She always disliked football. Now she detests it. Not so much the game itself but what it represents. She never thought it would be like this. She didn’t ever imagine agreeing to this arrangement in her wildest dreams, but here she was sharing her marriage to a husband who was already married. She's reminded every day that he dedicates most of his time to the other one.
She feels so betrayed. She had no idea that when they were dating, all the acts of kindness we're him following the rules of some game. In his mind, he was just training for an event to win the prize. How many dinners and how many flowers and kind words does he have to put up with to finally get his trophy?
She thought he loved her but now she feels so objectified. The harsh reality has sunk in. Getting her to marry him was like a football game to him. Once she said the vows and sealed the deal, his training was over. He got the trophy and put her on the shelf to gather dust while he spent all of his time on the next field goal.
She imagines what their marriage would be like if he just had spent 20% of his time working on it as much as he did watching football and checking the stats. She feels so low having to compete for her husband’s affections with 11 players. She definitely is on the losing team. She still thinks about the sales pitch and closing the deal. As her friend confided to her, “the brochure ended up not matching the product.”
She thought if she did all the right things he would finally notice her and value her. She was told by the church to just work harder at being a good wife. She feels deceived. She fell for all the tricks. She thought he would be the same person he was when they were dating but now realizes he was never that person but he was just going by a playbook. She’s reminded of a quote she heard that ruminates in her thoughts right now. “I told you I loved you when I married you. If I change my mind, I will let you know.” Now she doubts there was ever love as that is shown in actions, not just words.
Love, honor, cherish…and all she can think about is “death do us part!” Better sooner than later. What a death sentence this marriage has become. Death by apathy. At least if she was single she would be free to spend time seeing friends rather than waiting for him to keep his promises. He vows to take her on a date and spend quality time with her but she has repeatedly gotten his rotten leftovers. He has no words left to say to her after using them all up at the office and he dozes off to sleep the minute they turn on a movie to watch together. Why does she still fall for the scam even after a dozen years? She has become his slave only to serve him and his selfish needs. She’s exhausted, isolated and empty. Is this what “submission” is really about? Am I supposed to sacrifice my life and health and faith to serve a man who only seeks to serve himself? She realizes she is just as guilty as he is…they both have been worshipping false gods.
So many women’s retreats preaching serving your husband. “If only you were more of a Proverbs 31 woman, your husband would love you”. “Submit to him and meet all of his needs and he will treat you like a queen.” Why is it you have the God of the universe who says His love is free but you hear men and women leaders in the church commanding them to try and earn the love of their spouse? It doesn’t work. The harsh reality is that she is exhausted trying to earn the love of someone who doesn’t have it to give. He has spent all his love on himself. If she was dressed in leather and weighed 13 oz and was stamped with NFL on her midsection, well maybe she would get him to notice her, at least for 3 hours and 12 minutes.
No amount of conversations have changed anything. Her friend is a therapist. She told her how women are constantly telling their husband what they need repeatedly and it falls on deaf ears for 12, 15, 20, 30 years. No matter how many discussions they have had, he doesn’t think it’s important. Since he doesn’t think like her, he just mocks her and tells her what is important to her is stupid and silly. He doesn’t realize it’s everything. It has everything to do with her feelings towards him. Since he disregards her feelings and what is important to her, how can she feel safe with him, vulnerable with him and submit to someone so dangerous emotionally? He’s supposed to protect her and be her hero but unless she thinks just like her husband…one of the guys, her opinion doesn’t count.
He calls her a nag. She’s only reminding him of the promises he made to her that came out of his own mouth. If he kept them, she wouldn’t even have to ask him one time. Here she is 12 years later still waiting on the promises he made to her when they were dating.
Game over. She stayed long after it ended. She finally walks out the door and she’s done. Her emotional bank account has been empty for a long time and no amount of love and care she has given him can fill him enough. He’s always hungry for MORE. He doesn’t even love himself. He loves his idols. He’s willing to sacrifice love for them. It takes awhile for him to even notice she has been gone because well, his favorite team is playing on tv.
Then, it hits him. His dinner isn’t made. His clothes aren’t washed and his physical urges are calling out to him. She’s gone. No amount of time-outs made him take off his noise cancelling headphones and listen. He decides he wants her back. Not for her sake, but for his. He doesn’t care that she is starving and homeless since she escaped the prison. He only cares that he doesn’t have a free slave. He has the gall to play the victim and tell everyone his wife left him all alone when the entire time he was doing everything to push her out the door. She finally realized she was the third wheel and left him alone with the idol he is really devoted to. She gave him his wish, but why is he still miserable? Maybe a few months of this loneliness and he will be ready to do what it takes to get her back. What he refuses to realize is that he forfeited the game a long time ago.
