99: Two Hearts

99: Two Hearts

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Wives

Two Hearts

By Debbie Acklin

Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!

~Psalm 27:14 (NKJV)

It was Valentine’s Day. Home from work, I headed toward the bedroom, looking for my husband. The sight of two pink chocolate-filled hearts on the bed stopped me in the doorway. My husband turned to face me with a grin. He had been a casualty of employee cutbacks at his job and out of work for a few weeks. Our cash flow had become severely restricted, so we were budgeting carefully. The two small gifts — one for me and one for our daughter — were an extravagance. I felt a wave of nausea come over me as I realized that my news would soon overshadow the sweetness of this thoughtful gesture.

With a heavy heart, I entered the room. Leaning against the dresser, I stood silently with my coat still on, my purse in hand. My eyes brimmed with tears, and my husband’s smile sagged into a frown. His blue eyes clouded.

“I just lost my job,” I blurted out as the tears began to flow.

“What happened?” he asked, panic in his voice.

My heart cracked. Dropping my purse, I slid slowly down the front of the dresser. Falling to my knees, I wept uncontrollably.

“Debbie, what happened?” he asked again, my silence panicking him even more.

I lifted my face and looked at him. “They didn’t need me anymore. Last one in, first one out,” I said through my tears. “I have a severance check in my purse, and my personal belongings are still on the back seat of the car.”

Dropping to the bed, he barely missed the pink hearts he had so lovingly placed there. For the next half-hour, I relayed the events of the day. His shoulders drooped under the burden I had just placed there. In the end, I sat on the floor, a red-eyed, tear-stained mess, repeating “I’m so sorry.”

My husband had soldiered through each day, searching for another job, reviewing our finances, keeping a brave face to steady the family, but I always knew he was hanging on by a thread. I knew my news would only increase the burden on his heart. Finally, he said, “Well, God has always taken care of us in the past. We just need to trust Him now.” He pulled me to my feet, and we held each other. Later, we sat down together and restructured our budget, adjusting for my severance check.

A few months later, we both found jobs, and life returned to normal. I must admit, I still cannot look fondly on that Valentine’s Day, but now when my life feels out of control, I remember the two pink candy hearts. They remind me of God’s faithfulness to strengthen our two hearts as we supported one another and aspired to “be of good courage” while we waited upon the Lord.

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