I have been struggling with what to say after my last post. I didn’t think it felt right to just dive into a “fluff” piece, while at the same time, I’ve been in a period of self-discovery and growth.
I was scared to publish my last post. It was perhaps my most vulnerable and open post to date, and I was really scared about the responses I would get. I was sharing some of my biggest insecurities, regrets, and deepest thoughts. I was scared to pull away the veil and admit that I wasn’t fully happy. But. The responses and encouragement I received was overwhelming. A few other women who had recently gotten married reached out to me and thanked me for sharing, as they had felt the same.
A few days after putting those parts of my heart into the world, I had dinner with my best friend. At one point in the evening, she looked at me and asked me if I was okay. She went on to tell me that she had read my post and was really surprised that I didn’t conclude the post with a revelation about how God views me and the peace that He provides. And though I knew where she was coming from, I admitted to her that I hadn’t felt that from God in a long time.
A few days prior to this, Sadie Robertson posted on her Instagram asking where her followers sought, in more words, fulfillment. This, plus the conversation with my friend, as led to a ping-ball sort of self-discovery about my own heart.
I’m finding, that as a life long Christian with little to no trauma in my life, what God says of me and His Gospel have become “normalized”. They’ve become a sort of ingrained identity, akin to my culture, skin color, ancestry. They are no longer powerful propellants in my life and in my self-perspective.
I think, from the beginning of the engagement, I placed my happiness solely in my relationship with my future husband. I leveled myself against the other brides I saw online who “appeared” to have it all together and who appeared to by blindly happy and in love with their partner. I’m beginning the painful process of unraveling my identity and my worth from my position as a wife.
I’m learning how nice it is to hear what I mean to those around me, but above all, I’m re-learning the sweet peace of God’s unyielding love for me. I’m learning what He says about me and how He views me.
I recently joined a leadership team at the young adult church HB and I attend on Tuesday evenings. This was a big step for me, as this introvert feels really uncomfortable. (Though, the entire team is so friendly and welcoming and it has been quite some time since I felt this welcome and cheered on in a group.) I’ve only been a part of the team for a few *consecutive* weeks now, and it’s been recently revealed to me that the night I joined the team, the team had prayed over the empty name tags. The team had been in a period of low numbers and were feeling overwhelmed with the tasks ahead and the amount of people with which to do them. They prayed over the empty name tags, and later that evening, without knowing any of this, I let them know my interest in joining the team. I don’t say this to be all “look at me, I’m appointed to this team”, but instead to humbly recognize God’s movements in my life.
Perhaps I was feeling purposeless in my life. I’ve begun to question my chosen career and I was beginning to feel a serious stirring in my soul to get connected into an active, alive, breathing church. But hearing that my place in the team was prayed over before I was even a part of it has beautifully opened my eyes to God and who He says I am.
I’m rediscovering that my worth isn’t based on what higher education I get. It isn’t based on the type of job I have, or how well I do in a job. It’s not based on the prestige I obtain in a career. It’s not based on whether I can have children or not, or even how many children I have. It’s not based on “how good of a wife I am”, or how long my husband and I are married. It’s not based on what my wedding day was like. It’s not based on what I look like, or how I perceive what I look like. It’s not based on anyone’s, or my own, thoughts of me. My worth is not based on any earthy thing. At times, this can feel like mental gymnastics to overcome, but I’m learning.
I’m learning, and re-discovering, that it’s my Heavenly Father’s thoughts of me that transcend all else. And this alone, this unwavering, never changing, always encouraging, incredibly loving soft heart spot for me is where I what to spend the rest of my life, and the rest of my eternity, basking in.
P.S. I’ve figured out the best way to describe how I feel about marriage right now. I’m not happy. I’m not joyful. I’m at peace.