My husband and I will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary this summer! I was lying in bed tonight thinking about those early days of marriage, and I felt compelled to get up, grab my laptop, and share a few of those thoughts with you. When we were first married, we rented a little house full of charm and character. It was such a "cute" house that I signed the lease on it before David had even seen it. Bad idea! We soon learned that this charming old house was full of flaws. For one thing, it had no central heat. There were two wall-mounted heaters: one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom. These were supposed to heat the entire house, but they certainly didn't!
Now you have to understand that I am terribly cold-natured, so waking up to a cold house every morning was torture for me. However, my sweet husband - still in a state of newlywed bliss - would get up every morning before me, walk across the cold house, and turn on a small space heater in the bathroom. He would wake me when the bathroom was warm and toasty so that I could get my shower in comfort. I know that may seem like a small gesture, but it was one done out of love.
I had so many dreams in those early years of the kind of wife and mother I would be, but for many, many years, I felt like I had fallen short of those high expectations. There have been many times that I have felt like a complete failure as a woman, and I felt alone, like all other women knew what they were doing and I was the only one who ever struggled. As women, I think we sometimes alienate each other by putting on a false front, refusing to show any weakness, therefore making other women feel inferior. I felt that way for years, sometimes spending weeks, even months at a time, in a state of deep depression.
Years ago, I made a copy of the Proverbs 31 passage about the noble wife and placed it in my "Mommy Notebook" that I use to keep schedules, menus, grocery shopping lists - all the things that help my house run smoothly. I have read the passage every morning since my boys were little. But for a very long time, instead of seeing the verses as an source of encouragement, they often served as a reminder of all that I wasn't! You see, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't see how I could ever become that kind of woman. I felt like a failure!
However, something changed in me last summer, about the time of our 14th anniversary. God opened my eyes to an entirely different perspective of my role as a wife and mother, and my role as a Godly woman. I had seen that "noble wife" as an unattainable goal, but God revealed to me that those verses of scripture were meant to serve as a guide for the JOURNEY toward becoming all that He created me to be. Most importantly, He opened my eyes to the fact that I couldn't do this alone. Only HE could lead me on this journey. We can never become that kind of woman on our own. Only HE can lead us toward that ideal.
Amazingly, as I began to accept this truth in my heart, my entire life began to change. I had lived the previous two years with sometimes unbearable depression; but I began to awaken to the blessings in my life and a joy that only God can provide! My marriage had suffered; but where old love had died, new love grew! I had often felt unproductive and ineffectual; but everything I had tried to accomplish over the years suddenly began to "click." Over the past 8 months, I have felt more capable and confident than I have in years. I am a better wife, mother, homemaker, and teacher. And I know, more now than ever before, that God is in control of my life and only He can help me become all that He wants me to be!