As a little girl, I dreamed of my wedding day. What the venue would look like? The food we would serve. The music that we would play. The bridesmaids’ dresses that would complement my friends to look picture perfect. The dress I would find which would cause my parents and the whole bridal party to tear up because I look just gorgeous. Of course, I dreamed about my perfect groom. A wrote a letter to God with my expectations of my husband at the age of 16. My junior year in high school, I would find my husband. The journey to the alter was long and hard. The support of our decision to get married at the age of 20 was small, but July 25th 2011 we became husband and wife. YEAH!!! So I thought.
Honeymoon is Over, Life begins
No one told me how rough marriage was. No one explained the fights, the yelling, and the pain of marriage. No one said anything about the crying. I lost myself in the hustle of life. I couldn’t find Jazzmin. She was replaced with a little girl confused about life, her role, her womanhood, and her God. Life seemed so restricting. I couldn’t study the way I wanted. I couldn’t see my friends as often. My husband expected all of my time (at least most of it) and I was still navigating life. I gained weight, I stopped smiling. I didn’t know it would be this hard. Plus, I had an older woman in my life telling me once you are married you can’t have friends outside of my husband, I have to get the ok to do things, and every desire I have must take a back seat to his.
Feeling restricted and in a box, I started to rebel. I would boldly defy my husband and his decisions. I was clawing to fight for me, only to be slapped around with a bible verse. In my mind, I was like __________ this!! I’m done. I refuse to lose anymore of myself. God if this is marriage you can have this because I can’t. I can’t live a life of no love, no encouragement towards my goals, so many rules, and a suffocating relationship. I was in true fight or flight mode. Yet, God would not let me leave even when I tried. He would send people my way to soften my heart and I realized something.
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”, Matthew 16:25. I lost it.
I guess God.
I lived in an apartment out of duty. I was an empty vessel. I was missing the emotional support and my husband failed to realize the need of it. He was learning to be a husband himself and navigate the struggle of his need which I fell short to give. I thought maybe a child would help, it didn’t.
The fights continued and the love was hiding in a closet two states away. I lost hope. I lost Jazzmin. I lost faith in my God.
God why did I go through such pain. He answered, “You thought if you were married you would be fulfilled and happy. A ring can’t define you. I define you.” WOW!!! The idea Marriage was an idol not a tool to show others Christ. You can suck at something and it still be an idol. I sucked at being a Christian wife, but the lack of an emotional connect in my marriage created an idol. Anytime you put an idol up, you will feel empty. If I am waiting on my husband to tell me who I am, then I’ll be waiting a long time. The creation can’t tell you something he didn’t see. What?? My spouse can’t tell me who I am because he wasn’t there in the beginning when the plan of my purpose was designed.
I had to learn how to release my pain to Christ. So, I came to the conclusion I can’t fix myself or my marriage but the Lord could. I need to lose my life to him. Instead of yelling at my husband about my pain, vision, and struggles, I had to give them to Christ. The Lord had to let me hit my head on the brick wall enough that I realized I can only do this with him.
When I got into the routine of giving it over to God, I started to find Jazzmin.
I started to believe in myself and the purpose the Lord spoke over me. I didn’t need my husband to confirm the Lord in my life in order for me to respect him. I made up in my mind, I will walk in purpose and I will honor the man God put in my life even when he didn’t deserve it. God if he never believes in my vision, I will trust you and respect him. If I never can share the secrets of my heart, I will trust you and respect him. Why??? I love the Lord enough to respect the man I decided to marry even when I don’t understand. For God made a promise, he would add more of my heart’s desire as I seek and become more like him. I could add happiness in my marriage. 8 years later, I am finding the joy in my marriage and soul. Do I have a perfect marriage?? Please!! I do have a better marriage. When I let go of control and gave it over to God, he released the promise. Once I figured out the ring didn’t define me, but the Lord does, my life was better. He defines me in his image and gives me a new hope in him and my marriage.
What idol are you holding on to? What is defining you?
Are you tired of struggling with it? Have you hit your head hard enough fighting it your way? Why must you be in control? Are you holding on to an image of what your ideal marriage is? Are you willing to accept your spouse for who they are while making moves to fix yourself?
I dare you to release ALL your marriage heartaches to God and let him define you. As he define you, God will release the promise of victory.