The Power of Two: Living Matthew 18:20 (Part One)
My life was perfect. I had two loving parents who dedicated love, time and attention to me for the betterment of my being. I had examples of what men and women of God were supposed to look like. I had a family history of education, hard work and success. I knew how important it was to have a relationship with God and how special family life was. My Mother was a strong, loving, hardworking woman and my Daddy was a strong, loving, hardworking man. I was raised to trust God; be strong and independent. I was taught to be self-sufficient. I was built to strive for perfection. I succeeded in everything I attempted. I excelled…and my life was “perfect.”
In all these lessons, I learned that perceived success is almost always tied to each of the following traits: trust God, be strong, independent, and self-sufficient. I worked hard to achieve independence, self-sufficiency, perfection, the appearance of strength…and I succeeded. Through all my years in school, college, career, marriage and family, I was a BOSS at externally making my life look flawless.
On the outside, I was always at the top of my game. My home was beautiful. My family looked amazing at all times - my career was booming; until it wasn’t. My relationship with my husband suffered. I was constantly unhappy (at home), I felt like my children never behaved the way I wanted them to and our home was in turmoil behind closed doors. My career was “glamorous” and I knew everyone that needed to be known. My connections were great, and I was amazing at what I did, but I was stressed to the hilt. As soon as we stepped out of our doors, my family knew how to turn on the magic of the “Power Family”, but there were many days that once we were in the confines of our home, we didn’t speak. When we did, it wasn’t pleasant and we were miserable. Through all of this, I would pray and ask God to help my family, to no avail, or so it seemed, but I kept pressing through with a smile that could fool the world. I never once wanted to breathe to anyone the struggle I was going through or the disappointing life I was living. It was too personal and I dare not share. Especially when everyone thought we were the “perfect family.” I realized my life, my family, and my relationship were kind of like maneuvering an Etch A Sketch. Words displayed are easier said than done. If I, if we could just navigate the way to connect all the lines to create the words, the vision, it would be beautiful. It would actually be mind-blowing.
It seemed that nothing was changing, until one day, an incident changed all of our lives forever. My family was torn apart. We went through a season of absolute devastation. The “secret” was out - we weren’t the “perfect family” - we didn’t have it all together. I was embarrassed, ashamed, saddened, hurt and every other adjective imaginable. Then there was the reaction of the community who loved me, loved us… It was a mixed collection of shock, “I knew it was too good to be true”, and sadness.
I learned quickly what the word friend truly meant at that point in my life. I learned, in my time of isolation, that God was honestly always there when others turned their backs. I also learned that there were women in my life who loved me, cared about me and my family in the good times and the bad times. I, in my devastated state, found strength from these ladies who were there for me in the midst of one of the most difficult struggles of my life. They prayed for me. They listened and they understood the struggle. I wasn’t alone at all. They gave me strength.
Come back to visit for the rest of the story. Living Matthew 18:20 (Pt. 2) will be here next week!
Do you struggle to keep the "perfect family?"
Where do you go when your cover is blown?