Stand By Your Man

By Mikal Kifer

I first met Mikal four years ago in her own home.  The missionaries were teaching her and her husband about our church and I got invited to come along.  I was instantly struck with her humility, sincerity and the love she showed toward her husband, Shelby.  (Ok, honestly I was INITIALLY struck by how HIS name is Shelby and HER name is Mikal- so great!  So many confused telemarketers!) Years later and we’ve become good friends.  I still love watching her and Shelby interact- they’re funny, they’re honest and they’re just sweet together.  They make a GREAT pair.

She recently wrote a Facebook status that said:

and I thought BLOG POST!  BLOG POST!  BLOOOG POST!!!!  🙂   Here’s that blog post.  – Celeste

Before we dive into this post, lets just get it out of our system.

or for you cheeky readers (Rich Davis!)

Great!  Now that we’ve out of the way. Its time to get into the real reason we are here: standing by your man.

There was a time about five years ago that I absolutely did NOT want to stand by my man.  It was when Shelby was applying to schools to pursue his doctorate in music.  All I wanted was for him to find a job!  We had so much debt, a 1 ½ year old , and weren’t making a lot of money at all.  How in the world were we going to be able to move to another state and pay for school?

He told me that if he wanted to get a job teaching, he would have to get a doctorate.  A masters just doesn’t cut it anymore in the music world.

“Well find a job doing something else”, I told him.  “You have a family to support!”

At the time, I had a good job as a teller at a credit union in town with lots of potential to advance in the company, and we had good friends and family in town.  I thought we needed to stay and make it where we were.  He had worked hard enough to get two degrees another one didn’t seem necessary.

Well, after many nights of tears, and arguments that involved the “D” word, we packed up and headed to Iowa.  He had been accepted into the doctoral program at the University of Iowa, and I was not happy.  I was not happy that my husband had been accepted into one of the top music programs in the country. All I could think about was how he taking me away from the job that I loved and further away from my friends.  Our income was gone and no money was waiting for us.

I always tell people that I was dragged to Iowa kicking and screaming.  I didn’t want to go but I didn’t want to lose my husband.  I had fallen in love with Shelby because he was responsible and trustworthy.  I had to put my anger aside and trust that he was doing the right thing for our family.

So there we were in our new tiny apartment, looking for jobs and trying to find daycare in a city where we knew a whooping four people.  After two weeks, I found a job. After one month, Shelby found one as well and our oldest son was in daycare.  Things were slowly falling into place.

We made friends quickly and soon started hanging out with our neighbors almost daily.  After months of getting to know these awesome neighbors, I found out why I was pushed to trust Shelby and his “crazy dream”.  With the help of our awesome neighbors and two missionaries, we joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.  Together we joined and found a new respect for one another.  

Not only that, we made so many wonderful friends that became family.  I became a stay at home mom.  We paid off almost all our debt, and we weren’t fighting anymore.  We were happy.

What changed?

We were communicating.

Instead of just thinking about myself, I was thinking of US. I came to realize, we were a team.  All the decisions we made were based on what was good for our family.  We were taking time to pray and ask for guidance and not jumping into things. By taking a step back and talking through things, our love for each other grew by the day along with our trust and respect.

We were able to open up and communicate in a kind, loving way.

Now, we didn’t always agree with each other but we didn’t argue about issues that came up.  We expressed our concerns and doubts about the matter and took them into consideration.

We became a team.

So when the time came to decide what was going to happen after the doctorate was done, I knew that my husband was going to do what was best for all of us.  I knew it wouldn’t be easy (nothing in life is), but I knew that if I stood by him and encouraged him instead of doubting him, things would just fall into place like they had when we moved to Iowa.

And guess what!  They did!  Shelby is now teaching 30 students privately here in Oklahoma.  We have some great friends, family close by, and a great town to call home.

If I hadn’t stood by him all those years ago, we wouldn’t be where we are today.  That decision five years ago, to just be with him and trust him has brought us together. We now have a bond that cannot be broken.

It isn’t always easy, “cause after all he’s just a man.” 🙂

2 thoughts on “Stand By Your Man

  1. Great post Mikal! I’m so glad you guys came to Iowa! Shelby’s second best decision (first was marrying you, obviously) 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *