Today is Nona’s birthday. #63 to be specific. So she is still a very young woman. One day you will understand what I mean when I say that the older you get the younger and younger 63 years old of age seems.
Perhaps you remember seeing the post I wrote on Nona’s 60th birthday – it was full of lots of stuff about her over the years. As we celebrate her birthday today I want to tell you why she is my “ezer kenegdo.”
My guess is that your first thought is “Say what”? But you are probably more familiar with those words than you think – or at least with what the words mean. Those are the Hebrew words taken from Genesis 2:18 where the Lord God says, “It is nor good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper fit for him.” Or, I will make him an ezer kenegdo.
The fact that God created a helper for the first man implies that God knew that the man would need lots of help. And this is definitely true for me. So here are just a few of the ways that Nona has been an incredible helper to me over the years.
She has definitely helped me become an organized person. She is very gifted organizationally. Me not so much. But I have learned much from her that has helped me so that nowadays most people think I am very organized. If only they knew what I was like 40 years ago when we got married.
She helps me do what is right. I am not really a rule breaker but I do have a tendency to be a rule bender. I have no doubt that Nona has saved me from multiple speeding tickets and parking violations over the years in addition to helping me do the right thing when it comes to caring for and looking out for people – which is kind of one of my main jobs as a pastor.
For the first 25 or so years of our marriage we were involved in Student Ministry. I can’t even begin to tell you how much she helped me be a better student pastor. She was always by my side doing whatever I asked her to do – whether it was teaching a class of girls or baking some kind of goodie or going on a trip because there were not enough other female leaders. Or in many cases just staying home and making sure that your parents were taken care of when they were little so that I could be off taking care of and ministering to other people’s kids. If I had any degree of success as a student pastor it was in large part because of her. And this has been true for our post student ministry years as well. She has been an incredible helper and does so without any recognition but has done so willingly because she felt just as called to ministry as I did.
But she has not just been an awesome helper (ezer), she has also been the perfect fit for me (kenegdo). In just a few weeks we will celebrate our 40th anniversary. Even though that sounds like a long time, I can easily remember how the Lord orchestrated our first meeting and made it clear from the beginning that He had brought us together. It was indeed a match made in heaven. Nona has been suitable for me in so many ways and hence our 40 years together have been a joyous blessing filled with much adventure and lots of great memories. Here are just a few ways:
- She is just as called to ministry as I am
- She motivates me to be a better pastor, father, grandfather and husband
- She prompts me to think deeply
- She models for me being a hard worker
- She nourishes my hopes and dreams
- She creates a restful home environment
- She cares and provides for me in my neediness
- She complements (or completes) me in a way that makes us together a perfect team
Your Nona is most definitely my ezer kenegdo. And I’m looking forward to how the Lord will be provide a helper suitable for each of you in the years to come. And perhaps I will even be around to welcome them to the family. But if not, tell them about the cool sounding Hebrew words from Genesis 2 that your Pop Pop taught you.
Never forget that you are very loved,