It's hard for me to grasp the fact that tomorrow George and I have been married for SIX MONTHS! Sometimes, it's still hard for me to understand the full concept of marriage. And ever since I let God FULLY come into my life and wreck my spirit, grasping being a submissive, loving wife has been EVEN harder when trying to fight off flesh. Don't get me wrong I love being married and I love the lessons that I have been taught, but I never would have imagined that I would have been put in my place how much I have in just this half a year of being married. Just being honest.
I came up in a household where I was raised to be independent and I really didn't have to want for much of anything. From that, to entering in a marriage where I had to understand that this is just GEORGE, BRITTANY and God and remembering that GEORGE IS THE HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD!... well it has not been easy. (Don't let social media fool you) Reason being... well, I like to voice my opinion. But after awhile you get tired of being put in your place. See, George being the sweet, loving, kindhearted, understanding, accepting husband he is, hasn't been the one doing ALL the putting... It's been God. I mean George knows when to step in and sit me down and sometimes shut me up, BUT the crazy thing is my conviction from God tends to hit me before he can even open his mouth. And that's the hard part. It's different when a human tells you that you need to chill... or you are dead wrong BUT when God does it it's a feeling like no other.
Now some people might look at this and say "dang she getting a little personal ain't she?" ... And maybe I am... BUT God gave me this blog to be transparent. I'm being real. I am telling you all that marriage, especially when you are trying to do it God's way is hard on the EASIEST day ( as my Pastor would say lol).
Let me continue...
I started to ask God for things to write about I immediately became excited thinking "Oh God give me the words to discuss 6 things I've learned from being married for six months.... blah, blah, blah,...Welp. That didn't happen. Which isn't surprising considering that's what I wanted to write. So, I asked God again to give me what I needed to talk about and He said
" Brittany are you the wife I want you to be?" *blank stare*
"Brittany read Proverbs 31. *goes to read it*.
Okay, OKAY. I get it, God. He knows I want to be a better wife so He sent me to the cruelly intimidating scripture not to further intimidate me but to tell me, so I can tell you, all that this woman is can be us and in some ways might already be us.
Ya'll this scripture wrecked me. I tried not to think about it actually. But when God wants you to talk about something He makes it extremely difficult to walk away from it. Just look at Jonah and that Whale.
He allowed Proverbs 31 to pop up everywhere. Our daily scripture text message from church was Proverbs 31:15-16. Then my friend text me a sermon by Pastor Tony Evans, The Wife's Role in A Home, scripture basis Proverbs 31. It was all over me.
Sometimes in reading the bible we can get caught up in the big words and phrases. It can become very intimidating to live like Christ when we don't understand. So I broke it down. And As I began to break it down I was taken aback because I never thought that I would be discussing this scripture and what it means to me. I thought, I have never been or could be this woman. It wasn't until I started to think about it and study what the writer was truly saying that I began to grasp a further, more relatable understanding.
Proverbs 31:10-31 is the model of a Noble, godly woman. Yes, I want to be this woman. I am sure I'm not the only woman who was to be this woman, either. I look at myself and say I am no where near that. But God tells me, I am. No, I might not make the clothes that me and my husband wear as stated in verse 13 but I make sure I take care of them by washing them, folding or hanging them up. I get up and work everyday as he says in verse 17. Verse 24 speaks of her getting food from the ships and making trades... I go to the grocery store and stock the fridge. These comparisons put this scripture in perspective. Because, even though I am not making clothes and trading and planting crops I am still doing things that are of the same quality. And that's what matters. The reality is I don't have the ability and the know how to do all the things listed in this scripture but what I do have is the sense to find a way to make sure in some way, shape or form I can follow this model.
To be a noble wife... Noble, meaning having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals. No where in that definition did it say SHE MUST BE perfect... or making no mistakes... or never arguing... or never crying... or forget... or miss an alarm... or burn up food. This definition spoke of qualities, morals and ideals. No where in Proverbs 31 verses 10-31 does it say this woman is perfect. No where does it say as soon as you get married you will magically become this AMAZING woman. This is literally instructions that each and every Godly woman should strive to follow daily. To not only better herself BUT also her husband and their household. I realized being intimidated by this scripture is an excuse. I shouldn't use this excuse as a reason to why I won't follow these instructions. I won't limit myself because I am scared I will mess up or that I won't wake up early everyday or have his lunch packed every morning for work. What I will do is strive to be this woman daily. In my thoughts and actions.
