A few months ago I decided to start my blog, A Faithful Step. For the past few years, I have had the urge to write, but never actually started writing.
For whatever reason I was fearful.
What would I write about?
Who would actually read it?
What do I have to share that people don’t already know?
Those insecurities overwhelmed me and prevented me from taking a leap of faith to pursue my dream.
That is, until this past spring when something inside of me changed.
I was tasked to deploy during the spring of 2018 and came to realize there would never be another opportunity to focus all of my time on building this vision. With this realization came the motivation to start writing and sharing what was on my heart.
As I began writing and publishing posts, I received encouraging feedback. Friends and family enjoyed reading what I had to say and often times sent me messages of how they felt encouraged (< seriously, this means so much to a writer).
Those messages drove me to continue, yet there was still a feeling that I was naïve, inferior.
See, I had everyone’s support except for the one person I thought I needed—my husband.
From the moment I created the blog, he had been very hands-off/disinterested. It wasn’t that he discouraged me from writing, but he didn’t see the value in it. I think he just thought (and probably still believes) the blog was my online diary where I would “air our dirty laundry.”
I wanted to honor my husband, but more than that, I needed to honor God, so I found myself stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Why would God instill a desire to do something that my husband didn’t support?
I had to make the decision whether or not to continue without my husband’s validation and that was difficult decision. Ultimately, I vowed to remain respectful of our marriage in every post but determined to keep the blog.
I thought wanted my hubby to be supportive. I wanted him to be my biggest cheerleader. I wanted him to challenge me to grow and be involved in this dream, but the truth of the matter was it was my dream, not his.
I don't know why God didn't place us on the same path, or maybe He did, and one of us has deviated? Who knows? All I know is that I had to try. I had to write.
Eventually, I got up the courage to ask why he had been disinterested and his response hit me at the core. He felt it was a fad.
My initial reaction was to allow myself to be swallowed up by my E^3-ness (the emotional somewhat crazy sinner qualities) and punch him in the throat. How dare he call it a fad?
Yet, a sense of peace washed over me and I knew I was not to respond in anger, but instead reflect on what he had just voiced.
Why did he think it was a fad?
Was it because he bought me a $400 BOB stroller to go running and I only used it a few times to actually go running?
Or was it because I never finished making the quilt whose fabric I spent over a pretty penny on?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized I had plenty of “fads.”
I felt a knot in my gut as I realized he had a point. I had plenty of dreams/goals, and yet I had barely followed through with many of them.
As much as it hurt, my husband was speaking truth to me. He wasn’t going to be invested in a fad that wouldn’t last very long. Not when we work long hours, are raising a child and barely have personal time to decompress.
Can I really fault him for that? Some of you might think so, but here’s the thing...
Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy or boast... it rejoices with the truth...
In a situation where his honesty discouraged me, I could have easily reacted in pain and anguish, but I knew that wasn't the appropriate response.
I cannot control who he is nor how he responds. I can only control how I react.
As much as I thought I needed my husband to be my #1 fan, I realized I needed to be obedient more than supported.
Moreover, maybe God was using his (my husbands) words to encourage me to finally follow through?
It was through my husband’s honesty that I was reminded of my purpose for writing—to encourage and equip women for a life well lived, NOT to be praised or applauded by anyone.
When Fantasy Meets Reality
In my imagination, I had envisioned a full-on cheerleading squad from everyone that I cared about. A squad to pour into me, words of affirmation, as I wrote to my heart's content, but where is the challenge in that?
“Sometimes you must HURT in order to KNOW, FALL in order to GROW, LOSE in order to GAIN, because life's greatest lessons are learned through PAIN.” - Alicia Taylor
When fantasy met reality, I learned that God was calling me to be obedient regardless of any external factor.
Support In Different Ways
In many ways, my husband does support me, just not in the way I wish he would. You know how the saying goes—the grass is always greener on the other side.
Regardless if he reads these posts, he’s worked with me to find a happy medium.
I needed his support to financially invest in the blog, and he agreed. I went to him about adding a partner, and he genuinely brought up concerns to consider ensuring the blog remained successful. And not once has he told me to stop, or discouraged me from continuing on this path.
Ultimately, I know without a shadow of a doubt he loves me and supports me in what I really need. So now I just need to rely on God to give me the tools I need to succeed and the faith to keep taking the blog one faithful step at a time.
Tips for When you Feel Unsupported
Have the hard conversation. As difficult as it is, you need to have that conversation with your spouse. How do you feel unsupported? Why is he disinterested? Where can you meet in the middle? It’s possible he thinks he is supporting you and it is just different than you expected.
Know Your Why. Knowing why you are doing something will help propel you towards achieving your aspirations. I don’t write to receive my husband’s praise. When I find myself deflated, I remind myself that I write to encourage others, not to be praised by anyone.
Acknowledge the Encouragement you are getting. I had people rooting me on, and I was treating them as if they weren’t enough. If you look, I am sure you will find a network of support.
Understand Your Needs vs. Your Wants. I thought I needed my husbands support, but really I just wanted it. It would make life easier. But life isn’t about being easy. What I needed was to be obedient to my calling, to remain faithful to my dreams, and to stay encouraged when it got tough.
Embrace the struggle. Any road worth traveling won’t be easy. It is through the struggle that you see the beauty in your dream. Imagine yourself at the finish line looking back at all that you’ve endured. Imagine how proud you are of all that you accomplished. Now imagine if the journey was a piece of cake. Would you feel the same? I bet you wouldn’t.