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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: Wifey Wednesdays: 180 Degree's

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Wifey Wednesdays: 180 Degree's

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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: Wifey Wednesdays: 180 Degree's

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

December 23, 2009

Wifey Wednesdays: 180 Degree's

Today is Wednesday. As is usual, Sheila is hosting "Wifey Wednesday." If you missed last weeks post, I encourage you to go check it out. Last week we were talking about the difference between being a Godly and submissive wife and being a Doormat to our husbands. {And yes, there is a difference}Today, Sheila is asking what the turning point in marriage was. What was it that changed our marriages from barely there existence to flourishing in the eyes of God. 

I think back on the worst time in our young marriage and can clearly see a point where we made the change. I don't remember an exact day or time, but I remember the morning that I woke up thinking, "We are going to be ok. We are going to overcome this and we are going to make it." That acknowledgment felt like a 2-ton weight being lifted off of my shoulders.

It had been a long, long road for us. We had gotten married, had about 2 weeks together as a husband and wife before we found out we were expecting, then hubby was shipped off to Coast Guard training for about a month. It was a whirlwind, and it's not something I think we were truly equipped for at that point. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change it for anything. But we just weren't really ready for all of that yet. It was a lot to adjust to and a lot to take in.

The 4 months or so we had before little man was born was full of baby preparation and my ever-changing mood swings. I was highly emotional and poor hubby wasn't even sure how to begin dealing with that. Not to mention, I was prone to break downs in self-esteem, and being 30 pounds heavier than I was used to {being pregnant and all} didn't help with that. I didn't feel at all attractive to my husband. Not even in the slightest. I remember thinking how disappointed hubby had to be in me and my appearance. He had thought he was getting a toned, young, beautiful wife and instead he ended up with a beached whale.

During all of this, hubby had a few habits and tendencies of his own that needed working on. Things that hurt me and caused me pain. And for those things, I grew resentful and hateful. I treated him terribly. Saying and doing things that no wife should do to her husband. There was no trust, no honesty and no communication in our marriage. It was breaking down very quickly and I didn't know what to do to stop it. We were in between church homes at the time, so I had no Christian mentors to turn to; I couldn't seek advice from family because the issues were too deep to rely on family for an unbiased opinion. I felt alone. I sat at home all day every single day crying, hating the life I was living and wondering when things had gotten so bad.

It was the end of the summer, maybe August, when I realized that I needed to make some changes if I expected hubby to change. {I've written about this before, and how the movie "Fireproof" and "The Love Dare" helped to change our marriage. See the marriage tab at the top of the page.} I started spending hours upon hours every day studying God's word and praying. I prayed long, heartfelt prayers to God, begging him to change my husband and to fix our marriage. After literally months and months without seeing a difference, I started to give up on God. I turned by back on him, proclaiming that HE allowed my marriage to fall apart. HE allowed my husband to do things that he knew would break my heart. And HE was too selfish to fix it.

Yeah. Not exactly accusations I am proud to have made against God, but they were made nonetheless. It wasn't until our son was about 5 months old that I realized what was wrong. It came to me in the mall one day. We had something that needed returning to the mall; hubby and I had been fighting and arguing for about 2 hours that morning. I was upset and had cried the entire trip to the mall. My eyes were puffy and bloodshot and I was on the verge of another emotional breakdown as we pulled into the parking lot. I remember getting out of the car and slamming the door. Hubby had his window down and remember turning back to him and saying something along the lines of, "If you were going to be this kind of husband, why did you get married in the first place?" before I stormed off.

With tears streaming down my face, I made my way down the mall to my destination. I made it about halfway back to the car before God revealed to me what was wrong with our marriage. Me. My attitude. My actions. My words. My thoughts. Everything. I was not the wife I needed to be, so how on Earth could I expect my husband to be the kind of man he was supposed to be? Kind of a "pot calling the kettle black" kind of situation. I climbed back in the car and said nothing to my husband. Not so much out of an attempt to be hateful or to prove my point, but because I was taken completely aback by the revelations God had just shown me.

