Putting on a brave face

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Putting on a brave face

I wish I could tell you that I pack the boys into the car and head for church singing loudly on the top of my lungs:

“I’ve got the joy of Jesus deep down in my heart”

Yeah. Some Sundays. Mostly, I’m putting on a brave face. I wipe the tears from my eyes and I dig deep to find the strength to stare my mountain in the face and declare with tenacity and defiance:

“I am a child of God. God has given me victory.”

I do this because, I do not want my situation to get the better of me. No, I rise up above it even if that means a little bit. It makes no sense to my logic to feel sorry for myself. Of course, if I get asked, I do try be honest with wisdom. Besides, crying or feeling sorry for myself isn’t going to really help me with my boys or change anything so on comes the brave face.

I will be fine until worship at which point several things may happen:

  • I’ll see a couple worshiping together
  • They lyrics of a song or the worship will tug my heart strings
  • I’ll see some man loving Jesus in worship

After seeing one or all of these, my heart will start to ache, loneliness dares me to succumb. Still, I look to Jesus and in my own way, I see myself leaning into his heart. I love finding his heart. It’s my safe place, my refuge. He meets my needs. He fills those places that neebrave face - wedding rings his and hersd filling.

Like many young women (or maybe just me), I stepped into marriage with the illusion that my husband would meet all my needs and that my marriage was the defining launch of my destiny or ministry. My husband became my source for many things instead of God.

Today, I am realizing that marriage is two people who choose to do boring mundane life together. The concept of “ministry” has become (for me) one of love. Loving Jesus and people is my ministry. It’s life – messy, boring and authentic life. Marriage is ministry. So is family and work.

At the end of the day, it boils down to choice. Sean has made his choice. I make mine. I choose to daily face my stuff and take it to Jesus because that’s how I’ll live out joy and victory.

When I need that extra set of hands or reassurance, God is there to fill those places my lovely husband can’t right now (in this present spiritual season).  When I pray or minister to others, Jesus is beside me filling that desire to “minister” with my husband.  In no way does this render my husband’s role in my life as null, void or insignificant.On the contrary, his role in my life remains that of my wonderful husband. The reality is that no spouse or person can meet all our needs; that’s God’s job not theirs.

By allowing God to come and fill those voids in each of our lives, we allow our loved ones, especially partners, the freedom to be real about where they are at. It takes off pressure. As my pastor says, “We grow up to be independent, but with God we grow to be dependent on Him.”

I’m allowing God to step into this place of deep intimacy. Filling the voids that other people cant. Regardless of gender or marital status, God has opened his heart to us as intimately as what a marriage permits. This is how I persevere – I lean on the one who can.

God created us for deep intimacy. Nothing separates us from having full access to God and his presence. We are the ones who choose the measure that we are comfortable with. God is OK with that. He takes what we give and works with it.

This may sound crazy and I may have said it before – I love that this heart journey is removing the idols in my life and putting Jesus as the King of my heart. At the end of the day, I want God to take all of me because all of me belongs to Him. So let me finish it off with a beautiful song that puts into words my heart for God since I can remember:

Have it All – Bethel Music – Enjoy


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By | 2017-04-15T11:25:00+00:00 September 1st, 2016|My Heart Journey|7 Comments


  1. Claudia 2nd September 2016 at 06:53 - Reply

    This is so incredibly beautifully written. Real. Thank you for sharing.

    • ailie 2nd September 2016 at 11:47 - Reply

      Thank you my precious friend. Love you

  2. Jennifer Underwood 4th February 2017 at 23:42 - Reply

    Ailie, I read this post earlier in the day, and couldn’t get it out of my mind. Its very sad, which is why most christian women marry other Christians. My close friend is in the same situation, but not married. There has got to be hope you can’t ever give up on them!

    • ailie 5th February 2017 at 21:03 - Reply

      There’s always hope. I wrote this post to bring the rawness of my heart and the hope I have in Jesus out. Its hard yet beautiful all at the same time.

    • ailie 5th February 2017 at 21:48 - Reply

      I married my husband when we both were Christians. Life happens; its how you respond to it that really matters

  3. […] this is my personal and honest opinion. (For more on my marital journey you can read here and here and […]

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