My son, who just started his freshman year of college, is sick. For the first time, Casey feels miserable and I’m not there. I can’t make him chicken soup and ask him the infamously dorky, question I always ask on the rare occasion when I cook from scratch, “Can you taste the love?” So, I’ve been texting him and trying to encourage him in the stress of being sick and traversing college,
He’s doing great, I’m proud of him, and I’m praying for him.
But this morning, I wasn’t thinking about Casey. I was brought to tears thinking about Chris (Sorry ladies. Many of you are still mad at me for my last “be-nice-to-your-husband” post, but I just follow where I think the Spirit’s leading).
Four years ago, Chris lived in Canada for his job for six (in-the-dead-of-winter) months. In that time, he got the flu, missed out on our kids’ lives, and missed his bed, couch, and eating food not from a restaurant. That assignment was for the first phase of a project that launches this weekend and Chris is overseeing the deployment.
When I texted Chris this morning that I was praying for the launch and for his leadership, he said my text was well timed. My husband is incredibly calm and unflappable. His pulse rate is usually in the 50’s (or as I call it, half alive), but this week I think it’s teetering into the 60’s. Chris isn’t only overseeing a national company-wide computer conversion, he overseeing hundreds of people. Hundreds of opinions, emotions, and all other things that come from complex, bright, amazing, difficult, and everything in-between thing…people. Chris texted me that he was grateful for my encouragement, right when he needed it.
And that’s when I got choked up. Not because I texted him at the right time, but because I forgot how much he needs it.
It’s easy for me to encourage my son and be his biggest fan when he’s sick or struggling, but I forget. I forget my fifty-some-year-old husband used to be a nineteen-year-old son. He has fears, challenges, and struggles too and needs what every son needs. He needs to know he is loved, appreciated, prayed for, and believed in. He needs to feel, hear, and” taste the love,” just as much as Casey does.
Oh, how I’ve forgotten that.
I see Chris as independent, strong, and steady. Sometimes, I subconsciously think my compliments, gratitude, and encouragement will be recieved from him kind of like when your mom says, “You’re the best, honey!” Sometimes, I’ve been so focused on my children, work, and ministry that I’ve failed to remember that just like there’s still a little girl in me that wants to be pretty and craves my dad’s approval, Chris needs, just as Casey will too someday, voices encouraging, affirming, and reminding him,
He’s doing great, I’m proud of him and I’m praying for him.
Maybe the Spirit is prompting you to encourage your mother-in-law’s son, today, too. Go for it. They’ll both be grateful you did.