I started to take Sundays off as a Sabbath day. I owed God thousands of them over the years and now I am being obedient and taking care of me as well as others because, well, as a therapist once told me, “You’re a person too” and more importantly, I’ve recently discovered I’m a daughter of the King! This has come with years of finally realizing and learning the hard way that my body had not forgotten all the missed day’s off.
After years of owning my own business and working 7 days a week, my body and health had suffered greatly from lack of rest. Even now, as I write this, I have not had a relaxing vacation in over 7 years. With everything I have been through, I have needed to just get away but it has taken all of my energy, time and money to heal and get back on my feet again. After spending another $500 on vet bills on Saturday, there went that vacation weekend…but nothing is stopping me from having a relaxing Sunday.
So, yesterday, I decided to have my worship time riding my bicycle on the beach. There’s something about me getting on my bike that makes me feel so close to God. So many memories of adventures and encounters. Of seeing lovely scenery and climbing hills and valleys and crossing creeks. Getting out in God’s creation.
I put my bicycle in the car and headed to the beach. Everyone had the same idea but I didn’t mind waiting in traffic because there was an interesting sermon I was listening to on the radio. Something I really needed to hear.
With my car parked by the shore, I pulled my bike out of my car and headed down the bike trail. My trek started from Huntington Beach to Newport Beach and beyond. I really didn’t have a plan but knew that it was the journey rather than the destination I was interested in. I was listening to classical music on my headsets and thanking God for the wonderful time. I was determined to have a vacation even if it was only for the day.
Thirty minutes into my ride, my back tire went flat.
“Oh no” I said to myself.
I had my patch kit and pump but the stem had been torn from the inner-tube and couldn’t be repaired. I thought about all of those times that I was riding and had a flat but was always with someone who knew how to fix it. Even though I had an extra inner-tube, I didn’t know how to change it myself.
I realized that my journey back would take at least an hour walking alongside my disabled bicycle. I said a prayer to God,
“Lord, I’m so sorry I didn’t learn how to change a bicycle tire. If I did, I would be able to fix this. Thank you for providing everything I need for the day over and above what I need. Either provide the knowledge or provide someone with the knowledge to help me please. I promise I will learn if you would be so kind as to send me some help. Thank you God.”
I have learned to never worry or get upset when things don’t go as planned because God always seems to show up in a big way. After I said my prayer, I gave it all to God and I just decided I would make the best of my walk and observe all the interesting things on my way back. I noticed beautiful houses and unique people out for their Sunday rides.
It wasn’t 10 minutes later when I was passing a guy sitting in a chair on his porch in his nice beach property. He looked at me and I shrugged and said,
“Flat tire. It’s a long walk back”
He quickly stood up and said,
“Stop! I’m not going to let you do that! Come here. I’ll fix your tire for you.
It was at that point I realized God answered my prayers again! I don’t have to wait very long before He answers in a big way…and I was just about to find out how big. He walked to his truck parked outside his place and I saw his bike in the back. He had a bike kit with tools. He proceeded to not only change my tire, but slowly tell me step-by-step, how to change my tire the next time it happens. He was patient and kind. I told him he was an angel who showed up and he was not only helping me but teaching me how to fish by teaching me to be able to do it the next time I get a flat.
He said, “I love helping people. I do my best to always be there for people in need”.
I told him I moved down here from Los Angeles a year ago to start a non-profit. He proceeded to tell me his name is Ronnie and that 21 years ago he was homeless and an alcoholic and Jesus saved him and now He speaks to others about how God helped heal him and inspires people and gives them hope.
There are no accidents. There are no coincidences. I have countless stories to tell you of miracles happening. Something goes wrong and I immediately pray for the answer or someone to come along who does have the answer…and within minutes, God performs a miracle. These events are not mathematically possible by chance.
I told Ronnie how proud of him I was and that we need more men like him to become mentors to other men and help lead them on the right path. Everyone can be a part of the solution if they are willing to do the little things to help those in need around them. Become a living testimony.
Ronnie says He is thankful for Jesus and God’s grace and wants to share hope with others. Ronnie is a living testimony as to a solution that works permanently. The Bible promises that we can be transformed by the renewal of our minds.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2
I realized some people are filled with demons and some people are filled with angels. I’m glad there are angels walking around who listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. Someone is praying for us to show up to help and it’s up to us to listen to that voice of the Holy Spirit. Thank you Ronnie. Thank you God for taking care of me like you always do and always will.
“Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.” Hebrews 13:1-3
Thriver and Survivor of domestic violence and abuse who went from an Artist at a top studio in the film industry only to escape danger and experience, trauma, homelessness and penniless. Restored and Healed by Jesus. These are my stories of suffering and triumph.