My words to you are simple. I am not out to give you advice nor am I experienced enough to do anything of the sort. But, whether you are married, single or dating. STRIVE. Strive daily for these qualities. Strive to have the house cleaned when he gets home from work. Strive everyday to become closer to being a better single so you can eventually be a better wife. Strive to be that woman whose husband is known at your job because you speak so highly of him, not talk down about him. Strive. Don't kick yourself if you mess up. Just try again. Strive, so people will wonder what's so special about you. So they will ask "Who's that Lady?"
Right now... at this very moment I am struggling. At this moment I am dealing with the fear of rejection. It is weird because I am not actually dealing with rejection itself. The fear of it is paralyzing. It is discouraging. It has me unsure.
See, this fear of rejection is different from rejection itself. Rejection itself is an act or sometimes even an expression of being dismissed. Fearing rejection has me to the point where I can't even take the step that might possibly bring about this dismissal. How ridiculous! Which means whatever I am suppose to be doing (i.e. writing this blog) isn't being done because I don't want people to even "possibly" dismiss it.
Ever since I began this blog I have been excited to share my new found love for Christ and the change that has occurred in me through Him. But one HUGE obstacle I have faced is the fear of rejection. This is a common fear in my situation. ( situation- God placing me on a public forum to speak about Him) I know not everyone is going to hear or even accept what I am saying it. BUT then comes the issue. IS THIS FEAR REALLY GOING TO STOP ME DOING WHAT GOD HAS SET ME OUT TO DO?
The biggest aspect of this fear lies with my friends. The people I want to talk to more intensely, because I these are the people I want to have traveling the streets of gold with me. The ones I want to look to the left and right and see their smiling faces when we walk through the gate. But the truth is this might not happen. Some people... friends won't hear me because they aren't ready and others simply because they don't want to. I might want everyone to be on fire with me right now but that's just not how Christianity and free will works. Every person has their separate walk and faith. No matter how much I nag and cry and blog I may never see some people get to the point of true servant hood. Although, this is scary and hurtful it is the honest truth. But the realization I have come to is that I will not suppress this Brittany because some people can't handle the change in me. I didn't suppress worldly Brittany when God was yelling in my head for me to come back to Him. So, even though this fear of losing friends is pressing, I refuse to let it halt my progress and the progress of this blog.
When I first set out to begin this blog I didn't want to make it about numbers and how many comments I might get or who will share it on facebook. I just wanted to be a vessel. An open book. Truly transparent so that people can say "so I am not the only one struggling with that". I thought whether I get one view or one hundred views at least I am sowing that seed in someone, because that is all that really matters... Right?? Until I started seeing comments and stats rising and I started feeling myself. My flesh became extremely vulnerable to the popularity and recognition.
I instantly felt a spirit of conviction.
I knew these feelings weren't right for the simple fact that this blog is NOT FOR SELF GAIN! God quickly humbled me. I realized that I must stay focused on the task at hand.
Well while trying to stay focused that fear of rejection politely tapped me on the shoulder. The devil stepped right in a tapped danced all over my weakness. By telling me "seriously Brittany who do you think will really read this blog and gain something from it?" Then came the "do you know how many people have blogs that speak of Jesus... what makes yours different... why would yours stand out?'
I actually let these thoughts get to me. I mean to the point where I was just going to let go of the whole idea of continuing to write.
But I was quickly reminded that in my weakness Christ is made strong. In the time when I let go of control He steps in and does great works. He spoke very clearly to me. He told me that not only will my blog reach people, people will be changed from it. And though I might not get ANY recognition it's okay because the glorification was never for me... It was for Him all along.
So with that being said I will NOT sit down on this. I will not hold back or hesitate out of fear of rejection. I will stand firmly and speak boldly. I won't allow fear to tear down what God is building up. And I know times will get hard and situations will occur so I can't find time to write or maybe even formulate the words to say. I am sure people will get tired of me. Friendships might be dissolved. But my gain is far greater. I know that through this God will not forget about me. It's even said in His word.
