“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2.
Lately, I’ve been in a place where if someone asks me “how are you doing?”, they get either a quick, “I’m okay”, or a long-winded, “I feel like I’m falling apart and here’s why…” response. The truth is, I am overwhelmed. Long distance marriage is not for the faint of heart or the lacking in faith, that’s for sure. Waiting and keeping patience to start a family, fighting against the odds, is a battle God may have chosen for us, but I am thankful we don’t fight alone. Working a job that demands my energy and time in the current state of this world is just plain stressful and is only possible because of the burdens I can cast on Him at the end of my long, hard days. I know for a fact that my marriage would not survive this hard season without Jesus right there at the center of it. The distractions of busyness and chaos are too much without something solid to hold on to. I cling to Him daily for my strength. I need constant reminders of His goodness, love, and promises for me. I need constant reminders of my worth in Him.
It’s a hard season. It’s a season that seems like drought, unanswered prayers, and chaos. It’s a season that begs me to lose my identity in Christ to an identity that calls me worthless. The enemy wants me to feel the names of “failure”, “exhaustion”, “defeated”, “overwhelmed”, and “distant” and take them on as the things that devalue me. I am a woman who is sometimes so tired from work that when my husband calls from another time zone, all he hears on the other end is mumbled words that make little sense from his half-sleeping wife. I am exhausted. I am a woman who is in her thirties but hasn’t yet had the joy she desires of becoming a mother. I am unsuccessful. I am a woman who, on top of working full time and being a wife, has been called to do work in ministry and has chosen to nurture her gifts in writing, while the world is filled with the chaos of a global pandemic and political unrest. I am overwhelmed. When I take a step back and look at these current circumstances, it is easy to see where I would feel defeated. And some days, I am.
That’s when God steps in, delivers me from these false identities and shields me from the enemy. I take refuge in Him on those days. I take refuge in Him all of my days. That is the only way I can be the woman, and wife, that keeps her balance. If my balance relied on my ability to live without stress, without desires of the heart, without Jesus, I would tumble and fall a long way down. But my balance beam is built on rock, and not just any rock, but the Rock. The Rock who has never let me slip too far down and who has always kept me where I need to be.
I could easily allow this season to distract me from being a God-honoring wife to my husband. God and my husband give me grace on the hard days, but I cannot allow the hard days to consume me or my marriage. I am still held accountable as a wife to prioritize my marriage and my husband over other things I think need my attention. Other things, things that God may not be calling me to at this moment, can wait. The writing can wait.
If you read this blog regularly, you have probably noticed a lapse in posting the past few weeks. I have always been transparent that I will write only when God is prompting me, not requiring of myself deadlines or weekly quotas. I know most blogs promise their readers these things, like a new post each week or even day. But that is a pressure that God doesn’t require of us. God doesn’t require us to meet deadlines or quotas for the sake of meeting them. He requires us to share His truth, our testimony, and His love with the world. That looks different for all of us, given that He has gifted us all differently and accordingly to His will.
One of my gifts is writing. I will always nurture that gift and use it to glorify God. However, He has called me to use other gifts of mine in this same season, too. I am a really good cheerleader and encourager, and right now, as a wife, my husband needs that from me. I never miss a game, even if it means watching on spotty Wi-Fi at 35,000 feet in the air. I am somehow pretty organized and not too shabby with social media and have found myself using those gifts in a new role within a women’s ministry this year. I use gifts God has given me in my job on a daily basis, like patience, empathy, leadership, and the ability to stay calm in emergency situations. And God has gifted me my marriage, the most precious gift of them all.
I am balancing a lot right now, but not without a lot of help. God has sustained me and my marriage through this hard season and balancing act. He has shown me where I need to put my efforts toward, through prayer and constant consumption of His Word. He has shown me that my commitment as a wife comes first. My commitment to anything else needs to come from Him and His direction. If it isn’t from Him, it isn’t for me. My marriage is stronger because of this. Because of the protection God provides me from the distractions that the enemy wants me to take hold of. Because of the fortress made of solid rock that is around me through my identity as a daughter of the King.
Recognizing that in ourselves is vital. When we start to acknowledge the work God is doing within us and through us, currently, regardless of where we may desire to be or the hope we have for our futures, we understand our worth truly does come from Him. I could continue to look in the mirror, re-reading the words from a few paragraphs ago, putting on the robes of defeated, overwhelmed, failure, and exhausted. Or I could wrap myself tight in the worth that comes from my Savior, and stand firm on that solid rock, showing the world my balancing act.
In order to show the world this balancing act, I have to show the world Who keeps me balanced. Taking time with God, seeking where my commitments need to lie, and where they do not, is necessary. Being honest when I just don’t have the time, the desire, or the energy for something is necessary. Understanding that God doesn’t call us to be overwhelmed and allowing ourselves rest is necessary. The things that God is calling you to, be assured that He will equip you and energize you for the task. He always does. When we choose to prioritize our time and commitments through a lens of what God is and isn’t calling us to, we find the balancing act gets much easier.
And so, I am balancing being a wife, a flight attendant, a writer, serving women through ministry, desiring children, a friend, a daughter, a sister, and quite simply a human. These things are not meant to steal my identity. These things are not meant to create chaos or distraction. These things are meant to give me opportunity to go where God calls me and serve Him. My identity is in Christ, who He says I am, and that is worthy. I don’t have to feel like a failure as a wife, or in any other thing, when life gives me hard seasons. I can cling to Jesus, stand solid on my Rock, and know that He holds me up in it all. And when He doesn’t give me what I need for the things I think I should do, I need to accept the time He gives me to rest and be okay with that.
So, wife, what are you trying to balance these days? Are you overwhelmed? Exhausted? Feeling defeated or unsuccessful? What lies is the enemy telling you that you continue to give your energy to? Ask yourself, and then ask God, how you can prioritize what He calls you to and let go of what He doesn’t. Be intentional in where your commitments lie, giving your time to those things that God lays on your heart. Don’t allow jobs, titles, or desires to create a new identity in you that steals you from your true one found in Jesus. Don’t allow busyness and chaos to distract you from the gift of marriage. Stand on the solid rock of your salvation and worth in Him. Allow the Rock to be your balance beam. He will never let you fall.