A few years ago, just before my wedding, my mother sat me down and turned on an episode of Green Acres. I had never seen the show. Just past the theme song, it all started to seem a bit too familiar as I packed up my pearls, petticoats and career-driven attitude for diapers, casseroles, and wide-open spaces. “Goodbye city life.”
I was a twenty-something-year-old Portland native. I’ve been wearing stilettos since I could walk. Those heels, bleached locks, black eyeliner and an “I own this” attitude tromped around New York City, San Francisco and Portland soaking up celebrity-studded parties, glamorous fashion shows and backstage interviews as a magazine journalist and publisher.
I had complete control of my life. Everything was planned: I would go to college, get a magazine degree, intern in New York and then eventually move there and work my way up to an editor position. The husband and baby stuff would have to just fill in there somewhere.
I was raised in a liberal, Catholic family that occasionally went to church on Sunday’s and was told never to say the Lord’s name in vain. I knew God and spent time in personal prayer, but I wanted to discover my own destiny and I didn’t trust Him to have control of my life and never spent time in His Word.
Until I graduated from college, all of my plans were going, well, just as planned. Only a few days after graduating from college, I got a salaried job in San Francisco as the assistant to the publisher of an elite, design magazine. Then the economy boom hit and after only three months, I was laid-off.
Single for the first time since eighth grade and poor, I went home to live with mom and dad. That was NOT a part of my plan. My days were spent applying for jobs and even with a great resume, unpaid internships were all I could get. When the interning, bar hopping and living back at the homestead started to get old, I was determined and decided to start a magazine in Portland.
This created quite the frenzy and put me back on top, feeling in control. But for some reason, I couldn’t feel happy. My romantic life was a mess and I started feeling very confused about what I wanted out of life. Life balance requires little steps at a time but for an A-type personality like mine, confusion does not settle well.
A friend’s mother then invited me to her church. Searching for something to lift my spirits, I said “yes.” The energy was phenomenal and what was even more phenomenal was how out of a hundred-plus people, I felt God was speaking directly to me. I have no idea about how often Americans pray on average but here it seemed they all prayed all the time.
The topic was about making God your boyfriend before anything else; completely letting go of worries, plans, pressures and the control – and handing it over to God. Not only was I relieved that He could take this weight off my shoulders, but that I also needed to stop worrying about my love life. In that one hour service, God became my number one and I accepted Him as my savior.
Things obviously started to change after I switched over to the passenger side and let Him drive. I continued to go to church and engage in His word while another part of me was still working hard to launch a new, edgy magazine. I started to see how patterns make out brain feel safe, even if they’re negative patterns.
I was playing the role of two separate people. While my insides were buzzing with this new Christian excitement, my lips were quiet. Majority of my family, friends, and co-workers didn’t really “get it” and only began to judge me if I ever did speak about my faith.
Then, I met Chris. He was completely God-sent and nothing like the prince charming I had envisioned for myself (or anyone else did for that matter). He was a small town, Oregon-bred, conservative, suspender-wearing logger and – a devoted Christian.
It happened all pretty fast and during the middle of my magazine launch. It was all some sort of big, plaid-colored cloud. Chris and I got engaged within two months and were married within six. I never dreamed of being a housewife or moving to little ole’ Roseburg, but it all became so clear and this was a happiness that I had never felt before.
I trusted Him and the more I trusted, the more persecution I suffered. Everyone else’s “dream” for me to run this new magazine, wear black cocktail dresses and hit happy hours was no longer mine. The economy is soaring and no longer is my food budget dictating my nutrition. I felt I was breaking free from my earlier life and this made me feel happy.
I was always surrounded by immense amounts of support and for the first time, I wasn’t getting it. I still constantly hear about our wedding ceremony and how our ordainer used the very famous, “wives, submit to your husband…” verse. The women on my side were about to stand up and rally.
Chris and I have been married for two years. Shortly after getting married, I no longer wanted to put my energy into running the magazine but running a Christian family. We moved into our beautiful house in Roseburg and just when I thought God couldn’t provide any more blessings, we had Audrey – our gorgeous little girl.
I still deal with persecution for what many say going from a “liberal, independent, career woman” to a “small-minded, Bible-thumper and 50’s housewife.” I’m sure many of you have heard that before. But God has also provided me with a new, amazing support group of friends and continues to give me strength and wisdom through it. Breaking free felt great. I’m proud to say that I love my job of mom and wife – and honestly, I think it is the hardest one out there.