God pointed out that all of those prayers I had been praying over the previous months, weren't being prayed the right way. I was praying for God my make my husband into the man I thought he needed to be, not the man that God called him to be. I was trying to fit him into my perfect mold of a partner, without any acknowledgment to the fact that maybe, just maybe, I wasn't the woman I needed to be. That's a harsh reality to have to face. When God knocks us down a level, he means it. And that's what he did. He threw me off of my high horse mentality, showing me once and for all that HE was the one who was in charge, and I needed to realize that.

From that point on, I focused my energy on my newborn son and on being the kind of wife that God required me to be, not necessarily the kind that I thought hubby deserved. {Thank God hubby wasn't always the kind of husband that I deesrved. Believe me, there were times that I really deserved a lot worse than what I got.} God created each of the complete our partners. He has a standard for the kind of women we are supposed to be, especially when it comes to being a wife and mom.

I purchased "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian and started focusing my prayers for hubby on those specific areas. I started praying more meaningful and heartfelt prayers. But most importantly, I started praying for GOD to work and that GOD'S will would be done in our marriage and in my husband. I spent my Quiet Times reading Christian women blogs and books and scriptures on how to love my husband and be the wife that he needed. I did a lot of writing in my own personal journal, noting changes that I saw in our relationship, but most importantly, the changes that God was making in me.

I would love more than anything to tell you that God fixed our marriage say that he snapped his almighty fingers once I realized my faults and everything was suddenly all kinds of peachy. But it wasn't. It was a very long road. One that we continue to travel down. No marriage is perfect, and never will be. But our marriage made the change when I let God in and allowed him to truly work. When I stopped trying to "fix" things and allowed God to have control. When I allowed the Lord to move in me and among our marriage, I started to see a big difference.

All of the changes that I kept trying to make in my husband, slowly started to take effect. But it wasn't by my doing. It was by God's. Because at that point, I wasn't even focused on hubby. I was in no way even concerned with what he needed to differently. I was in-tune to myself and what I needed to change. And when I started showing love and kindness to my husband in a Christlike way, I started to receive that love and kindness back. It's amazing what God will do when we get out of the way and let him.

And that's basically what God has shown me. Whether it be in marriage, in parenting, in other matter what the situation is, if I will simply stay out of God's way and allow his will and his timing to prevail, then the outcome will be far greater than I could have EVER imagined. I wouldn't say that our marriage did a 180 degree turn around, per-say. I think my mindset and idea of marriage did the turn around. The marriage itself took time. Are we where we would like to be in our marriage? Not at all. Are we closer to that point than we were 8 months ago? Absolutely. And it's all because of God and us allowing him to have control.

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At December 23, 2009 at 11:10 AM , Blogger Mandi Miller said...

That was a very open and honest post. It takes great humility to admit when the problem lies with yourself and not with someone else. I applaud you for allowing God to direct your marriage! So many people remain selfish and end up divorcing when all they had to do was lay aside their pride. You are an inspiration to your readers! Great post! Thanks for sharing!

At December 23, 2009 at 11:37 AM , Blogger Tina said...

Very good post, I can really relate to this!! We are still not "fixed", this was a good thing for me to see this morning.
Also, if you don't mind, when you have time will you send me a list of some of your favorite Christian women blogs? I am looking for new & good reading material!!

It's almost Christmas Eve. . .have a good one!!

At December 23, 2009 at 11:47 AM , Anonymous Tanya Glanzman said...

Ditto sweet friend :)

At December 29, 2009 at 8:45 AM , Blogger mama4x said...

Wow again... gonna have to start following these Wednesday topics... there is a lot of your heart visible! It's beautiful when it reflects God's will. Thanks!

At June 5, 2010 at 9:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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