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Being the Spouse of a Provider

My wife, Adele, is a physician at a secular clinic in northern California. This was her fourth year at the conference and my third. Adele continues her work at a clinic near Sacramento, CA and she always gets so much from the conference, encouragement she deeply needs. It's a really tough job!

Personally, I've come along the last three years in part because Adele says I shouldn't miss it. Though I'm not a medical provider, the workshops have always provided a lot of take away for me in the Divorce Recovery ministry that I lead at our church. I suppose the fact that we are caring for and being Christ to hurting people helps make things so relevant.

This year was a bit different. There was still the ministry "take away", but during the opening plenary God started to show me the significance of my role as a husband of a provider who serves the poor. It changed the whole conference from that point on. I realized that I was not there for me.

I was fortunate to meet another husband of a provider at the conference. His wife's story about why she is in medicine is almost identical to Adele's. We talked about our wives a bit and how we could support them. Both our wives have been doctors since... always. It's the only way they have thought of themselves. For no other reason than, it's who God made them to be. It was a refreshing conversation.

I came home more awake of who God has made me as a servant and supporter of a doctor who cares for the poor. I thank God that every day our household touches the needs of the poor (not a privilege many have). This year will be and already is full of new ways to see and be. It is a blessing to be who and where God has put us.

Sometimes it's just overwhelming to watch one's wife (or husband) go through such grueling work and challenging work scenarios. Maybe next year there will be a few more spouses of providers to talk and pray with. My desire would be to pray with other spouses for our spouses (a real hands on) and a discussion about things we do to support our spouses and help them care for their gift.