Read at your own risk. This is personal and deep (for me) but I feel compelled. So, here you go.
Early on in my wife’s pregnancy with our twins, I had a horrifying thought.
Now, you should know that I have different types of good, bad and meaningless thoughts all the time. Usually, I simply try to put the bad ones out of my mind and usually, I simply forget. Then I assume it’s just a random thought.
When I DON’T forget, however, I typically start to pay more attention and address the thought and “do something about it.”
Maybe it’s just me, but I’d like to think there is a higher power communicating with me and moving me in different directions. I’d like to think.
But when I got this thought when my wife was pregnant, I was not only unable to forget about it, but the more I tried, the more I was convinced that the horrible thought was a premonition.
What was my premonition? As bad as this sounds, it was that…
My wife would not survive childbirth.
I know, I know. It’s horrible, it’s wacky and I felt like I was doing something wrong for even thinking that way. But I couldn’t shake it.
Then after about 3 months, my wife was put on bed-rest.
Hard enough as it is, but it seemed to be a “sign” that my premonition was true. I was internally getting more and more scared.
Then… with almost 6 weeks left, she was required to be in the Hospital full time for safety. AGAIN, it was an additional sign that my premonition was to become a reality.
Keep in mind, I was afraid to tell anyone of my premonition – especially my wife or kids. What could I do? I had nowhere to turn.
Without anyone knowing, I was suffering deeply. I could not fathom the idea of losing my wife – the woman I love, I cherish, and had grown to love more each year.
I privately cried, I poured out my heart in prayer, I begged and pleaded that she would be spared and be able to stay with me and the kids. Internally, I was a mess.
It was the most emotionally and mentally painful and taxing experience I have ever gone through.
Even as I suffered, I became more convinced that I should prepare for the inevitable dreadfulness.
So, I did.
I cried, I prayed, I begged and started to come to grips with the fact that I would be left alone with my kids.
But as part of my preparation, I also SERVED my wife like crazy.
There was NO WAY she would NOT KNOW how I felt about her.
On weekends our family was there all the time. And I went to be with her at least twice a day during the week. I’d get all the kids to school, head in to work, take her lunch every day, go back to work, head home to meet the kids and we’d ALL go and spend the rest of the day with her.
If I was to lose her, I was determined that she would know and FEEL my unending love for her.
As all this was happening, I noticed something about myself that I had never REALLY understood before.
Before this event, I was a bit, well… maybe a bit selfish. But now, I had completely lost myself in the service of my wife and kids.
No longer was my life even remotely about me. It was about giving her a lasting feeling that she was loved and it was about how I would “ensure” my children remembered her and knew she loved them.
All the things that used to matter (I’m a bit ashamed to say this, but they were about me – selfish thoughts about my needs) no longer mattered to me. What mattered now was only her and my children.
Let me give you what may appear to be a trivial example – but what may do the best job of helping you understand me before this incident.
Before this life altering event when I would come home to dirty dishes in the sink, I would wash them. I would do all the things that husbands who try to be helpful would do. I would help with dinner or with laundry or whatever – but basically, I was simply putting in the work and going through the motions.
Internally, I seethed. “Why isn’t this done during the day” I thought. “Isn’t it her job to get this stuff done while I’m at work?” WHILE I was helping, I was internally mad that I had to help and that it wasn’t already done.
I’m not proud of it, but it’s true. I was helping for all the wrong reasons – because I was “supposed to.”
But as this event transpired, I was a changed man internally.
I WANTED to serve her and the kids. I WANTED to spend every waking minute I could with her. I WANTED to do whatever it took for her to KNOW – by my actions and feelings – that she was unconditionally loved.
Then, a remarkable insight.
After months of silent suffering, with only about a week left before the doctors would schedule the birth of my twins, a good friend SAW something in me that made him ask me, “Dude, are you okay?”
You should know, I am a master of hiding any pain or problems I have from the rest of the world. But after I said I was fine, he persisted. “You seem like there may be something going on with you.”
After I relented and FINALLY told him of my circumstances he said something to me that completely changed my outlook and gave me hope.
He said, “Everything happens for a reason. Maybe you had this premonition because you needed to feel this pain and change something in your life. And maybe, just maybe, if you can learn the lesson you need to learn without losing your wife, maybe you don’t have to lose her.”
I was astounded and now filled with something I had completely lost.
I had lost HOPE that she would be spared and stay with us. But now, I was completely energized with the thoughts we had discussed.
Now, I was determined to learn any and all lessons I could from the experience and KEEP my wife and family together. Suddenly, I was empowered.
The night before the day of our twins birth, I didn’t sleep a wink.
That morning, with a few hours to spare before I had to go to the hospital, I feel to my knees AGAIN to beg and plead. Believe me, it’s not hard to beg and plead for hours under these types of circumstances.
As I stood to go be with my wife, I felt overwhelmingly comforted that my wife would be okay. It was the most magnificent feeling I’ve ever felt.
And she was… and is… okay. My twins are now healthy, and happy.
But I had been changed forever. The lessons I learned from this experience were too many to count. However, the most important lesson I learned and the reason I’m sharing this story now is to challenge us all to this:
Let’s all put aside our selfishness and ego.
Let’s all stop worrying about OUR rights and start focusing more on our responsibilities.
As men, we have the responsibility to love our wives and children and there is no better way to show them than to happily and willingly SERVE them.
I am MUCH happier now than I was ever before and I think my wife can FEEL it, when I do the dishes because I LOVE her and want to serve her.
When she’s taking a nap and I fold a few loads of laundry, I FEEL great about doing it (with absolutely NO seething) because I am serving the woman I love.
And the more I willingly serve her and my children the more I know THEY KNOW they are loved.
And fellows, just so you’ll know – There’s a SERIOUS side effect to all this…
The more you serve your family because you love them, the more they’ll love you. It’s an eternal cycle.
Now… I want to plead with you to try this – and start TODAY!
Lose yourself and focus completely on serving your wife and kids for just one straight week. Just 7 days.
Do it because you love them and do it with the attitude of love and service. I don’t care if anyone notices or not. Do it because of the man you are. Do it because you can.
I promise you that if you will, you will become a changed man internally.
You will be happier, love more and deeper and find that others will do the same for you.
I also promise you that you will develop a deeper, happier relationship with your wife and kids.
No other success in life can bring you more happiness or take the place of success in your own home.
SERVE well, serve hard, serve with love and no conditions. You will LOVE it.
Oh, and for you women reading this, show him that you appreciate him. You can get your man to do ANYTHING if you love and serve him as well. It’s a two-way street.