It was decades later, well into my marriage, and with two kids, that I realized I had forfeited something deep inside of my soul. I’m not sure how so much time had passed before I woke up to the fact that I had disconnected from what I created for. I was so angry at myself, and didn’t even know it in the forefront of my mind. It was too painful to admit to the truth about how I felt inside. So instead, I spent my time resenting, blaming, and criticizing my husband’s faults.
The truth was that long before I had married, I had given up on developing something that said to the world,”Look! This is the real me” and to finally be the kind of woman that people wanted to be around. Before I knew it, I was married, and lost my identity to my husband, just looking to him as if he were God.
I had to numb myself from the truth because I had already sunk myself into a life of responsibility to the people that I loved. The days went by, completely numb to any of the convictions from God about how I was falling short of His will. No sooner was it that I had turned to drinking as my only comfort. How many glasses of Chardonnay would it take to fill the gnawing hole inside my soul? One too many … that’s for sure!
As a young woman, I didn’t believe that I was ever enough. I was frightened and insecure, but I thought for sure that a white picket fence, a husband, and two kids, could surely fill that void. Years later, I was becoming more and more aware that somehow this was the furthest thing from the truth in my heart. I knew there was more, but I just didn’t know what it was that I was missing in my life. Unfortunately, I began searching the world for my worth.
Deep down, I had simply given up hope … searching the world never satisfied my thirst. It was too late in my mind, and I was completely stuck. I was stuck in a grown up life, but was feeling like a helpless child that was lost.
I tried to convince myself that I was going to be happy living for my husband … until it continued to backfire. My marriage was a flop, and so was I, for I had pretended to be somebody whom I did not recognize anymore.
My resentment was at an all-time high because I hadn’t attained what I imagined would be the perfect life. I was so far from who I wanted to be and so unfulfilled, but life had a way of moving on, even though my heart still longed for a deeper meaning in my life. It seemed that everything was spiraling out of control into a world that kept my heart far from home.
I tried to fill the emptiness inside with new clothes, new cars, new homes, and boxes of shoes, until I was sickened from it all. None of these external things were filling me up inside, and I felt emptier and emptier as the years sped by. I lost control of my life, and I hit rock bottom from the heavy weight of it all. I was ringing up more debts than I could pay off. This way of life kept me chained to my credit cards.
I hid the debts from my husband and lived in the fear that everyday he would find out just how addicted I was to the love of spending money. I knew that I couldn’t go on this way, but I couldn’t seem to stop racking up the debts. The years went by as I lived in this total lie that I was hiding, and it was killing me inside. I finally hit rock bottom, and it was the wake-up call of my life. On this day the crisis in our family struck something deep inside. Our daughter had run away from home and our marriage was torn apart. I just sat there with the shattered pieces of our lives all around me, wondering how I let things spiral out of control!
I felt like the rug was pulled out from beneath me, and I hit rock bottom when my props no longer held me up. I didn’t know who I was anymore … my whole world had fallen apart.
Over the years I resented my husband, and even my family, but I knew there was a deeper issue inside of me that I was ignoring. I refused to see the real problem. I made my husband and my entire family my world. I expected that my family would fill my voids, but the thirst for something deeper, only grew more and more. I avoided listening to the still, small voice inside, and hidden behind my every degrading and hurtful word that I spoke towards my husband was my way of drowning out God. I was truly broken inside, and I was only left with the echoes of this empty space in my heart as a constant reminder.
My husband, my family, and the ways of the world had become my god. They became the sole meaning and purpose for my life, I was without God orchestrating His true purposes for my life. It was in my own loss of identity in Christ that my family paid the price of my constant suffering inside.
There were a lot of things from my past that I had to resolve, such as having shameful feelings of rejection, insecurities, low self-esteem, and fears that were taking up residency in my heart. The sad thing was that I didn’t even realize it, until a mentor began to help me to understand these negative thoughts that I was believing deep down.
I was still wounded from what had been done to me earlier in my life, things that deep down inside, I believed were true. What people did to me made me feel like there was something wrong with me. I felt worthless inside, and I could not live up to my full potential as a wife and a mother from this broken state of soul.
I wound up living behind my husband to hide these negative things from my past, but the past haunted me everyday in my mind, whether I realized it or not. Depression and anxiety had stolen most of my life and I couldn’t love, laugh, or live my life with any joy inside. I was frozen with fear that someone would find out that the real person I was, just wasn’t good enough, and that I was living amongst the lies of a tainted life.
It was no wonder that I made my husband the sole purpose for my happiness and blamed him when he fell short. I made him the scapegoat, and avoided the fact that I had not lived the kind of life that God was calling me to from the very start. It was on the day that my daughter disappeared that I finally found the faith to listen to the still, small voice and repent for my sins.
It was from this point forward that I found hope in the Lord. Step by step, I finally changed my ways, healed from all of the hurt in the past, and had the grace to fulfill my role. I became the kind of wife and mother that glorified God. After forty six years, I had finally come to know who I was, and there was no denying that I was fearfully and wonderfully made.
In just a matter of time, not only had our marriage become everything that we ever dreamed it would be, but we had finally reunited with our daughter, and she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Today, she has a great ministry of hope for others, as she shares her testimony around the world.
It never ceases to amaze me just how faithful God really is. Just when we begin to wonder how God will ever pick up all the broken pieces of our family, He draws our hearts nearer to Him and brings our loved ones back home.