Many of you have probably heard this verse from the Bible found in Luke 6:31 KJV which says "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." If you did not hear it said this way, then you may have heard it as "do unto others, as you would have them do unto you." This phrase was considered the golden rule and the fundamental principle for how I was taught, in church, to treat everyone. It did not matter what the other person looked like, what church they attended or whatever differences we may have had. Even at a young age, when I applied this principle, I noticed overall it was met with many positive responses when I allowed positivity to flow from me and received adverse reactions when I was more negative in my approach.
As a wife and stay at home mom of two children, I wear many hats. On a daily basis my responsibilities can consist of multitasking the roles of a chef, teacher, blogger, housekeeper, accountant, and so much more but lately I have been feeling empty! This emptiness has caused me to desperately want to retreat from all my obligations in the hopes that I can feel refreshed or even at the very least, able to continue my acts of service. As much as I enjoy serving in my many roles, there are times where I start to become overwhelmed by the sheer weight of it all. It has never been an easy thing to admit when I am in need of help or let alone feeling like I am drowning. So while spending time with God, I decided to address this matter but found myself unable to say anything. I started to think that speaking up would be too much like admitting defeat or sound like I was complaining. Now the Bible says in Psalms 55:22 KJV "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Knowing this verse, you would think that I would have been motivated to lay all my cares down at God's feet rather than continue to still hold on to them.
I wish I could say I have a "perfect" marriage or know couples who have it all together but that is just not the case. What I have learned throughout the years is that marriage is a learning and growing experience. Each day I get to see this growth as I draw nearer to God and place him first not only in my life but my marriage as well. I can still recall the day when I prayed for God to mold me into the perfect helpmate for my husband. I was not quite sure how this could be possible, especially because I did not know what parts of my character would have to be sacrificed to make this desire a reality. At the time when I said this particular prayer, I did not know it would require me stepping aside many times to allow God's transforming power to work within me. So without further ado here are lessons 6-11 and be sure to click on 11 Years, 11 Lessons (Part One) for 1-5 in this series.
With my wedding anniversary rapidly approaching, I decided to reflect back over the years and was just amazed at how far God had brought my husband and I. I was just 21 years old when we got married and did not understand what I was thoroughly getting myself into at the time. I remember hearing from those closest to me, "Are you sure you want to do this?" At first, these words caused doubts to form in my mind, but I believed my husband was heaven sent. Our initial attempts to make our lives become one flesh were rocky, and we encountered many challenges we were not sure how to face. Even though we both knew God, our relationships with him at that time were more like the on again, off again type. As we began to place God at the head of our marriage, we began to notice a significant shift happening. It was as if our hearts began to soften for one another and we finally began to listen, communicate and love one another more. So I wanted to share with you some valuable lessons I've learned over the years which have helped my marriage to grow.
November 14, 2009, is the day my life changed forever. It started out like any other day where I had to get ready for my shift at work, but something felt different. I could not put my finger on it, but my spirit could sense there was a disturbance happening in the atmosphere. As I neared the last couple of hours before heading home, I received a strange phone call from my husband letting me know my mother had called him and that I needed to leave work immediately. Quickly, my heart sank because I felt the seriousness in his voice and wondered if it had something to do with my father even though my husband did not mention him over the phone. So I quietly pulled my manager aside and said, "I need to leave right now because something is wrong with my father." As I got into the car, I quickly found the drive home to be challenging as my mind began to race with all kinds of thoughts.
Many, if not most of us, have heard the phrase "Out of sight, out of mind." For this statement could not be more accurate to describe certain moments in my past and how I choose to deal with them. By not recalling any of those troubling memories, I am better able to deal with who I am in the present moment, but there are many other times where this is not the case. Sometimes I am bombarded with a voice that reminds me of my faults and bad decisions. It tells me that I am unworthy of God's grace and love because of who I was. It is even so bold as to defame my character and call out my sins one by one. So for the past ten years, I have lived with regret believing all that Satan told me and holding on to it thinking it would forever be my truth.
Recently after coming back from vacation, my daughter pointed out something about me that caused me to sit down at the feet of God. She said, "Mom, I notice when you get around other people you act differently." My initial thought was to defend myself, but instead, I began to examine my behavior and interactions over the past year. I did not realize that I was still wrapped up in people bondage to the point where I have been afraid just to be myself. See this started to happen due to me trying so hard to be different than my past that I began to seek out what others were doing in their lives. If I saw someone who seemed financially or spiritually well off, then I wanted to emulate them. So instead of progressing the way God wanted me to grow in my journey, I ended up birthing confusion within myself.