We call her Sister-Wife…and we are in awe of her.
At nineteen, she gladly left the comfort, support, and love of her birth family to accompany her newly-wed husband to Atlanta. He promised her that Atlanta was the land of excitement and great possibilities.
At twenty-three, they were separated because he found excitement and great possibilities in other relationships. By this time, they shared a son who they both loved. Hard decisions had to be made. She decided to stay in Atlanta because she had a great job, supportive friends, and just maybe, reconciliation was possible. He had other thoughts. By the age of twenty-six, they divorced, but remained friends for their son’s sake.
Before she left home at nineteen, she attended church and knew about God. After the divorce, she joined a Bible teaching church, got involved, and began to know God for herself. The Holy Spirit began teaching her how to love out. Loving out means showing the divine love of God beyond one’s comfort zone to those who are unlovable, difficult, selfish, and disrespectful. Loving out means allowing God to pour His love through you to those who desperately need it, but do not know how to seek God for it.
Without her or us realizing what was happening, the reality and power of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and Matthews 5:43-47 was indelibly imprinted into her heart. Over the years and through many trials, she learned to be patient and kind. She learned to not be envious, boastful, proud, arrogant, rude, or to keep a list of wrongs done to her. She learned to love, bless, and do good to those who probably would not do the same for her. She became God’s visual aid of what loving out looks like.
When she was forty-eight, (physically beautiful, mentally sharp, and spiritually mature: all of that and a bag of chips) the call came. “I have cancer.” He wanted her stabilizing presence and spiritual maturity for him and his wife during this final part of his journey.
They shared a son. She came along-side: sharing God’s love, prayers, and calming presence to him, his wife, their son, and his two other sons by two other women. Loving out.
Nine months later, when she was forty-nine, she helped his wife plan his homegoing and attended the service and the repass – letting the love of God radiate through her. His wife kept showing her gratitude with lots of hugs and thank-yous.
She is my daughter. We call her Sister-Wife…and we are in awe of her.