An angel named Amy—-#28 of the 30 day challenge to blog

My wife is my best friend. I’m not trying to kiss ass or sound cliche, but that’s the blunt honest truth. She knows the whole me, the gross, the beauty that sometimes only God and her have eyes to see. Sure there are days she puts up with my shit, but to simply say, “she puts up with me” is a fantastic understatement. She prays for me, loves me, is kind when I’m not so much, she serves me when I’m lazy, and frankly to put it the best way I can a couple years ago I was working with a friend who he and I lost touch for 10 years and got to meet and become friends with Amy…he grabbed my attention and looked at me square in the eyes and said…”never let her go…you’ll never do better than her”…and he’s right I never will..and not because I’m lacking, even though I am, but because there simply isn’t any better than her. She’s not perfect…but as Robin Williams said to Matt Damon’s character in Good Will hunting…”The question isn’t and shouldn’t be finding a perfect woman, but it’s… is she perfect for you.” And Amy is perfect for me, and most days flat out perfect. I definitely married up. It doesn’t mean though she doesn’t hurt me and I don’t hurt her. We are both deeply flawed humans that are filled with sin, both the un-righteous kind and the self-righteous kind. And we hurt each other in both of those ways.

I run into people who say they have a list of what they want their mate to be one day…Amy had one. But I didn’t, I only had one quality I was seeking, and I prayed for it constantly. I’m lucky enough to say that God answered my prayer. And some days when I’m lost in my sin, and I’m running from God like a a crazy person…I’ve sometimes regretted that prayer…but I simply prayed “God whomever I end up with I want that person to love Jesus more than me…and more than themselves”…It’s not a great thing, matter of fact it’s an embarrassing thing, but throughout my short life before I met Amy I had a few serious relationships , but I dated quite often…but there was something missing…at least what I knew I was looking for…and it doesn’t mean that they weren’t wonderful people…but again they just weren’t perfect for me.

A few years ago I was really inadvertently hurt by something a friend from college said…this friend from college was talking to some old college friends and said, “Who in the world would marry David…and hows the marriage going…it can’t be good…because David is…well David is crazy.” That stung. But I would be lying if I didn’t say I get it…I am crazy. And I guess the truth is, Amy is just as crazy as me. But I guess people that don’t fit into the box of what people think they should be will always seem crazy to themselves …

I often am so humbled that I get this fantastic life where Amy and I are on this crazy adventure of living by faith…faith to get our bills paid…faith to make another movie…faith to share the gospel through unconventional ways…and I turn to her sometimes and go…”Babe, I love you, and I love Lucy…and I can stop right now…and just go get some 9-5 job..” And even though it’s painful at times…she looks at me and says…”No. You can’t. You have to keep going. Don’t give up. Don’t give up on your dreams, and the dreams that God has given you. You just have to keep going. I know you. You’ll be miserable if you do anything less.”

Trust me. I have a few friends, and I know that none of their wives are as crazy as mine. None would or will let them get away with being a crazy person like I am.

The reality is both of my last movies, “Ragamuffin” and “Brennan” wouldn’t have happened without her. I remember five years ago, right after I got the rights to make the movie about Rich Mulins…I had the opportunity to go talk to an investor in Minnesota. We were flat broke, and I mean no money type of flat broke….and the plane ticket that I was going to have to buy was an amount that we didn’t even have in our bank account…and I said…”Babe, can I buy this plane ticket on our credit card” And she said…”Well, do you think this will turn into something…” And I said…”I have no idea…maybe not…but if I don’t go…I’ll never know.” And she simply said…”Then, go.”

When we were dating things weren’t always easy…mainly that was because I was just getting my movie career going…and I was making two movies back to back…and we barely saw each other…and then a friend and pastor with more wisdom than me said…”Invite her into what you are doing”…that’s it. Simple enough. And during Ragamuffin I knew I was going to be so slammed…and so I had her run the ship…while I was directing…and she kicked ass…I mean everyone loved Amy…everyone. Not me so much, but they loved her. It was like going to war, and I knew she had my back. Some days few words were spoken to each other…as we both got only 2-3 hours of sleep at night, but as we layed passed out in whatever crappy hotel we were in that night. Just her holding my hand was enough to know I could get through the next day. She was and is my angel.

After the Rich Mullins movie…when I began to make the movie about Brennan Manning…I can’t under-exagerate enough how many times I quit. So many days and times I said…”I’m done”…I made Ragamuffin. And I only really have one thing to say…and that is Jesus loves you…and I said it…I don’t need to do it again…and the look on her face was one of support and disappointment. And she always had my back…but often times I’ve known which way God is leading me by the look in my wife eyes…I can’t even describe it except to say…she, even if she doesn’t realize it or not, is more intune with what God is up to than I am.

I remember about this time last year I was really, really, really done with the movie. For a good two months there was no looking back. I was finished. And she went on some retreat, and taught some stuff using some of Brennan Manning’s teaching…and when she got back she said…”Honey, you have to make this movie…You just have to…” And I told her…”I know what’s happening, the same thing happens to me when I read Brennan Manning…I get all ramped up…and energized…and fall more in love with God…that’s what’s happening…” And she said, “Well, yes…but still…you have to make this movie.”

