This post is dedicated to my beautiful, tree-like husband….even if he doesn’t think he is beautiful.
It seems I married a sapling….a new believer who was cut down, right and left, by anything that sought to destroy. Years one through three it was the big things, cheating of course being the biggest, but there were other things as well.

I read somewhere awhile back that “women marry men hoping they will change….and that men marry women hoping they won’t”. I think of that almost every time I look in the mirror….and I heave a heavy sigh.
When Papa Bear and I decided to rebuild our marriage from the ashes of ground zero, I knew, in theory, that the journey would be long. Still, I wasn’t prepared for what seemed like an abundance of failures and setbacks along the way. “I found porn, again!” or “I caught him in another lie!!” I moaned to God, wondering how long this pain was going to continue. That is, until one day I was emoting to a friend and she quoted something she’d first heard from her grandmother.

“People grow like trees,” she said. “You can’t watch it happen; you look back on it and say, ‘Wow.’ But, to see anything at all, you have to look year by year and stop looking day by day.”
It’s been over four years now since I’ve started viewing my husband as a tree. But today, when I got in the car, I turned the key and heard rockin’ praise music blaring through the speakers….and all I could say was, “Wow.” Even though he’s had a heart for worship for awhile now, gratefulness spawned a flashback to the years of pleading and praying I took silently to my Savior….asking Him to give my husband a passionate hunger for the things of Heaven.
When he teaches our children about God….”Wow.”

When I look at him and see that….He’s sorry.
He’s faithful.
He picks me flowers.
He preaches the gospel.
He mentors.
He prays.
He feels.

And when I see that he has somehow become the sane one in this relationship….
“Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!”
I am floored by the well-watered growth rings he has gained in the past four years. He’s not a perfect man. Good thing; I am not a perfect woman. As a woman who has longed for growth and change, though, it is easy for me to get caught up in wanting more….instead of reveling in how far he’s come (how far we’ve come). But the truth is, his current failures are only evidence of his continued need for a Savior. The rings reveal who he is. And you don’t count rings every day.

He’ll bear good fruit…when that fruit is in season. And he’ll continue to prosper and grow, but not necessarily in the direction I might point him. After all, he’s a tree, and trees must grow toward the Son.

Psalms 1:1-3 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.