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Behind Every Great Woman...and How I Met my Man


posted by Susan Dominikovich on , , ,

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"Behind every great woman there is an even greater man..."

Yes I know.  I've got that wrong.  It's supposed to be the other way around.

And it is true, the other way around.  Strong, gifted, talented men have great women behind them, in almost every case.  Otherwise, they would be mush.  Or incredibly anti-social.  And make some crazy decisions.  And succumb to man-flu far too often.  

But the way I've written it is also true.  We feminists (yes I am one) have touted are own horn far too long and need to acknowledge and accept we cannot actually do it alone.

We need our men.

We need them in partnership with us.

That's the way it works.

And I for one would rather not have it any other way.

Without my man, my partner, my love, my cow man, I would be mush.  And incredibly anti-social.  And make some crazy decisions.  But I draw the line at man-flu.

I met my man at Capernwray Bible School in Northern England.  We were both 23 years old and on our OE.  For both of us it turned out to be more of a spiritual discovery than an overseas adventure.  I guess that's what we had in common.  And thankfully, always will have in common.  Our Christian roots were formed together in the same place.  Biblical principles that are life-changing and life-shaping.

But I digress from my story.

I met my man at Capernwray Bible School in Northern England.  I had been there 9 months enduring the coldest and dampest winter I had ever experienced in my life, Paul only 2 during spring, and we had entirely different sets of friends.  Our circles rarely mixed except I do remember one of my friends, Petra from Germany, said to me, "That Paul from New Zealand...you should get to know him.  You would be good together."  I didn't know at the time she was a prophet.  I smiled sweetly and carried on with my own pursuits, while he carried on with his (yes, I'm sure you are able to read between the lines there).

After the term ended, I had to stay on at the school for a couple of days and Paul was there too.  We tearfully said good-bye to our friends and then finally started a conversation with each other, connecting over our hurting hearts.  That night we took our conversation from the front entrance, to the staff lounge, to the main hall, and finally to a bench outside.  Into the wee hours.  

And the next night as well.  As you do.

And then I had to leave very early to catch a train and a plane and a ferry to go home to Vancouver Island.  

I remember saying good-bye to a great man, my new friend and thinking as the car drove away and he was waving me off, standing under the stone arch of the ancient Hall, "I will see him again."  I was not sad this time.

And indeed (skipping the next few months...this isn't a book), I was right.  God had planned it that we would connect at the end of Bible School, write letters, develop a friendship into a relationship and get married.  And the rest, as they say, is history.  A beautiful history that I continue to live out, 18+ years later.


Me and Paul in 1995 on our engagement
But that actually is where my story begins, "Behind Every Great Woman..."  Before I met Paul, I was a scared little mouse.  Literally.  A life-time of social anxiety and shyness.  I was tongue-tied in conversation, useless in sports always tripping over myself, afraid of crowds, never believed in myself, in fact, was never good at anything unless it was academic writing or perhaps speaking from a lectern.  Put the two together and I thought perhaps I would one day be an English professor.  The eccentric, beige-clad, spectacles on a chain, reclusive type English professor. 

Enter Paul.  A great man. 

He believed in me.

He saw me for who I was, a woman created in God's image.  Talented.  Beautiful.  Witty.  Wise.  Charming.  Intelligent.  Creative.  Courageous.  Argumentative.  Adventurous.  Strong.  A fighter.  Even good at sport.

More importantly, he made me believe in me too.

God gave me a gift in my husband.  He gave me a man who believes in me, supports me, brings out the better than best in me, affirms me, challenges me and loves me beyond measure.  He gave me a man who tells me I am a gifted writer and talented musician and inspiring teacher and wonderful mother.  

Not only that, but God gave me a man who would be the things I cannot always be.  My exactly perfect partner.  He gave me a man who has a prophet's heart mixed with wisdom and grace when all I want to do is shout and criticise.  God gave me a man who is not afraid to be a strong man with a strong voice who stands up for justice when I all want to do is crumble and complain that it's all too hard.  God gave me a man who can at other times admit, "I can't fight this one for you, but I 100% believe you can."  God gave me a man who makes Jesus the centre of his life and ours, and will not compromise, even when I just want to say, "can we tone it down, just a little, and stop threatening people so much?"  

God gave me a man who has taught me that if people find Jesus threatening, that's their problem.

God gave me a man named Paul.

A man made in God's image.

He is my great man.

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