The Dragonslayer

People always want to know how my husband came to be known as The Dragonslayer. It’s a funny story actually because at the time I gave him this moniker, I was teaching a homeschool group of high schoolers a literature class which included reading Beowulf. Beowulf is the story of a brave Dane who saves a village from the terrible dragon that was terrifying the mead hall and eating all the noble knights. No one except Beowulf was willing to take on the challenge of slaying that formidable foe. As I was teaching through that particular book, my husband was having a particularly challenging time at work.  At the end of each day he would describe to me the challenges he faced and how defeating the work environment was becoming.  It sounded a lot like the madness of the Mead Hall that the Danes were experiencing.  I came to call the company he worked for The Dragon Factory, for it was indeed a toxic place full of dragons prowling around seeking whom they may destroy.  It was often demoralizing for him to be in that environment.  But my husband is a very loyal man and he wasn’t willing to leave that company.  The company was started by his uncle and was being run by the uncle’s five children.  This job was the only job my husband had ever known and he was fiercely loyal to his uncle and their families.  But the loyalty was not reciprocated. My husband was not the only one to experience the swipe of the dragon’s talons….many others did as well.  The workplace environment was so bad that many others would find their way into my husband’s office to seek his council because he was related to the family members in charge.  He would encourage, council, and remind people that doing their job well would not go unnoticed to the person for whom it mattered most-God. In my efforts to encourage him, I reminded him that he was setting an example to our children how to persevere when times were tough.  One of the reasons he remained so long at that company was because of his deep love and respect for his uncle. That love and respect was not returned, but my husband deeply believed that it was his duty to honor his uncle in spite of the poor treatment. Seeing my husband’s loyalty to such honorable and lofty thinking made it easy for me to call him the Dragonslayer, because that was exactly what he was doing on a daily basis.  He was dying to himself in order to honor his unworthy uncle and to provide a living for me and our children. Eventually his uncle and his uncle’s children sold the business to a private equity company which led to my husband losing his job in a non-compete agreement. The Dragonslayer walked away from the only job he had ever known with his integrity in tact and his honor upheld.  That was the hardest day of our lives, but it was also the day that The Dragonslayer truly slayed the dragon.  We did not know what the future would hold or how we would adjust to no paycheck…but The Dragonslayer knew what all dragonslayers know: you don’t sell your soul to the devil and expect to sleep peacefully at night. The Dragonslayer, being the good knight he is, pulled himself up by the bootstraps and turned his attention to doing what he had done all his life-work hard, be honest and remain humble. The journey away from the Dragon Factory has not been easy. It has required a daily turning to God, remembering and relying on His promises.  The Dragonslayer’s worth in my eyes has only grown.  I like to think that my now famous nickname for my husband has been a source of encouragement to him…to remind him that there  very much are dragons among us and that only the bravest of men recognize and attempt to conquer them.  
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