The screeching of the alarm clock startled her awake. Groaning, she pulled the covers over her head.
“I can’t do this anymore,” she swallowed. “I’m just so so tired.”
And with that sober confession came another stark admission. She was spent. Finished. The lights were on and no one was home.
Here she was, a 34 year old wife and mother of two young children. She was also busy working alongside her husband in ministry as his colleague and personal assistant.
The days were long and the sleep too short. She struggled almost daily with migraine headaches. Not a month went by when she wasn’t fighting an ear infection, bronchitis or pneumonia. She was a mess.
Smiling for the camera grew more painful.
All she craved was to curl up into a ball and sleep. Forever.
“Why am I really doing this?” she stared up at the ceiling for what seemed like an eternity.
And then she saw it. It was her hunger for her husband’s attention and approval. As long as she kept up the pace and produced, he remained pleased with her.
She was dutifully serving as his helpmate while struggling to love the profession he so passionately promoted. And over time, she had abandoned her own personal dreams and desires.
And had taken on a role which was really not her.
She was living a lie.
Biting her lower lip, she whispered,
“Who am I really? What do I want? What do I need?”
One thing was very clear to her; she wanted to be his wife. Not a business partner.
She knew then and there that things had to change.
She had to speak up.
Easier said than done.
Later that day . . .
“What do you mean you want out?” Her husband shook his head in disbelief. “The ministry will collapse without you! I can’t do this without you!”
“I want to be your wife, not your co-worker,” she pleaded, “I just can’t do this anymore. It makes me feel dead inside.”
He looked away and said nothing.
She continued, “The ministry will be fine. You have a solid team working with you; I’m not indispensable.”
Throughout their married life, she had yielded to his every request and met his every need in the ministry. Was he hearing her correctly?
“Why don’t you just continue doing what you are doing while you try to figure out what it is you want?” His question sounded reasonable enough.
“I can’t do that,” she quickly replied.
I need to create some space so I can discover who I really am and what I want to do.
“And how do you propose to do that?” he shot back.
“I don’t know yet. I will let you know.”
Nodding now, he leaned closer and wrapped his arms around her. Closing his eyes, he began to pray aloud, “God, please deliver my wife from the spirit of rebellion. Help her to come back to you. Help her to . . . “
His words faded out then. Terror thundered in her head.
Gasping for breath, she faced the ugly truth. She was alone.