What Comes First?
There are a lot of things in life we all want. Some of these wants are practical like we want a family, or a successful career, a spouse. Some of the other items on our list may be a result of fixing bad decisions like getting out of debt or making amends. Then there are those wants that we think we need to feel complete or to be happy or to be respected, like fame, lots of money, flashy clothes, and cars and houses the size of a small castle. I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting or daydreaming about having any of these no matter how small or grand, who doesn't want to live comfortably or experience the finer things in life? Who doesn't want to be seen as somebody? It's the motive behind wanting to achieve these goals and how you go about obtaining them that I think can make it all turn sour.
The plans or goals you have for your life can start out so pure and innocent, but they can become so corrupted along the way on your journey to reach the top because of what you may have to do to get there. Like I always say, I will only speak on things that I have personally experienced and just like anyone else, I too had aspirations for my life and in my mind they were simple. I wanted a successful career, to be married with children, and to just live comfortably. I didn't expect the waters of such simple goals to become as dirty as they did.
I did get married, and I became an instant stepmother but when it came to having my own biological children - which was the main desire of my heart - it became one of the biggest struggles of my life. I was obsessed with getting pregnant. Yeah, I did the whole tracking my ovulation and planning relations with my husband, which caused a lot of friction between us. Every time somebody got pregnant and I didn't I spiraled into a dark place of anger, depression, and self-medicating, which also didn't help my marriage. It turned into a 7 year battle of visiting several different fertility specialists, and dozens of failed treatments and experimental medicines only to ultimately find out I had stage four endometriosis and it damaged my fallopian tubes beyond repair. Talk about debilitating devastation!
So I decided, okay, If I can't have a baby then I will just go back to school. As a book nerd, a BA in English was my goal. My past had come back to haunt me, because when I first attended college after high school, I was so enamored with my first taste of freedom that I went buck wild, got put on academic probation, and ultimately kicked out of school, so student loans were not an option, but because my husband was military I was able to get my education paid for through military educational benefits...as long as he was active duty. I was six credits from my BA when I learned my tuition had increased by $4600 because my husband was no longer active duty, and that was money we did not have, so I never got my BA.
I was about ready to give up on life if I'm being honest. I was settled on dedicating myself to my little headed nowhere cubicle job, paying my bills, having occasional spurts of fun in my life and calling it a day. But that wasn't me and I found out very soon that this new complacency wasn't going to make me happy either. So, one day I am sitting by myself in my kitchen in quiet contemplation of life's mysteries and it hits me..."you tried it your way, now it's time to try it God's way." I realized it that moment that in all my plans, I never once prayed about any of them, asked God to give me wisdom or guidance about any of it; I did pray to be able to get pregnant but would I have acknowledged God as the giver of that gift if I had gotten it?
I believe God had to let me go through some things, let me fall to become the clay that he could mold. So I decided, going forward my main goal in life was to strengthen my relationship with God and to pursue His purpose for my life. Matthew 6:33 says "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well." I thought I needed to be a mother to feel complete as a woman, I thought I needed a degree to add substance to my life...again nothing wrong with wanting these things, as I still desire them but I don't put the same value on it as I once did because I know as long as I put God first He will add the things that I wish to have when the time comes if it is in line with His will for my life and I am perfectly fine with that.
I have seen and experienced the evidence of what God can and will do when you put him first in your life. The pain and the anger I carried around from not being able to produce a child of my own, was heavy, it radiated off of me. While I still believe children are in my future, I am no longer angry or hurt about it not happening when I wanted it to. I don't envy other people's pregnancies, I rejoice with them and pray for them to have healthy babies. I never would have thought that was possible. God has given me opportunities that I never thought I would have. In 2018 I got to take the trip of my dreams to London, England and had the time of my life. How many people can say they have gotten to take the trip to a place they have always wanted to go in their lifetime? I took a second trip in 2019 and had even more fun than the first time. I never understood why God granted me that blessing until I just recently found out I have the opportunity to go to England to study for, guess what? A BA in English Literature and Creative writing. And I am now very familiar with that country.
Yes, I give all credit to God for this and everything in my life, because I tried it on my own and it DID NOT WORK! God's word does not lie, if he said it, believe it. Put him first. You make time for the things that are important to you, you can give God a few minutes each day instead of immersing yourself in social media, or texting, or checking your email. Start your day off by asking God to cover you throughout your day.
Here's a tip: I have the Bible app on my phone. When my alarm goes off and whenever I wake up, I pull my phone from under my pillow, give myself a few minutes to wake up and I open my bible app. After I have read a passage or two, then I pray and then I start my day. It takes like 15 minutes tops, but you will be surprised by the benefits of that 15 minutes in due course. That you can take to the bank.