“Why did you marry Trey, Kaitlin?” I asked my baby girl one day shortly after their wedding. Kaitlin, my left-brained gal, had approached dating much like she did taking a science test that had all multiple choice questions. It was pass or fail, sometimes on the first date. She held her bar high, and passing on the curve was not an option. Trey had won her heart, it was true. Apparently, he had all the answers right and passed with flying colors. Even our three adorable sons-in-law approved of him before Kaitlin and Trey were in a serious dating relationship.
I was all ears, ready to hear her response. Kaitlin is a woman of few words. “Mom, Trey had my back!” was her reply.
I was perplexed, yet I responded with, “That’s good, baby.”
To my surprise, she explained, “I met Trey at kickball. We were the outfielders. When I would go for the ball and he could see that I wasn’t going to make it, he would shout, ‘I got it!’ He always had my back, Mom.”
This was not the first time I had to pretend to understand sports. I gave my motherhood seal of approval.
Years before marriage, when Kaitlin was the “birdie” for her high school cheerleading squad, one of her biggest gripes were the “builds!” “Mom, the builds are so weak that I have to fly through the air and catch myself before I land.” I did not think that it was the best time to tell her that I did not notice because my eyes were closed in prayer when she flew through the air.
Strong and mighty Kaitlin always had to carry a lot of responsibly that someone else should have helped to shoulder. As a mother, I sensed her heart’s cry for a mate who was there for her and had her back. Then God sent Trey. He definitely spoke Kaitlin’s love language. She would always feel safe in Trey’s arms.
Kaitlin’s story was one which I have contemplated. “He’s got my back.” What a word to treasure. How does your husband have your back? As a wife sometimes it is easier to focus on ways our husband drops the ball, rather them the ways he catches it before it hits the ground.
My husband and I are reading Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, together. It is amazing to see how many ways my husband has my back. We are definitely learning a lot about each other. After 45 years of marriage, there is still more to learn. Sometimes in marriage when a husband’s love language is different than yours, you are blinded to see how they are trying to “catch the ball,” but they are in “left field.” If that is your experience, I highly recommend reading this book together.
Many people like to make New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. I have decided to focus on the ways my husband has my back. So my word for 2020 is appreciation. Perhaps I will journal them. Definitely I will share them. How does your husband have your back? What are the ways you show appreciation for your spouse in word and deed? I would love to hear your story! Stories can change lives. Stories can change hearts. I believe this is why Jesus was a storyteller.
I will leave you with one last story. When I was a young mother and wife, I went to hear a speaker about her faith. To my delight, the presentation was on marriage. At the end of her sharing, the speaker told a story that has grown in my heart for over two decades. She said that one day when she read the scripture in Ephesians on wives, she was convicted of the ways she had failed her husband. That very day, when her husband arrived home from work, she knelt at his feet and wept tears, begging his forgiveness. Wives, we do fall short, as do our husbands. There is always a time to begin again — and 2020 will give us plenty of opportunity to do just that!
Maybe you are a woman reading this and your heart is crying out, “Who has my back?” My prayer this year is that God the Father will wrap His loving arms around you and hold you in His everlasting love. Our heavenly Father’s love is always just a prayer away. He has your back, and he will never let you go. My second prayer is that God will open your eyes to see the ways people do have your back. Sometimes we are blinded and unable to see a clearly. Other times we see too clearly. Wise old Kaitlin in her twenties used to say, “Anyone can see defects if they are looking through a microscope.” Kaitlin’s left-brain knowledge has taught this right-brained mom a lot. She has my back.
Copyright 2020 Ellen Mongan