I wanted to get married from as far back as I can remember. Of the many things I wanted to be ‘when I grew up’, a wife and a mom were always at the top of the list. I also wanted to write, but I never in my wildest dreams thought that would actually happen (so thank you for reading this and for making that dream a reality 🙂
Before we got married, we got a prophecy that Phil would be travelling for ministry and that during those times, I would be at home with the kids. Madly in love and with the romantic vision of a family full of perfectly behaved children (Phil wanted eight kids when I met him), I happily accepted this as the role I would play in our family life.
Three years after we were married and as we had so longed for it to happen… our family grew. With that growth came the everyday life that is parenting. While our girls are beautiful and fun and really very well behaved… they are children. Children who are learning how to live and how to obey, children who are needing to be taught by us. Children who require far more energy than I ever anticipated they would. Somehow with all of that going on, my stay at home role seemed a little unfair. And I began to feel bitter.
Now it is important to mention that at this point, Phil was not even travelling for any sort of ministry. He was running his own business (occasionally travelling for that), he was enjoying an involved role in the Church and he was taking time out to talk to God. He was GETTING to do that. And me, well I was being less than supportive. Because I was feeling jealous, I began to resent my role as a mom. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my children. It’s just that raising them began to feel more like a task and less like a privilege.
There is a beautiful kind of symphony that surfaces in a marriage when two people truly submit to God. And as we both did that, our faithful Father changed us. He changed our marriage and the way we work together, He changed our family dynamics and the way we relate to one another and to our children. He softened my heart and gave me a joy in being a mother and a wife that I had so longed for but never held.
During these changes, opportunities rose and Phil began ministering to others. I thought I supported him in this. I had bought him a travel bag one Christmas as a token of my support, last Christmas I bought him a backpack to go with it. I gave him my blessing when it cost us money out of our savings. I was entirely okay with it, at times I even looked forward to a quiet evening on my own – which for the record, there is nothing wrong with wanting or even needing some time to yourself.
And then…. BOOM!!! Just yesterday Phil was in the process of putting an amazing encounter together. One that would require a night or two away. And again, I was totally at peace with it, completely excited for him and supportive, I thought. But God spoke differently.
I was praying yesterday while driving home from gymnastics. Committing myself and my everyday life to Christ, asking Jesus what it meant in that moment to be a child of God… what did that mean yesterday as I went about my daily, seemingly mundane tasks. It is important to me that I constantly evaluate this and measure myself up against what the Bible says.
And God speaks guys! Sometimes it is through His word, sometimes it’s a gentle whisper across your heart, a picture, a dream or even through somebody else. Sometimes it’s a distant memory or a feeling. He is a living God and He speaks.
Yesterday at around 4pm on my way home and in the chaos of afternoon traffic, God told me to ‘SUPPORT HIM’ (by him, He meant my husband).
It was clear as day and suddenly I knew that supporting Phil is not just me being okay to hold the fort at home, it’s not being happy that I get to watch my own choice of series on the nights that he is away, it’s not even being happy for him that he is able to walk in what God has for him. Supporting him is praying for him, it’s becoming emotionally involved in what he is going through, its genuinely taking an interest in what his heart is longing for and being there for him when he faces difficulties. It’s encouraging him, not only with the words I use but in the way I pray for him as well. Be it in his work, ministry or hobbies.
I have tears streaming down my cheeks as I write this, because my love, I am so sorry for not ‘getting’ this sooner. I am sorry for getting on with my own thing while you got on with yours. I am sorry for the times you may have felt lonely or even neglected. God has done an amazing work in us this year and I am just so encouraged and excited for the plans He has for us. I love you.. and I support you fully!