Follow the Leader

Growing up, nothing could get me riled up more quickly than someone (wisely) advising me to reconsider my fierce independence (-slash-borderline-man-hating). I was raised by a super strong mama and a not-so-involved dad, and gathered from the feminist literature in which I immersed myself that to be intelligent and successful, I needed to embrace being single or at least ensure I was wearing the proverbial pants.

Oh, Natty. ((Pats teenage self on the head.))

I am not, for the record, blaming feminist literature nor my parents for these beliefs. Rather, I wish I had recognized and sought godly women to teach me what it meant to be a stand-up gal and how to look for an equally-stand-up guy. I was going at it blindly and making all the wrong assumptions. But I don't think this is unique to my nuclear family. How many of us find ourselves without a paradigm, without a "good" example of a positive, healthy, loving relationship to emulate (or at least think we are without such an example because of pre-conceived notions of what this should look like)? We're a very unique generation, certain that our parents were wrong, yet ingrained with many of the same attitudes that resulted in whatever dysfunction we know of as "marriage."

Thankfully, my heart and my head have been shaped to understand the marriage relationship in a completely different way than I ever before considered. During an 8-week seminary course (a Titus 2 study) at a phenomenal church I attended while living in Austin, I learned more about what it really means to be a woman--and what that means to my relationships--than I had in 29 years of barging my way through what I assumed was true womanhood. (I come from a nuclear family that positively associates loudness with rightness.)

For the first time, I understood the importance of seeking a godly man, and am now experiencing the absolute joy of partnering with such a fella. Truth, it's not always rainbows and sunshine, and I'm going to be challenged. But I don't expect nor want it to be "Yes, dear" all the live long day. I want to be led and know that I must be trusting and willing to follow in order to facilitate leadership. There's just no way around it. I want to change and grow, and that certainly doesn't always happen gracefully. (I won't even tell you how ugly was the process that got me to this point, but let's just say the levels of hot mess have been epic and sad.)

My journey of growth and understanding are far from over. (Thank you, God!) But I am so thankful to have made enough headway to appreciate the leadership qualities in my honey and to respond accordingly to such love and conviction. I can't wait to see where God leads us next! 


  1. Natalie, I've been in so many hot messes! LOL Just so thankful I'm out of them now. My mom and dad divorced when I was younger too. So I definitely can relate. I was always choosing people that I thought were right for me, or rather WANTED them to be right for me and then wondered why it didn't work out. I look back and just shake my head. So glad you found someone. You are truly blessed and thanks for writing such an inspiring post. Have a great evening.

  2. Thank you so much, Kim. I am, indeed, so blessed. I did the same things you mentioned (among other ill-advised things) and it's just so amazing to see how different (and wonderful) it can be when you let it go. It's not easy and I certainly don't know exactly what the future will hold; but I have no doubt I will be OK. :) Have a wonderful Tuesday, sweet lady!

  3. I completely agree with what you've said. I've seen a number of my friends who make all the wrong choices, settling for men who belittle and use them.

    It's hard to choose the right person with what little knowledge that we have. Marriage is a difficult journey to embark with its ups and downs. I thank God that I had the right sense to ask Him.

  4. You're so right. We are so naive in so many ways, no matter how wise we think we are. So glad you leaned on Him, too. Thanks for the thoughtful comment. :)

  5. This speaks so much truth to my heart right now and how much I needed these reminders today (especially those found in Titus 2). God is currently teaching me some very tough lessons in this area especially regarding who I continue to choose for myself and the sticky situations I allow. He is very faithful to me even when I am unfaithful to him. I know that he continues to pluck me out of situations because he loves me so much and wants to bless me with a godly man who can lead me into a marriage that looks much different than the disappointing examples that have been set around me. I am happy that he has blessed you with someone special and that through all those past struggles, bad decisions and broken roads, he molded you into the person that the man now placed in front of you sees as beautifully created... for him. I trust that one day I too will look back and see the road I was placed on and praise God for pulling me out of those same wrong situations and relationships to save me for the right one. Even though we do not know each other, once again, I am thankful for you and sharing the things on your heart.