Reflections ~ April 2011 ~ What Defines You?

April 1, 2011

When we were first married, Kristina never complained that we had six men living with us at Solid Rock, our discipleship house. She didn’t think it was strange that the men came and joined us for the second week of our honeymoon, or that I left two days early to speak at a church. We were one big family serving the Lord together. One day, a few months into our marriage, I was talking to my dad on the phone. I explained to him that Kristina did the cooking, cleaning, and laundry for the men in our house while we worked in construction. He began to yell at me, “If you don’t make your wife stop doing the laundry for those bums, I’m going to personally come up there and throw them all out of that house!” I got the message. From then on the guys did their own laundry.

Years ago, Kristina and I were hunting in the desert on foot. When I suggested that we split up to cover more ground, she asked, “What should I do if I run into those men who passed us?” Two ornery looking men in a pickup truck had gone by us on a dirt road.

“My dear, you are wearing camo. Your hat band has an eagle feather on one side and a deer antler on the other side. You have a .38 pistol and a knife on your belt. You are carrying a 12 gauge shotgun. I think those guys are going to be more scared of you then you are of them!” With that we split up and headed out into the desert.

We were at a home group one night where everyone was briefly sharing their life story. When it was her turn, Kristina told the group how much she loved to work for the church, quilt, sew, deliver babies, fish, and hunt. Not exactly the typical combination of interests for most ladies. As she finished talking about our children and her life, I was struck by what she didn’t say.

Kristina didn’t say much about our son Matthew’s death. She didn’t mention that she and her little brother were put in Juvenile Hall when her parents had been arrested after a drunken bar fight. She didn’t say she had been abused as a young girl when her mother was put in a mental institution, or that her dad had committed suicide. She didn’t mention we had lived in rented houses with no savings for years when we were first married.

She was not trying to conceal these things, but she knew that they did not define her life. She had been chosen by God to be a servant of Christ. She loves the Lord and really enjoys life. She understands that persevering through grief and hard times goes with the territory when you follow Christ.

Kristina often gets calls from friends with health problems, family issues, and pet crises. They are not asking for sympathy. They want her practical wisdom about the challenges they face. She knows how the world works, because she knows the One who formed it. The pain and problems of life shape our character, but they do not define us. A true disciple can overcome grief, abuse, or neglect and have a fruitful life. I know, because I’m blessed to live with one. Her life is a testimony to me of the transforming power of Jesus Christ.

One Response to “Reflections ~ April 2011 ~ What Defines You?”

  1. seillean Says:

    Hello Mark ! you married john and I over 26 years ago. Glad I found you and Living Streams on the web. Blessings to all of you. xoxoxo

    Deborah & John

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