Order Into Chaos
Do you have someone in your life who mean the world to you? Expressing exactly how you feel would be wonderful yet articulating your emotions seems nearly impossible. This is me. I have sat down no less than four times to eloquently express what Stuart Joy has meant to me over the years, but no words seem adequate.
I wanted to recount many stories from the past eight years of knowing him. My mind was flooded with countless moments of impact tracing back to the first time I saw Stuart. It was a Wednesday night. Several weeks prior to this blessed evening I had graduated from college and was settling back in to my hometown for graduate school. I spotted him from across the room, nudged my sister and said, “Look at that cute guy.” Intrigue at first site and the first moment of impact.
It didn’t take long to realize I wanted to get to know this college boy. I pursued every glimpse of opportunity to be around him and devised excuses to talk to him. One time I asked him for directions. Thankfully smart phones were uncommon at this point so I didn’t have Siri messing up this perfect opening. However, this was the town I grew up in. There were literally hundreds of other people I could have asked, not to mention Lubbock is the easiest “big” city to drive in, no doubt. But I asked anyway, and we got to talk. For hours. And I quickly realized this boy would never be short for words.
Just a few months later another moment of impact came in an unexpected place. Stuart and I were babysitting the three kids of one of our favorite families, the Laughlins. I was rocking the baby while everyone else finished eating dinner. Stuart came over and picked him up from my arms. And that was it! The unexpected moment I knew I would marry him.
This is where my list of stories to share came to a screeching halt. Now, just a few days shy of our sixth wedding anniversary, I have come to understand what I truly saw in that moment of impact and why this gesture captivated my heart: of all the things that Stuart is, of all the lessons I learned from this Joy Boy, of all his characteristics that I have grown to adore, and all the voyages we have faced, what has impacted me the most from being married to him was foreshadowed in that moment, what was represented in a simple act of taking a baby from my arms. Stuart is gentle. Stuart has a strong command. Stuart brings order into chaos.
Order into chaos. Yes, that is my husband. Yes, that is what I needed year six of marriage. Yes, this is what I will continue to need in the future. And yes, this is what we as women need from the men in our lives.
I first heard of this concept from Donald Miller. Honestly, I do not remember much of his remaining sermon, but I do remember the charge he gave to men to bring order into chaos. You may read this and think it sounds backwards, that chaos should be brought to order. There is a subtle yet extraordinary difference between chaos into order and order into chaos. I will choose the latter and here is why: a situation may or may not be resolvable. Crazy happens, and the chaos may not actually be brought to order. But the presence of a strong, godly man can provide the much needed stability in tumultuous situations. Yes, I choose one who can bring order into chaos.
Let me recap just a few of the major events since our last anniversary: we were in the first months of a new business, Stuart passed the Professional Engineer exam, I was pregnant (enough said), we were in limbo of a possible move for almost a year, were offered an opportunity in New Mexico one week prior to closing on a house in Texas, we had a baby six weeks early who stayed in the NICU almost a month, embarked on this privileged journey called parenthood, actually moved to New Mexico, and braved eleven road trips with an infant. Every time, Stuart diffused these stressful situations, bringing peace with his presence and order into chaos.
Men are called to play a role in a great adventure. They are called to love their wives, raise their children in the instruction of the Lord, to lead, to be gentle, trained in godliness, and to set an example. Our society has convinced us that women can do anything men can do. We can’t. While women are equal to men in their worth, they are not equal in their callings. Women are emotional (yes, I said it) and, no matter how collected we may be, we are unable to calm a situation like the presence of a strong man. I am experiencing the awesome part of being different and the beauty of two becoming one. Where I am lacking Stuart fills in the gaps.
Eloquently expressed or otherwise, this order into chaos and the emotions his calm stability evokes in me is the best way I can summarize, at least in part, who Stuart is. He plays his role. He helps me with mine. And he continues to carry the traits I saw in that moment of impact: the foreshadowing of experiences in years to come, being gentle, displaying a strong command, and bringing order into chaos.
Order into chaos. And my life is changed because of it.