What Happens When You Believe in Teamwork

A cord of three strandsThis week I’m writing on my friend Holley Gerth’s prompt: Who in your life lives these words: “I don’t have it all together. But I believe we’re better together.”
The weekly prompts for Holley’s Coffee for Your Heart link up celebrate the publication of her newest book You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart From the Need to be Perfect.

Take two second-born children who value independence and self-sufficiency, add a little stubbornness and a lot of strong opinion and mix it with adversity and what do you have? For most people, a recipe for disaster. But with God as the Master Chef, the result has been Team Ojeda.

Twenty-six and a half years ago, Pedro and I said, “I do,” to the pastor’s question about pledging our lives to each other in sickness and health, in poverty or in wealth—and let me tell you, it seems like there’s been more sickness and poverty than health and wealth.

I’ve learned over the years that I married a man who fiercely believes in the power of teamwork. He doesn’t claim to have it all together (that’s usually my façade), but he always draws me back and reminds me that together we can face each crisis—especially if we ask God to be the captain of our team.

When our daughters came along, we developed a system of tag teaming responsibilities—especially on weekends—so that we could both have free time. Other people (we lived in a community where mens’ and womens’ roles were very traditional) looked askance at our division of labor—but our decision laid the foundation for a strong relationship between Pedro and our daughters.

When our girls were two and four, we made the decision to move to a different state so that Pedro could go back to school at night and pursue his dream to become a teacher. The decision meant that he would be the stay-at-home dad and I would work. Once again, he willingly stepped outside of the ‘normal’ role in order to do what would be long-term best for the team.

We learned in those early years that we each had strengths and weaknesses—but that we could help each other out and work together rather than work at odds with each other. He was the more consistent parent by nature—and he helped me see the value of learning to be consistent.

More than once, I felt misunderstood and maligned (looking back now—I never had a really good reason to feel that way) and secretly entertained thoughts of getting out. Thoughts of “I do all the work anyway, so I might as well do it alone” and “We’ll never work this issue out.” I never actually voiced these thoughts out loud, but Pedro always seemed to sense them and he would quietly remind me that we didn’t get married to get divorced. We got married for forever.

From Pedro, I have learned that team members step in for each other in times of weakness and crisis—but that they also need to step back and allow the other team member back in the game once the crisis has passed. In order to have a healthy team, we have to know that we need each other—God gave us to each other to nurture and build each other up so that together we could do more for him.

God gave us to each other to nurture and build each other up so that together we could do more for him. Click To Tweet

All too often, I charge in and try to be the hero on the field because I think I have it all together—the ball hog jock, you could say. Pedro gently reminds me that if we work together, we won’t feel frustrated by our lack of progress or angry at the results of our efforts.

If we work together, we won’t feel frustrated by our lack of progress or angry at the results of our efforts. Click To Tweet

Some days (weeks, months, years), Pedro has been the key player because I’m not operating at full capacity. This week, it’s my turn to step it up and carry more weight whilst Pedro recovers from a mountain bike crash. The doctors predict that he’ll feel much better after a minor surgery to put a plate on his clavicle to hold together all the broken pieces. If you’re a praying person, we’d appreciate your prayers for a simple and successful surgery today!

How about you?  Do you know someone who believes that teamwork can change attitude and produce amazing results?

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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