Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Husband is Living the Life I Dreamed of...

My husband is living the life I dreamed of.

When we got married ten years ago I made it very clear that my hearts desire was to one day be a stay at home mom. I watched just about every pastor's wife and good christian woman that I knew raise her children while fulfilling the obligatory motherly duties of being at home and at the beck and call of both her children and husband. I wanted that life and assumed it would be mine one day. I was prepped for it by my own mother and when I married a man in the ministry, I assumed that he understood the rules of motherhood. I just knew that as the spiritual head of our house and church, that he and I were on the same page and that I would one day be baking cookies for our children after school.

We got married young. I was almost 21 and he was almost 25. In hopes of deterring us from marrying so young, my father decided we should pay for our own college. Being the over-achiever that I am, I went on to earn my Ed.S. and nearly 65,000 dollars of student loan debt. My husband earned a MA and 25,000 dollars of debt. We moved seven times in our first eight years of marriage although we only lived in three states. In those eight years my husband lost his job or changed jobs three times. In those eight years we also had two sons and with each pregnancy I prayed that somehow God would make a way for me to stay at home. It never happened.

With our first son, my husband was able to stay home for about 6 months. With our second, my husband is still staying at home. Our youngest is currently 22 months old.

For a long time I was very bitter. I was angry at God and also at my husband. How could they allow my heart's desire to go unfulfilled? As I strived to support my husband's dreams of being a pastor, I had to give up mine. When would it be my turn? To make ends meet, I coached after school and even took up a job waitressing at a local restaurant. I listened to the voices that condemned me for working so much and for allowing my husband to always be the one taking care of the kids. I believed them when they said I was a bad mother because deep down, I agreed with them. Just like them, I was raised to believe that a woman's place was at home.

After experiencing severe anxiety, I knew it was time to seek some help and guidance. I also knew where most of my issues were coming from. I was jealous and overwhelmed with the feeling that I had very little control over my life. In the things that I felt I had some control, I over compensated which often resulted in me being too exhausted to do the things that I really desired to do.

I began seeing a local christian counselor who somehow knew me within the very first session. I had heard the saying, "she read my mail" but had never really experienced it until that meeting. She helped me to realize that in my jealousy and situation of supporting my family that I had found myself, I had misplaced my ability to trust in God. I erroneously thought I could handle it all myself since God and my husband had seemed, in my mind, to have dropped the ball. Things that I obviously could not control like the weather and plane rides caused me to suffer severe anxiety attacks.

I wish I could say that things now are completely different. They are not. BUT my mindset is slowly changing. I am realizing that no matter how much I'd like to be, I'm not in control over much of anything. My husband still stays home while I go off to work every morning but I am learning to lean on him more instead of assuming the role of provider. I'm learning not to try to do it all. We just recently came back from Dallas and my suitcase, fully packed, sat on the floor for nearly two weeks!!! That's huge for me!

Most of all though, I'm learning to trust again in God. I know He knows my heart and loves me despite all of my shortcomings. There will always be situations that are out of my control and things that do not go the way I dreamed they would. But I think God has been waiting on me to realize that this illusion of control that I had created in my mind was just that, an illusion. I don't know what illusions you have created for youself but I know that there is a God that loves you so much and wants to bring you back into His reality.

Lamentations 3:24 "I say to myself, "The Lord is my provision; therefore I will trust in him."


Jane said...

This is an amazing, honest and open post. While I am not in a similar situation, I think the faith issue is a universal one and I was very encouraged by what you had to say here.

Ckinneer said...

Thanks Jane :) I'm not sure why I'm just now seeing this post!