I'm far from gifted to deal with these kinds of issues and it's one of the many discouragements of being single. Even if I wasn't married to Harvey Handyman, I could at least let him handle it. I knew things weren't right when there was water seeping around my clean out plug in the garage. Back in December, I had a sewer back up and decided to call my neighbor, who was the culprit the last time. He said he wasn't having any plumbing issues. At that point, I should have called my Dad, but trying to be independent, I decided to solve this on my own, and boy, did I.
Grabbing the plunger, I was determined to clear out whatever plug was causing the problem. Look out neighbors, you may get a backup, but I'm taking control! I plunged like there was no tomorrow and voila, the toilet flushed! As I strutted proudly into the laundry room, I got a whiff of something that deeply concerned me. When I stepped to the door of my laundry room I saw a vision I hope never to see again. I fixed the toilet all right, and the plug, wherever it was, exploded into my laundry room. Imagine a baby elephant had a blow out in his diaper, and you've got a pretty good visual. I wanted to cry. I wished it had been an animal crawling up my sewer. And, at that point, I broke down and called my Dad.
We got it cleaned up (well, he did much more than I did) and a plumber came on Monday to clean out the plug in the sewer. It was about six feet from my house and could have come from anyone on the same line, but I was the lucky resident to suffer.
As I finally went to bed Saturday night at 2am, I really needed some encouragement. My life really did stink that night (literally) and I needed God to show me the blessings in my life as I lamented my singleness. And He did....
- I have the best Dad in the world. He was the ultimate pooper scooper and didn't falter. No weak stomach, no complaints. Even though I spent the whole night apologizing for making this happen, he reassured me that it wasn't my fault, I was just trying to fix the problem. It reminds me once again why I'm still single - I've got an example in my Dad like none other. I don't know what I'd do without him.
- One of my best friends, Beth, has a husband that looks out for me. When deer season started, he went out and bought me deer horns for my car and installed them. Beth had hit a deer before and knowing that I live in an area with wildlife (and that I visit them periodically in their wildlife home) he wanted to make sure I was safe. I'm so thankful for friends' husbands who think about their single sisters.
- The night before the sewer backup, one of my fellow co-workers in college ministry, Suzanne, took me to dinner. It was such a sweet time and so good to get to know her since she and her husband have recently joined the team. She really blessed me by asking me "How can I minister to you as a single person?" Her encouraging words, and just realization that being single isn't easy, is something I rarely hear. I'm so thankful for moments like that when God appears through the flesh of a person to encourage and lift me up.
- That same Saturday afternoon I was doing my semi-monthly grocery shopping. I ran into my Pastor and his wife at the store. As timing would have it, I was checking out right in front of them. When I finished, my Pastor asked if he could help me to my car. For a single gal who does all these kinds of things by myself, I was taken aback and said, "Well, sure, if you'd like to!" It's such a small thing but each time I go to the store, I load up my trunk, come home, unload and de-bag, just like everyone else in the known world. But, I never realized that others may have a mate to help them. I'm so thankful for the godly example of a husband my Pastor exhibits.
I know these types of trials are temporary and nothing compared to more severe trials that others endure. But, I'm thankful that even through the stank of a sewer, God can show me how blessed I truly am...even without a husband. If you are married, give your hubby some lovin' and thank him for something he's done that you didn't have to do. And, one day when God brings that man into my life, I'll try to remember to praise him when he helps out with the poo in my life and not nag him about the small things that really don't matter.