The other night the phone rang just after 9:00 pm. The caller id said the call was from our church building.
I answered the phone and heard a weighted voice on the other end. It was my favorite voice in the world. It was Josh.
He was calling to tell me that he would be late coming home from his office at the church because of some issues that had come up during an interview that night. He has appointments with members of our neighborhood a couple nights a week because he is currently serving as the bishop in our ward.
This calling has brought a lot of changes to our life -- both good ones and difficult ones. We knew it would when we accepted the calling (and yes, I do mean we...even though Josh is the one that carries the mantle this is something that deeply affects us both so we both needed to be willing to accept this responsibility).
It is amazing to me to watch my husband in action in this office. I know he is doing his best to do the will of God as he serves. I hear his humble prayers as he seeks for guidance and answers in trying to bless lives and help families. It is incredible to see the difference between Josh DeMoux: the man I'm married to and Josh DeMoux: servant of the Lord in the Copperhills 3rd Ward. When he is acting under the direction of the Holy Ghost to fulfill his calling there is a power and authority there that is undeniable. He works so hard to be open to the spirit and to listen to what Heavenly Father wants for the people of this area that it is miraculous to see. I am astounded by the growth I see in this man and the strength he is given as he strives to lead the people we both love closer to our savior, Jesus Christ.
But when he comes home I see the side of him that is sometimes burdened by the weight he has been asked to carry. This particular night, when he came home from his office I could see the heaviness in his eyes and the pain of sorrow for someone else's suffering.
And there is very little I can do to help him shoulder this load.
I asked him if he was ok. He nodded and sighed and said he just really needed a hug.
That I can do.
The most difficult part of this entire process has been the struggle to support my dear husband. He means the world to me and I would do anything for him. We have been partners for more than fourteen years and I love the way we have learned to work as a team.
And that is where this gets challenging.
Because he is dealing with confidential matters and delicate topics, he has no one here on Earth to go to for guidance and advice. He can't come home and ask me my opinion or vent about a frustration with someone. That is hard on both of us. There is a huge piece of his life that I know very little about (which is as it should be). That is difficult. How am I to help him when I have no idea what he is dealing with or what weight he is carrying? How do we act as a team when one of us has no idea that course we are taking?
It is hard, and we are both learning.
Josh meets with couples who are struggling in marriage, people weighted by sin, individuals looking for answers and he has very little secular training to help him solve these problems and guide people in the way they should go.
However, because he is limited in his worldly resources he is directly funneled to the true source of answers. He is left to pray and seek the counsel of our Heavenly Father. I have watched as Josh has received answer after answer that is just the thing that people need to hear or just the direction they need to be given and I KNOW these solutions are not from Josh himself (as incredible as I know he is, many of the responses he gives to people are simply not his style, they MUST come from another source).
While this calling is challenging in many ways, it is also beautiful. Josh gets to watch as people progress and grow. He gets to see the strides they make. He gets to meet with youth as they move forward in the priesthood. He gets to see people change their lives or prepare to make covenants with God. He often comes home in tears because of the joy he feels over the lives of the people of our ward. He sees the quiet service people give and hears the thoughtful and humble desires of their hearts. He has an inside view of the good and the bad in the worlds of the people around us.
And he loves them. He loved them before, but it is different now. He ADORES these people. In some way they have become HIS people. He would do anything he could to bless their lives. I can't describe it, but their pains are his, their loss he feels, their happiness lifts him.
I know there will be many more long nights and comforting hugs that come our way in the next several years. We've only been at this a few months and already we are not the same people we were before Josh was called to this office. I can't imagine the growth I will see in this man, my husband, a servant of God, over the course of that time.
But I'm glad I have a front row seat to that. It is going to be an unbelievable ride.