For the millionth time I quit the movie. And she was especially sad, but I still had her full support…and then 3 days later, an anonymous person that I didn’t know emailed me and gave us enough funding to make the movie. And you can’t make a movie without money, it’s true…but I can’t make a movie without Amy. It would be impossible if she wasn’t as crazy as I am allowing me to do what I do…

But beyond movies, she loves me. She loves me like Jesus loves me. It’s sometimes filled with compassion, and sometimes truth. Truth I don’t want to hear, and sometimes it can downright piss me off, not because she’s wrong, but because sometimes truth hurts.

Cheesy I know, but like Jack Nicholson said in “As good as it gets”…”She makes me want to be a better man.” Much like Jack in that movie, I can be tempremental. I have mood swings. I can disappear in my imagination for sometimes hours at a time, writing, creating, dreaming…it may sound romantic, but I assure you when you are on the other end of it…it’s not. Yeah, cool stuff comes out of the day dreaming like stories, and movies, but it’s a bit painful when you’re trying to spend quality time with your husband. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. But still…she loves me. Like an angel would, with unceasing grace.

We both struggle with grace, but in polar opposite ways. She wrestles to understand it, while I can manipulate it to abuse it. But there is a beautiful story that took her both courage and grace, and without her heroism, I don’t know that we would have ever gotten married.

A few months before we got married, it was like we experienced a machine gun of horse shit from a lot of the people in her life. People she loved. People she looked up to. It was a mixture of gossip, exaggeration, slander, and truth about how she was going to marry a sinner. I was hurt by these things, but these weren’t my friends, these were hers…I can only imagine what she was going through. Often I was so perplexed going…”but these guys and gals know the gospel right”…Where is the benevolence in their stature as they present these accusations…and even if every ounce was true without exaggeration or speculation…where’s the grace….or like a loving friend who has the discernment of Abba God…where is the question I presented in my last blog of…”What’s going on in his heart”…Again so much folly is found in the Christian faith by judging a book by it’s cover…thank God the scriptures tell us that God looks at the inside and not the outside…and even though Amy was in a tornado of almost everyone in her life, except a special few…she like King David…had a heart like his…a heart after God’s own heart…and she wasn’t as concerned with what most in her life, at the time, were concerned with…she was concerned with…what’s on the inside…on the inside of my heart…she wasn’t looking at my Christian Resume…(Thank God!)…she wasn’t weighing my vices versus my virtues…or who knows…maybe she did at times…but all I know at the end…Grace won. And she married me. Like Sylvester Stallone said in the movie Rocky…”She married a bum like me”. It’s funny how when the rubber meets the road…how we can panic and start making charts, and excel sheet programs when we make decisions…instead of decisions in light of the gospel of Jesus, and decisions filled with grace…we all struggle with that if we are honest…but I was lucky enough that seven years ago….she was less like the Christians she was surrounded with…and more like the Jesus that lived in her heart. While we all struggle to understand grace, I think she understood it more than those that surrounded her at the time.

Things haven’t always been easy, and sometimes they have been down right hard. Trust me, I’m no peach. My so called college friends were right…I am crazy…and not always in the cool ways…sometime in the horrifically sinful ways. But luckily Amy is filled with compassion, and grace, and loves me most days more than I love myself.

I could write books and books and books about the ways she loved me, and loves me so well. But there is a vivid image that pops out that happened recently that paints a clear picture of how she loves me so well…remember when I started this blog how there was a problem with my depression medication…and I was off of it for almost a week…and there were very scary severe side-effects? Well, at it’s worse I was crying, panicking, and laying on our bed…laying still…yet in my head and body I had the very real feeling that I was falling out of a building. It was unsettling to say the least. And if I can be child-like, it was just flat out scary and I at times that week would curl up in a ball and just cry…and yell out for it to stop. It sucked, but you know one of my most treasured memories comes from that week. And it was my beautiful bride St. Amy…she was right there…even when I felt like I was falling out of a building to my death…I knew I really wasn’t because she was right there with me. And the only thing that calmed me down was to look in her eyes.

Truly she has been Jesus more to me than any other person in my life. For that is God isn’t it. For in life we will have times that resemble honeymoon bliss…and others that feel like we are falling to our death from a high-rise building…but Jesus is there…and if we merely open our eyes…and look into his…we will find a furious love…that will give us a peace that isn’t our own.

Amy,

Thank you for being Jesus to me. For loving me so well. And thank you or being crazy. Crazy enough to marry a crazy person like me. I love you …”always have…always will.”

David Leo Schultz

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~ by David Leo Schultz on November 2, 2015.

One Response to “An angel named Amy—-#28 of the 30 day challenge to blog”

  1. You crack my up David. I’m still laughing over your way with with words. I just pray that I can love my husband, like Amy loves you.

    Thanks for being so brutally honest and thank you for wearing your life on your sleeve.

    Love, Your Sis in Christ, Joy

    P.S. I’m still laughing over “machine gun full of horse shit”….I’ll have to borrow that one!

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