When I was engaged to Nigel (after having only dating him for 6 weeks, one of which was spent at girls camp) I was scared to death that being married to him was going to be basically one eternal struggle with moral decisions. I wasn’t sure exactly who he was or what his testimony was. After going to the temple and feeling like I SHOULD marry him, I was still not convinced that I WANTED to marry him. One day driving down the road in the car with him, I had a “for duh” moment, which I learned early on in life is one way how I feel the Spirit, and a voice in my mind said “you will not be comfortable with anyone else.” It was the reassurance I needed to get through our engagement (which was the LONGEST four weeks of my life) and marry him. Still over the next few years of being married, I wondered if his level of spirituality was up to par with what I expected from “my husband.” He didn’t do anything wrong or contrary to gospel standards, but he was not EQP, he did not bear his testimony every fast Sunday, and he certainly did not flaunt his “righteousness”… he didn’t even have a CTR ring!
One day after we had been married for probably a couple of years he made mention that he had never prayed harder than the summer he met me because he was on top of people’s roofs and under their houses all day. To be quite honest with you this was the first time I realized Nigel prayed other than at meals and for family prayer. It gave me a little glimpse of the man that he really was. But still, no EQP and no CTR ring.
A few years later we started talking after church (communication… go figure!) about the lessons and what we had talked about. He had great insight and I appreciated his dedication to paying attention during his church meetings. This was the first time I realized that Nigel enjoyed going to church.
And even a few more years down the road, we started sitting together on Sunday nights and reading the EQ/RS lessons that would be taught the next week. I was so grateful for the things he taught me. I could see his knowledge of the gospel was strong as I not only discussed things with him, but relied on his input to understand the things that we were being taught. Even more I realized that he believed the gospel was not only true, but worth dedicating his time to.
Two weeks ago I needed a blessing because I wasn’t feeling well. I am not one to get blessings very often. It is usually an extreme situation before I’ll ask for one. After he gave me what I believe to be a most inspired blessing that told me EXACTLY what I needed to hear, he thanked me for allowing him to use his priesthood. I think this was the first time that I realized Nigel WANTS to not only honor his priesthood, but use the power that has been given to him.
Today I caught up on Nigel’s blog. And I think that for the first time in eight years I’ve been humbled enough to realize that I am not keeping this family afloat. My husband, the patriarch of this family, truly loves the Lord. He may do things quietly, but he does do them. He may not get up on fast Sundays to bear his testimony, but he lives his testimony every day. I’m SO grateful to be married to such a wonderful man. I am so grateful that he puts up with me and my prideful, crazy, impatient self… and somehow still finds a way to love me in spite of all that I am. With that capability alone, I should have realized much, much sooner in life that he was more Christlike than I will ever be!
Don’t misunderstand… I was not married to Nigel for 8 years before I realized that he was worth marrying. I’m just saying that he never ceases to amaze me. As I learn more about him the longer that we are married, I realize that I am grateful we are married for eternity because I love him more and more every day.
So thank you, Nigel, for being a wonderful example to me and your children. Thank you for always being willing to serve others, including myself. Thank you for your love and whole-hearted support as I tend to take the spotlight every chance I get. I hope that when I grow up I can be just like you.