Guest post Thursday!!! This article is brought to you by Sarah Casterline. Sharing her testimony of getting married young, she also explains about the revelation she had of not being designed like a robot. God designed us to need adequate rest to function properly, a reminder we all need at times! Let Sarah know if her article impacted you, especially if you have experienced what she has! Enjoy!
We were married on June 5, 2010, right before we both turned 20 years old.
In the fall of 2010, I began my junior year and my husband began the second semester of his junior year (he was ahead of me at first). Thankfully, I have been able to keep my full-time job while taking online courses. My husband, however, can only work a part-time job because science classes and the labs that are required with them cannot be taken online. On top of this, we have also been the associate youth pastors and the worship pastors at our church.
The first year of our marriage was a breeze. Sure we were busy, but we were also madly in love and so full of energy. But during our second year, things started to change. I was tired. Not tired of being married… just tired of everything. I was tired of waking up every morning and going to work. I was tired of being a college student. I was tired of cleaning my house. I was just plain tired. There were some Saturdays where I literally slept until five in the afternoon, woke up, and then went back to bed by eleven. I was just plain exhausted. We adopted a puppy in November of 2011 and that perked me up for a little while. But it did not take long for me to fall back into the cycle of being forever exhausted.
By the time January of 2012 rolled around, I was at the end of my rope. My husband did not know how to help me. God bless the man, he tried. He did dishes whenever he was home and did not have assignments due for school. He would surprise me by doing the laundry. He cooked. He took care of our two cats and our growing puppy. He was patient with me when I refused him physically time and time again. But I knew my behavior not only hurt him, but was just plain scary.
Finally, I broke. I remember staying up late one night and writing a several page-long journal entry to God. I cried until my eyes could not produce tears anymore. I felt like such a failure. I was only doing enough in life to get by. I was not there for my husband emotionally or sexually. I couldn’t even manage to take care of our adorable puppy like I wanted to.
That next day, I scheduled a doctor appointment. Perhaps there was something wrong with my thyroid or a hormone imbalance that was causing all of this. The tests results revealed I had CMV. It’s a lot like mono, but the problem is that you can only “cure” it with rest. I was relieved that something was actually wrong with me, but distraught that the only thing I could do to fix it was rest. Rest was the only thing I couldn’t do!
I tried my best to relax. My husband had bought me a day at the spa. We resigned from the position of associate youth pastor at our church (our pastor heartily agreed we were doing too much.) After about a month, I went down for prayer at a church service, and I truly believe that God healed me from CMV. I was ecstatic. But I hadn’t learned my lesson yet.
In early March I came down with bells-palsy. It was determined by my doctor that the most likely cause was stress. I was ordered to get more rest and change my diet.
Over the next three weeks, God really dealt with me. He showed me that the words of my pastor are true: God first, family second, ministry third, then everything else. My priorities were completely out of whack, and God has helped me change this, along with healing my bells-palsy (yay God!).
With two weeks left until my husband and I graduate with our bachelor’s degrees (HALLELUJAH!), I can look back on the past two years of our marriage with gratefulness. God has been so faithful to us. It has been a tough two years. At times I did not know if I would make it through. But God brought us out of the desert and we are now entering the promise land, with a head full of learned lessons.
I have learned that I need to take care of myself-both physically and mentally. I am much more passionate towards my husband. I have a refreshed heart for ministry. There is balance and peace in my life like there never has been before. I have been made victorious by my Lord and Savior through this experience, and that is something to truly rejoice over!
Ladies, what I want you to take from this part of our journey is this: God doesn’t expect you to do everything. If God wanted us women to do everything for everybody then He would’ve created us as robots. The fact of the matter is, we are living, breathing humans that require all sorts of things, to include food, and sleep. I have learned that I am not a failure as a wife if I get up on a Saturday and do nothing. Sometimes, you just have to give yourself permission to chill. God doesn’t want us to be lazy, but He also doesn’t want us to pile so much on ourselves that we can’t be the victorious women He has called us to be.
So go get a pedicure. Take a day off of work and run away to the beach with your husband. Sleep in on a Saturday morning and just lay in bed with him and do absolutely nothing. Take a bubble bath. Take a step back and make sure you’ve got your priorities lined up.
God first. Family second. Ministry third. Then everything else will have its place.
– Sarah Casterline
If you are interested in submitting an article to guest blog for Unveiled Wife please check out the details HERE!