This week my husband and I are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary. While I could rehash all of our great marriage moments (and there have been many) or things we’ve done really well, I thought it might be valuable (or at least interesting) to take a look at a time when things did not go so well – like that time I plotted to “poison” my husband.
A few years ago, my husband planned a several-day camping trip for our whole family. I realize some of you may not know me very well, so I’ll just say it bluntly: I hate camping.
Perhaps you think I’m just not doing it right or if I tried camping this way or that way, or at this campsite or that, I’d love it. Nope.
I’ve tried to be like you people who like camping. I want to be like you. But alas, God did not make me like you and it think it honors Him when I stay true to His design (wink).
For the upcoming multi-day camping trip, though, I decided I would be a trooper and go at it with gusto. I made the decision to embrace sleeping in the great outdoors, cooking over a fire and swatting bugs all the live-long day (and night). I was ready to go.
However, a few days before our trip, our youngest daughter became ill and we needed to be near to her doctor. The camping trip was cancelled. Our daughter was our main concern, but I breathed a sigh of relief and even cheered as our campout was snuffed out.
I thanked God for this, my Abraham and Isaac-like pardon. Just like Abraham, I put my desires on the alter of sacrifice. I was ready to go forward with the horrific act of camping if that’s what God had for me. And at the last moment, just as He did with Abraham, God spared me from making that costly sacrifice.
Ah, yes, God was rewarding my faithful, willing heart with a get-outta-camping free pass. Have you ever heard a more parallel Abraham and Isaac story? Me neither.
A few days later, our daughter made a wonderful recovery and my husband suggested we salvage the rest of the week and head out on our camping trip.
I’m sorry, what? My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?
As my husband started making plans, I wasn’t so willing this time. As in not willing at all.
I didn’t share my feelings with my husband. I didn’t tell him I didn’t want to go. I just hoped a big storm would come in and wreck the plans.
Instead of communicating with my husband, I started having conversations in my own head like, “He should know I would never want to go camping, yet he’s moving ahead with these awful plans.” And, “Doesn’t he know me? I hate camping.” Alas, my head has an incredible drama department.
That’s when I started plotting. I began plotting to “poison” my husband. As I lay in bed one night, I thought, “If he takes me on this camping trip, he’s going to be sorry.”
I didn’t need to Google any toxic concoctions (cut to Dateline revealing my internet searches). No, I knew what I needed to do the deed: Ham, beans and mushrooms.
My husband hates ham, beans and mushrooms.
I decided our first meal back from our camping trip would include his most dreaded foods.
I started stewing over ingredients and how I would prepare this revenge dinner. Would I make it into one big casserole, a soup or just prepare each individually to fill his plate? Decisions, decisions.
As I was mentally reviewing ingredient profiles, I heard a voice. It wasn’t audible to anyone else, just a voice that seemed to be coming from my heart more than my head. The tone wasn’t harsh or condemning, but instead loving, comforting and inviting.
The voice said, “Aren’t you about to speak to a group of women about being a loving wife?”
My plotting stopped.
I had been asked to speak to a group of newly married women on the subject of being a loving wife. Why in the world would those women want to hear about marriage from this vengeful, scheming wife?
I repented for my hard heart and have never considered poisoning my husband since. Promise. (There was a peppermint essential oil incident in which I almost blinded him, but that was an honest mistake.)
I share this story because I don’t want anyone to confuse me with a perfect wife, mother or anything else for that matter. No, this story is a great illustration of where I go when I take my eyes off of the Lord and take matters into my own hands.
In my 15 years as a wife, I’ve proven over and over that I’m imperfect, but thankfully the Lord is sweet to stir my heart when I’m up to no good – like plotting to poison my husband.
I look forward to celebrating our 15 years together. And I vow, there will be no ham, beans or mushrooms.