For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost. Luke 9:25
When I got married, I was 20 years old. As a young women raised totally in the world, I had a lot to learn about sacrificing for my man. I had no idea that getting married wasn’t all about me! I was raised to think everything was about me. My wedding, My house, My kitchen, My bedroom … MY MY MY. Oh, I had a lot to learn.
You see, I was in training and didn’t even know it! With my wedding vows, I had agreed to start losing part of myself. I had to really think about this – after I had already committed. I had agreed to be one with this man. THAT MEANS I LOST HALF OF ME! WOW! It only took about five years for me to come up with that figure. He wanted Me to do all this stuff for HIM, like: work two jobs and go to college (wait that was me doing for … guess who? ME) Ok, so pay the bills, mow the yard, clean the house, get up early and cook HIS breakfast! Can you believe he wanted me to get up and cook? After all I was in school which meant I studied a lot and I worked. I couldn’t believe this – he wasn’t even willing to help me vacuum or do the clothes … who does he think he is – my father? Oh, it was a battle. He would pull and I would push. I grew tired of the fighting! But I had to show him how smart and strong I was. (After all I was getting a degree and he was NOT!) Yes, that was me. I can’t believe it now. I thought and acted like that. When we went to speak to our preacher that married us, he asked us if we wanted to leave in or take out the whole part about my obeying him. I “proudly” said; “Oh, I want to obey him”. Wow! I want to obey this man that told me one thing and I couldn’t hear him, because I was sure that he really meant what I had conjured up in my own head … that had to be what he really meant, right?
After almost fifteen years of marriage and almost twenty years of knowing my husband, I am still learning to hear his words instead of my own. I get it more now; I am sure in fifteen more years I will be even better at hearing his will instead of my own. My relationship with my Heavenly Father has grown as well. I would pray the same prayer I was taught as a child to pray. The same words over and over. I had never been taught to say or think anything else. I heard other people pray, but most of the time it was over a meal, and it all sounded about the same. I learned to pray and then I learned to talk to God throughout the whole day – what a blessing. I read at the Bible … you know, if I “needed” it. Like when I wanted to leave my husband, or when I wanted to know about disciplining my children? Then I thought; “hummmmm, maybe I should read the whole Bible?” Wow! You know, one of the things I learned was: not only do I need to talk to God, but that it might be a good idea to listen. No one had even taught me to listen to my Heavenly Father. Very important! Now, throughout the years I had heard people say, “God told me this”, or, “God said that”. I thought they were crazy people who had no idea, maybe backward and redneck, uneducated – I’m sure. I had no idea, because I had never listened. I now know what all that means. Just like learning to hear my husband’s words, I am learning to hear God’s words. It’s a huge progress for myself, not to mention that a lot of my husband’s and God’s words are the same. Ok, so to this point I’ve only lost half of myself – so here goes the rest of me. We wanted children. We wanted a lot of children (3, maybe 4, hee hee!). Of course we wanted to control this aspect of our lives as well.
So, we had been married for about six years before we wanted to “try” to have children. You know, I HAD to go to school and work before I could have kids. It took us two years to get pregnant – wonder why? What a lesson that was. We talked about adoption, we talked about foster parents, and we talked about separation. I should tell you that my husband was not a believer. I should also tell you that I wasn’t really living like one. After our daughter was born, I thought my arms had been cut off. I couldn’t go to the store by myself – a grandmother had to assist me. Looking back, all this is so funny to me. I loved her so much. I didn’t want anyone really to even look at her. Then we got blessed with a baby boy, and we had it all now! A boy and a girl under the age of two – why wouldn’t you stop? (“Worldly” thinking) I was tired; I had a lot of pity for myself. It was hard. I was pregnant again for the third time and was glad, but not overjoyed like before. I lost it. Wow, what a lesson that was. Now, I was ready. Now, I mourned for what could have been and when I got pregnant again, I was so, so happy. My husband was getting worked on – he was feeling the pull from the Holy Spirit. It wasn’t long after our second daughter was born, that my husband found the Lord. Now, I could breath. What a blessing. What a gift! My mother told me once and only once, not to marry an unbeliever, but when we got engaged, she permitted it. My father was in a plane crash and was brain damaged when I was young (that’s another story). So, now we have three children, four and under. People are starting to ask questions like: “Don’t you know what causes that? You’re done now – right?” My favorite , “Bless your heart!” There was talk after the third, about preventing or not preventing. We decided to go ahead for the fourth. (You like the way I said, “We decided? “) We were blessed with a wonderful sweet little girl. There is just nothing like labor, and feeling that sweet little gift from God come right out of you and you hold that little slimy gift right up to your breast and look at your child for the first time.
There are no words to describe this feeling – this overwhelming sense that what just happened to you was a miracle. OK, so we did a lot of praying and moved a whole lot (that’s another story). I (ME!) still thought four was the number and that we were complete – prevention was implanted. So here is where I learned to listen to the Lord and OBEY HIM. Being in control of your own life is a very scary place to be. I now wonder why anyone wants to be in control instead of God. He loves us so much more than we love ourselves and His plan for us is so much better than what we could ever come up with on our own. I thought I was having a heart attack – I thought I was going to Die. I was rushed to the hospital – no I’m not on any medicine. Little episodes kept happening. It all got chalked up to this poor women has four kids six and under; she’s having panic attacks. WRONG! The Lord put it on me that the IUD, that is full of hormones, was making this happen. I called my midwife and she agreed that it was a possibility. At that point I decided to turn my womb over to the Lord. (Amazing revelation for me there!) The midwife took it out the next day and laughed, telling me she would see me in about six weeks. Well, she was right, and we were blessed with our second son. Every child is a true gift from God. My neighbor’s daughter said to me that people had made comments to them about how many children they have (seven), and the daughter’s mental response is, “Which one of them do you think Momma shouldn’t have had?” To give her a name – WOW, very profound for a young lady. She is 20, and has been so well taught and trained by her parents that she has the concept of something that has taken me a long time to learn.
There are people that God puts in your life to help you grow. There are people God puts in your life that you need to help grow. There are also people that the Devil puts in your life to pull you down. Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out who is who. Through the Word of God, a person can tell a wolf from a sheep. There are a lot of misled sheep in this “World” – I was one of them. Praise be to God, I am losing myself to find what He wants me to be. When my husband found the Lord, he didn’t find a little bit of Him, he found all of Him. My husband said to me that I should never start a sentence with I … that more than likely it was something that didn’t need saying. Looking back over this article I have started many sentences with I. Learning is hard, but all things worth doing seem to be that way. Losing me is the best thing I‘ve ever experienced. It has blessed me tremendously. My children have the other half of myself, which equals one whole soul for the Lord. When I was asked about writing an article, I didn’t feel worthy, or maybe it was that I thought the young ladies reading this wouldn’t understand my past and the journey I have had in losing myself. Then I realized again, that I was thinking of only myself being worried about what people would think of … you got it … ME! May God Bless you and keep you. You are all amazing. You are your mother’s blessing, you are your husband’s help meet and if you are not already, then one day you will be a teacher of God’s love to your children.
Here are just some of the verses that have given me comfort, wisdom and understanding thus far in life: Psalms 111:10, Proverbs 9:10, 1Corinthians 7:13, Proverbs 3, Psalms 127: 3-5, Ephesians 6, Luke 9:25