Philippians 1:6... And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
These are the words that sustain me.
When will that be me? When will I get married? When will I have a baby? Why is everyone moving on but me? Why can't I travel the world? Why can't I shop when I want to? What does God truly have in store for me?
These are the questions of a social media frequenters. Questions of a millenial. Questions of probably every human on this earth at some point. We live a life of comparison, discontentment and WHYs. We question God about what He is going to do but never get an answer from Him because we look to everyone elses life for it.
Is it intentional? Sometimes. Is it fair? NEVER.
We have become a "gimme more" society. So much to the point where what we have is looked at as nothing. Think about it. I got a house, but it doesn't have enough rooms in it. I just got a new car, but it wasn't brand new. I'm working a job in my field, but why can't I have a more advanced position. I just had a baby, but my friend is pregnant with her second child, I need to catch up. Our lives have evolved into a CONSTANT rat race. More, more, more, more cheese.
But why? Is having more truly what makes life sweeter or is it just a facade? Is living someone elses life better than living ours to the fullest. What do we need with all this "stuff"? What can we do with it other than hoard it, show it off and wait for it to go back out of style. If we actually sit down and discuss the answers to these questions I'm sure we will all give different reasons that seem very sensible to each of us individually. But one common answer would be "we think those things will make us happy". But one thing reigns true... Happiness is fleeting. One day we might truly be happy with our circumstances but as fast as direct deposit can hit with $1500 and bills can take that to $30 our happiness can be gone. There is nothing wrong with being happy. We all like to be around happy people and we all like to be happy but it is so TEMPORARY. Life is all about temporaries. We can't focus our life on trying to gain more temporaries. (Notice, I say "we" because this is a lesson that I am learning too. )
So, in my search for what I need to replace happiness with I started to read some self help books, different blogs and other stuff, but my true answer came as I was reading my bible (something that is fairly new to me). I found Philippians 4:12. This scripture was written by Paul who at the time was was in jail. He said "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want". This stuck out simply because he said CONTENT. From there I went to google where I looked up the word content and it means to be satisfied. That brought me to the thought of being a child and getting progress reports and if we got all satisfactories we looked at that as not the best or the worse, but right in the middle... Which helped us bounce back from that beating from that first nine weeks after we got those needs improvements. And although it wasn't the best it was still better. As adults we should adapt this concept. We can always do better but things can always be worse, so in the mean time being satisfied with where we are is important. We should pray to gain peace from this concept. The concept of being content. Having peace that is of Jesus. This peace does't come from things. When we have THIS peace we don't tend to worry about what the next person has or what I can do next to make myself look better. This Peace can make us feel a little better about that upgrade from a 1994 Camry to that 2000 Camry. Or about making 79 on your test when you made a 71 on the first one. This peace allows us to exhibit a spirit of gratefulness. It's peace that sometimes we don't understand. But we realize overtime that it makes us feel better. Better to the point of where joy begins to arise from the trenches of our heart. The joy that makes us realize that that "happiness" we wanted so badly is no longer worth chasing.
The peace and joy of contentment/ satisfaction makes life more doable without feeling the need to impress or compete. It makes keeping up with the Jones' seem like a hassle and no longer something that we feel like we need to do. Through contentment we can truly see what God has instore for us, because our vision isn't so clouded with what WE have instore for ourselves or what God has instore for other people. We are now able to focus on our growth in this season and not so concerned with how quick we can get out of it. The more we work on being content in our current circumstances the more freedom we give God to move in His time and to do His will. We give Him time to reveal His plan and that allows us to see how our plan pales in comparison.
I prayed and prayed. "God, What should I write?" I only want to write whats for You and Your glory. And God tells me... "Tell them how I have changed your life". "Wow! God that's vast, but I trust you". So in the shortest way possible here it is.
I had been struggling for months. Anxiety had overtaken my life. I was already an anxious person to begin with, but it was at an all time high because my husband had just began his job as a Fireman. My mind would go to everywhere, but to God. I was trying to control everything. I needed constant contact with everyone. It not only wore me out, but everyone else too. After one huge incident I remember my Daddy stopping me and saying "Brittany, where is your faith?" It hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought..." what do you mean I do have faith... Don't I?" That was the moment I started to realize something had to change or I would drive myself or somebody else crazy.
