As I’ve gone through this divorce phase of my life, on the other side of marriage I find myself becoming more courageous in my faith and in my relationships.
I thank God for the revelation that humility doesn’t mean that I had to be a doormat, or a “yes woman.”
I used to equate humility and submission with allowing people to really just do whatever they chose and for me (and my feelings) to simply “step aside.” I thought that if I was humble enough, submissive enough, let things slide enough, then I’d get what I wanted in the end.
I used the guise of being humble and submissive as a manipulative tool to force God to move and cosign on my disobedience…(I know, it sounds absolutely insane.)
When I decided I was going to be obedient, it costed me the false humility that I had clung to so desperately to get MY will done.
Humility is not weakness, or bowing down to someone. Humility and submission done unto an authentic authority. Recognizing and honoring authentic authority without the ultimate hopes of “getting your way” in the end.
Now hear me, humility does not mean that you don’t have questions, it does not mean that you sit idly by, shrink yourself to nothingness and dim your light in hopes that someone else will shine brighter and appreciate your efforts.
Setting yourself on fire to keep someone else warm is NOT a requirement of a relationship, whether it’s personal or professional.
Submission in a marriage doesn’t mean you don’t have questions!
Questioning authority* and being submissive ARE NOT mutually exclusive! Doing one DOES NOT negate the other!
*the manner and attitude with which you question may very well have an effect on the outcome of said questions but that’s for another post.
Since college, I have embarked on a pattern of behavior that would ultimately result in me taking the LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG road. Let’s call it the scenic route.
After college, I took a part-time job with a company that I absolutely loved! They marketed a product that I believed in, that I felt was truly life changing. I had hopes of moving up in the company and worked so hard to show my supervisors that I was worthy of recognition and moving into the position that I wanted so badly. (There goes my list again) I would “humbly” accept ANY and EVERY opportunity to do extra work for meager pay and no benefits in hopes that I’d eventually get a national position within the company. I was driving hundreds of miles each week, working on side projects, taking extra shifts, staying late, spearheading initiatives to boost participation in the company’s online platform. ALL of this work only to be rejected during interview processes and being “passed over” for various positions.
I was hurt, almost to the point of devastation that I would give EVERYTHING that I could to a company and wouldn’t be rewarded for my efforts.
I was walking so blindly and putting my faith in people! NOT GOD! It wasn’t until God used my colleague and my (ex) husband to help show me where I was going wrong.
My (ex) husband would say, “How long are you going to let these people dog you out? You’re better than me, because I would’ve told them I was done a long time ago!”
I would brush off his comments as a husband who wanted his wife to be happy and that he wasn’t coming from a place of understanding what it took to move up in an international corporation.
The conversation with my former colleague was the one that really made me wake up! (I still don’t think I’ve thanked her appropriately. Mayo, I’m so grateful for your obedience.)
We were having a conversation at Panera Bread and she shared with me the thought that maybe…just maybe, this job was an idol in my life.
OOOOOH honey, when she said that I IMMEDIATELY got defensive.
Oh no boo-boo!
I don’t worship no idols!
Who did she think she was, calling my relationship with MY SAVIOR into question????
I was maaaaaaaad. But God was using her and the truth she spoke cut like a knife!
I had idols in my life, things that came before my relationship with God. Things that I thought were my source for love, validation, and success…I continued to work my little heart out for this company for another year or so. When I submitted my resignation to my job, I caught my supervisor and many of my colleagues by surprise but at the time, it was what needed to happen.
I was going to stick around and keep walking into the brick wall. Continuing to stand in my disobedience until I was FORCED to change!
Here was similar pattern with my marriage…
Sticking around…year after year…after multiple instances of infidelity, after the lies, after the absence of physical intimacy, after forgiveness, after the tears, and hurt, and pain, the disconnection, after sweeping our problems under the rug, and plastering smiles on our faces…I stuck around. We stuck around. Both of us probably fearful of what letting go would mean.
It wasn’t until my (ex) husband said he no longer wanted our marriage, that he wanted to walk on by himself, that the truth hit me.
In that moment, I was horrified and freed simultaneously. I wasn’t ready to give up my disobedience, my list, my hopes, my validation, the “love” that I had manufactured but in THAT very moment, it was EXACTLY what I needed to wake up.
I could NOT stay in a relationship where I was not wanted.
I would NOT stay in a relationship where I was not wanted.
I will NOT set the example for my daughter, that happiness stems from forcing your brokenness on someone, that you stick around regardless of the truth, in hopes that the person will love and validate you.
God fixes the broken pieces, this is the truth that I will walk in. Trusting God, having faith in the power of His ability to change a hurtful situation but the peace and courage to be obedient if He doesn’t change the hurtful situation and INSTEAD changes you!
There are so many tidbits here and I feel the need to connect the dots…
I feigned humility and mistook submission in an effort to maintain my job and my marriage.
I “stuck it out” in my job and in my marriage in hopes for validation.
I placed my job and my marriage before my pursuit of God.
I voluntarily blinded myself to all of the “signs” and nudges from The Holy Spirit only to come to the realization that:
Love, peace, validation, success, and freedom only come from God.
And THAT is where my anchor rests.
23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. 25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.