This May my husband and I will be approaching 10 years of marriage. I can truly say that is has gone by fast!
When I was 16 years old, I went to my youth pastor and his wife crying. I felt a conviction, because as much as I wanted Jesus to return, I didn’t want it to happen until I was married and had children. Getting married and having children was something I so deeply wanted to experience and at that point in my life I was hoping I could before I met my Savior. They comforted me by telling me that I could be assured I wasn’t called to singleness.
Also as a teenager, by two people I was told that they believed that God had great things in store for me. I was sure those great things were being a missionary overseas and possibly even having to die being martyr. Time and time again I would have dreams I was being tortured for my faith, but the torture was overcome by a joy to be with my savior. I am not so sure if those people had the same things in mind when they told me that God was going to do great things with my life. And now if those people saw the ins and outs of my daily life I am not sure it would be described as anything out of the ordinary.
Before I was married or had children, there was a great willingness to risk it all for Christ. Honestly I felt if I suffered or had no money, it really wouldn’t affect anyone but me, for no one was relying on me. Both money and the idea of me suffering have caused anxiety after having children.
There is something that having children does. It ties you more down to this world. You feel a weight each and every day that these little ones are depending on you. Your thoughts are constantly toward your children, your home, your husband and easily the thoughts of being in union with your Savior can be put to the side. I know the goal is to make an inner sanctuary where you can be in union with your Savior even as you are going about the ordinary things of the day, and for this goal I am striving.
Just as I used to struggle with a conviction of wanting to one day experience marriage. I now struggle with the conviction of wanting to be here with my children to see them grow up and experience life with them. If I am honest I can often feel the tug toward this more than wanting whatever it is Christ may have in store.
In a small group once my husband and I shared how we understood why Paul said that he wished that all could be as he is; single that is. He felt that in that state your concerns were constantly about how to please the LORD and in marriage your concerns often turn to how to please your spouse. The people in the group looked at us like we were a little crazy. The truth is, I think we have a great marriage. My husband and I love each other dearly, we love our children dearly and we both believe this is God’s lot for us.
Although we feel this way, I think deep down we both know that choosing the married life has lessened our time that we can spend in deep intimacy with Jesus. We both can remember times when we spent much more time praying or studying the scripture. I know one day our children will be grown and unless the LORD returns or he takes us home, I am sure those lengthy times of uninterrupted devotion will return.
Well anyways I sit here struggling and asking God to put me in a place where I can love my husband and children, but truly love Him more. They are gifts placed in my life by the gift giver. May my highest goal be to know Christ and make him known and to desire union and intimacy with him, even in the ordinary mundane life. And as I reflect on this, I can be confident and say that I know this is where Christ has led me. Christ led me to the College where I would meet my husband, he confirmed in prayer that he was the once I should marry, and he deeply burdened my heart to have all these children. And as a side note, maybe greatness doesn’t look like we expect it to.