How Do I Prioritize My People?

by | Feb 19, 2024

Early on in our marriage, my husband and I fought A LOT.  We come from very different upbringings and thus had very different priorities and opinions on how things should go.  The worst part was that when we fought, we fought to win.  Inevitably when one person won, two would lose, the other person and our marriage.  We went on like this, not knowing any better, for many years.  But unsurprisingly this tug of war took its toll and we found ourselves feeling lonely and unloved.  We were placing our own needs and wants first.

We worked on our relationship on and off for many, many years and we did find a kind of balance, but it was still a marriage of winners and losers, and nobody wanted to take responsibility for the broken pieces we both carried around, we were each still looking out for “number one”.  We were unknowingly playing Adam and Eve’s blame game for sure.

Fast forward five years and we were now parents.  My priority shifted to keeping this new human alive.  My world started to revolve around her needs, then her wants.  I definitely prioritized her, which as an infant it made sense, but it continued well past those first few years.  

This new addition completely disrupted this very precarious balance that we had found.  Our marriage was not built on a solid foundation and this new little person was definitely rocking the boat.  By the time she was three we found ourselves at a crossroads.  I was feeling so alone and unappreciated.  He was feeling alone and depressed due to our move to Texas away from his family and friends.  We were ready to end our marriage.  We decided to separate.

By the grace of God, during our four-month separation, we came to the realization that we both wanted to keep trying.  I didn’t stay because I wanted to but because I know what it’s like to grow up without a father, and I didn’t want that for my daughter.  I got a job to feel appreciated and fulfill my needs somehow.  I stayed but it was still for the wrong reasons.  During this time Dave was offered a job in Austin, so we decided to make the move.  I quit my job and decided to stay at home again, dropping my daughter off at daycare each morning had been so painful, we also knew we didn’t want an only child so we decided to try for our second.

Ten months into our move is when we lost our home to a wildfire.  2011 was a challenging year, full of tears, pain, loss, found traumas, but also growth, and understanding, and love.  This is when I started my journey to getting to know Jesus and having a personal relationship with him.  This year completely changed my life. It wasn’t until I started this personal relationship with Jesus and learned the enormity of His love for me AND the enormity of His love for my husband and my daughter (and soon my son) that I understood HOW I was to love them…sacrificially, but not above God.

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 

Ephesians 5:1-2

 

Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 

Matthew 22:37-39

 

I started to order my life according to His will.  I started going to a bible class, then attending a mom’s ministry, then becoming part of a small group.  I was seeking His presence.  Seeking a deep and intimate relationship with Him.  I started making God my number one priority.

So, I dug into His word and started to learn to see people like God called me to, and it wasn’t easy at first, but with time and practice it has brought so many blessings to my life:  

  • I have reconciled with my biological father whom I met briefly when I was ten years old and have been mending those old, deep wounds of childhood, which in turn have helped me to become a better wife and mother. 
  • I have invited people, whom before I would have run away from, into my life and have been blessed enormously through unexpected relationships. 
  • I started to see my husband as God’s precious gift and to treat him as such (most of the time). 

And three and a half years later… when my husband finally gave his life to Jesus and we invited God into our marriage, the Holy Spirit began to transform us (over time and continues to transform us). Our marriage dynamically transformed from winners and losers, from blame game and irresponsibility, to a beautiful partnership where we daily ask God to be at the helm. We needed Him in order for us to remember how to love each other, to respect each other, to forgive each other, and to support each other. We needed God so we could see each other through His beautiful, complex, and sometimes confusing eyes. 

As a result, God has completely redeemed our marriage, and I am happier and more in love now than ever before!

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