“No mummy, let go, I want to do it myself”
That’s when I realised she was more like me than I had first thought… Good Lord I’ve created a strong independent child!
When I was a teenager I stumbled across the verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Looking back now I think I took it out of context and thought it meant that “I” could do all things… So I set about doing all things! By myself… I didn’t need any help… I basically said to God “I’ve got this, you just sit back and relax”.
I always prided myself in the fact that I was fiercely independent, it was such an achievement for me, I was (and still am) a ‘can do’ person. I have always felt like I could do anything, I’ve fixed cars, landscaped gardens, finished a Uni degree, done home renovations, baked, sewed, looked after babies, I’m a police officer…. I mean seriously is there anything I couldn’t do?
Then in 2006 I met Dave! The love of my life!
I recognised that I was very independent and that I was going to have to be intentional about letting him be the head of the household. Let me tell you that was not as easy to do as it was to write just then. We got married in 2008 and I battled with myself for about 2 years before I gave in and let Dave lead. Not being the kind of person that does things half heartedly, I did a complete 180 and became very dependant on Dave. The pressure on him was immense. I had put all my trust and hopes for the future on his shoulders.
The pressure that put on Dave and also on our marriage was not healthy, and also not sustainable. Something had to give.
In 2011 I was pregnant with our first little girl, Ashley. I busily prepared our home for her arrival. I did the same thing I always do and threw myself 100% into the task at hand, the next big job… Motherhood. There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Now for the fiercely independent this seemed crazy. Of course I could do this by myself. I didn’t need help. How could I ask for help? What would people think?
In 2012 Dave applied for his dream job, and he got it! I was excited for him and saddened for myself because it was something I knew he had wanted for a while, but it would mean he would be travelling a lot and I would be at home… by myself… with babies… Not the most inviting concept. I knew I was going to have to ask people for help and I was absolutely not keen on the idea!
In 2013 I was pregnant with our second little girl, Ella. Part way through the year, cracks began to show in our marriage. Dave liked spending more and more time away from home because it meant he had a bit of freedom. There was always a work trip or an old friend to catch up with. I started to resent him a little more with each event he attended or trip he went on. Until one weekend in August I just shut down emotionally towards him. I thought, if I put up walls, if I look after myself, if I don’t rely on anyone else, then I can’t keep getting hurt and let down.
Trust me, it made complete sense at the time….
Ella was born in November 2013. For 5 weeks Dave didn’t work or go out. He was stuck at home with me, an almost 2 year old and an infant! That was like the perfect storm brewing… Lack of sleep, 4 months of unresolved emotions built up, resentment…. Bitterness… You can imagine the quality conversation!!
On Christmas Day 2013, Dave got on a plane and he was gone. Deployed for a few weeks. I was just getting more and more angry by the day. This season of motherhood was not what I had pictured. AT ALL. I kept thinking to myself ‘how did things get so bad?’ I was miserable and worn out and tired. So tired.
In march 2014 I attended Colour Conference. I sat in the meetings which would have usually moved me to tears because of the presence of God, except I felt nothing. I felt numb. It was a huge reality check for me. Where was God? I had forgotten Him in the business of life. I was so busy doing everything myself that when I had said to Him “you just sit back and relax, I’ve got this” I must have gotten distracted and just taken off without Him. I was still attending church and going through the motions, but there was just emptiness inside.
Dave and I kept trying to book in for marriage counselling, but every time we had an appointment we had to cancel because of Daves work commitments. I didn’t know what to do or how to move forward. I felt like my marriage was over, I was losing sight of how I could salvage it. I cried a lot.
The truth was starring me in the face. I couldn’t save it, God was going to have to.
I picked up my brand new bible, which was a gift at Colour Conference and I started to read it. Slowly day by day I read more and more. God began to soften my heart. When I put my trust in him He started to make my burdens light. He started to show me all the great things about Dave, I finally saw him for who God made him to be, rather than what I was trying to force him to be. He caused me to fall in love with him all over again.
As I started to respect Dave, as a husband and father, and as I chose to respect his job rather than resenting it, he just came alive. He was excited to see me, excited to see the girls and spend time with us as a family.
I’m still in the same season, all things motherhood, nothing has changed. In fact as I write this Dave is in the Ukraine, with no return date yet. I’m at home by myself with Ashley and Ella. But instead of feeling tormented, I’m fine. Actually I’m better than fine. I’m flourishing!
My relationship with my Heavenly Father is growing more every day, I cherish the time I get to sit and read my bible and learn more about God. As I’ve put my trust in Him and truly let Him be the centre of my world He has worked all the things that were my weaknesses into my strengths!
I’m still tired…. But I am SO satisfied and content! I’ve come to realise that God made me a capable woman, He made me a ‘can do’ person for such a time as this. As I depend on God and continue to put my trust in Him, I can’t help but see all the ways He has blessed me and our little family!
“No mummy, let go, I want to do it myself”