I truly needed God more now than ever before. During this time George and I got engaged and my life took a turn for the best, but not in the way I was thinking.
George and I were riding in the car and I came across a radio station named K-love. A contemporary Christian station that I had no clue would change my midnset completely. I would listen in the mornings going to work. I noticed one morning I was not cursing everyone on the road out like usual. I had such peace it was crazy. The songs on the station would always speak of focusing on Jesus and not the things of this world. They constantly weighed in my spirit.
During our engagement things changed between George and I. PREMARITAL SEX became nonexistent. Although our engagement was only five months it was still Tough to say the least BUT it was necessary. My heart wasn't caught up in those emotions. I was focused elsewhere and elsewhere was with Jesus. I yearned for Jesus daily. Something that was never the case before. It felt good. It was refreshing. I was not just developing into George's wife. I was becoming God's daughter. It was amazing.
Let me be VERY CLEAR the test were coming in daily! God wasn't letting me get to this "new me" without some struggle. But even through the constant struggle His faithfulness never wavered but mine did.
One big test of my faith was when George was trying to pass his EMT exam. See the thing with the fire department here is you have to be an EMT basic as well. You get 6 chances to pass or you get FIRED! FIRED absolutely not! Umm.. sir we need to pass this test. So I start NAGGING BIG TIME! Please study, please focus, nag, nag, nag... It was ridculous. We got to December. Right after we had just signed a lease on a place (that HE lived in without me, lol) and George had to go on UNPAID administrative leave. And there goes my anxiety. I prayed but I never left this at His feet. I tried to handle it. The bills were coming in and we only had my income. I stressed. One day in particular we were talking about something that needed to be paid and the money just wasn't there and low and behold I get home and my dad hands me an envelop. I look for a second and open it and in it was a card and a $125 check. I instatntly broke into tears and texted George. I started thinking We dont get married for another 20 somethng days why would someone send a gift so early and the only thing I could think was "oh ye' of little faith"... I knew then that worrying was doing nothing for our situation. Shortly after that George had to take his test for EMT... the SIXTH and final test. He drove about an hour away to sit for the test because that was the only place offering it before the date that he was suppose to get fired. We prayed. He went. He came back. We waited. We start making other work plans. Until... George got the email. It said CONGRATULATIONS! That's all we needed. GOD IS FAITHFUL!
In five months I had become a new person. I became someone I had never met before. It was completely renewing. I was a wife but not just any wife a "godly wife"... well at least that's what I thought.
"Yeah right", was what resounded in my head when we got back from our honemoon. Brittany, you really think that's it. You spend five months trying to perfect yourself for your husband and get to the point where YOU are happy and think that's it. You really think you are done with Me?
He wasn't done. I was far from done. That's when one of my friend's get the big idea to go to the Pinky Promise Conference. Oh, yes! I mean I love Heather Lindsey she's awesome. Leading up to the conference I was growing, but I hit a dry spot. A spiritual desert. Nothing was popping. I was just blah. The only excitement I would get was when we talked about the conference. As the time grew nearer we counted down. We were so excited. The time arrived and excitement was overwhelming. My thoughts were that I would be renewed and things would change. Little did I know my life would NEVER be the same. And I know that sounds so cliche but seriously things were different.
I never realized how unfaithful I was to Christ until I got to that conference. I had been cheating on Him. Using Him. I was disgusted with me. And to think I had it all together. Please! I was completely broken. I apologized to God repeatidly. I cried for Him to fill me up UNTIL NOTHING'S LEFT in me but Him. It was truly life changing. I surrendered all! I mean ALL. I could no longer live the life I had been living. I had to change. I had runaway from my Father and it was time to come back. It was time to truly CHANGE! I had to stop taking wash ups and truly wash myelf clean in His blood.
So now my purpose is clear. In this short time period I have realized what I have to do. DIE TO SELF DAILY... LIVE THROUGH JESUS. Is it easy? Nope. Didn't think it would be. Is it what needed to happen? YESSSS! All I want to do now is let my BIG LIGHT SHINE! You know what's amazing is you don't need a certain start date or an amazing conference to truly fall in love or back in love with Jesus. Try it today and TRUST ME... YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.