive post Joy, bought tears to my eyes. How lucky you both are to have each other :)

    1. Dear Kimmie, we certainly count ourselves blessed. Though I have a sneaking suspicion I've got the better end of the deal! Thank you for reading and commenting. I really appreciate you stopping by, my friend. :) x

  5. Wonderful. What a moving tribute to your lovely husband. How important to notice the day-to-day stuff, because the little things are the big things, I think. Together, over the years, the two of you have built something special, and that's very precious. Thanks for sharing it with us. x

    1. Helen, your perceptive words mirror my thoughts too. Yes, all the little deeds, words spoken, kind actions undertaken, help and encouragement given, all mount up and become truly significant. It gives us hope that our seemingly small words and deeds can bless another beyond anything we imagine. God uses everything as part of His design to enrich another person's life. So never give up belieiving that God is using you too as you write and share your own story. Blessings :) x

  6. Oh, what beauty in the sacrifice and love in the hubby God gave you. I can hear in your words the gratitude, the love, the respect you have for him. What a powerful story. Thank you for sharing. Oh, Joy, I can only imagine what you have been through illness/physical wise and the hurt you have had to face and endure...I really can't even imagine what the two of you have experienced. May God bless both of you and may your lives be a reminder of the everlasting God who gave us an everlasting soul.

    1. Dionne, if God had given us prior knowledge then it might have seemed too daunting a task to marry one another and see the hardships we'd have to face almost from day one. In His mercy, He arranges us to live in 24 hour compartments, knowing that each day's trouble is enough for that day. How blessed we are to be able to draw on His grace and mercy new every morning!
      My deepest hope and prayer is for beauty to come out of adversity and for the tests and trials to produce a testimony of God's keeping power, love and healing. Thank you for visiting, Dionne. Bless you, friend. :) x

  7. That is an absolutely beautiful post Joy. It made me tearful reading it. And thinking about everything my own husband has had to go thru over the years. And he doesn't complain (much !). Just quietly carries on with no fuss
    As you say - they are the real heroes
    Anne Dean

    1. Anne, you know full well how much we have to rely on our husbands and what heroes they need to be to take care of us when we have a daily battle with M.E. I'm thankful that you are experiencing the gift of a hero in your life too, my friend! Blessings to you both. :) x

  8. Joy this is beautiful, maybe now isn't the place you imagined on your wedding day, but praise God that He blessed you both with a supportive partner to love, encourage and enrich life despite its battles.

    1. Thank you, Mandy, for pointing me to a place of blessing hidden in the painful circumstances. Yes, we are deeply blessed to still be here, still together, clinging on to God and one another for all we are worth. A "supportive partner to love, encourage and enrich life despite its battles" is indeed a gift of grace. No matter how hard things are and may become, there is a great reassurance in sharing the daily struggles together.
      To see the rainbow through the rain makes life a thing of beauty arising out of ashes of adversity. Blessings and love, sweet friend. Xx :)