By Neysa Ellery Taylor
It’s funny how God will slap you upside the head when you least expect it. Let’s be honest – recently I haven’t been passing the test. If you are a frequent reader of this site, you know that some recent comments on posts I’ve written have been… well, let’s just say unpleasant. And I didn’t handle it well. I was mad. (I would actually write I was f-ing p***** but the Ma’at’s have a no cussing policy.) It wasn’t so much the comments that were flying at me. I’m used to that. I am the one that put my life on blast by writing about it and I recognize that people are allowed to have different opinions. But it was the level of malice with the false air of familiarity that got under my skin. So much so that I had to pause for a second and regroup.
By regrouping; I mean I had to pause, shut up, and really remember how God has blessed me. See 5 years ago, I was a mess. (Truth be told, I’m still a mess but just a bit less of a mess.) Then my world crumbled when my marriage did. And I behaved badly. For years I was a functioning angeraholic. I literally cussed out more people than I could count. I wrote nasty emails. At one point I even threw punches. I was raging out of control. But I was hard headed. Until one day it all came crashing down.
I actually know the exact date of my road to Damascus moment. My husband had been caught cheating – again. My health was failing. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. That night before I went to bed, I literally cried out to God, “Help me or don’t wake me up because I can’t do this anymore.” I went to sleep and woke up lighter. Pastors always say “joy comes in the morning” but I never believed it until it happened to me. Nothing about my situation had changed, but I had changed. God gave me hope. Not hope in my marriage but hope in Him. And as long as I had faith in Him and was hearing from Him, everything else was manageable. I knew that God would take care of me whether my husband left or not. I knew that God would take care of me as long as I obeyed Him. My prayer was no longer “God please save my marriage.” It became “Your will be done.” That shift in spirit and mindset made all the difference.
So fast forward a few years and I can admit that I handled the comments poorly. I led with anger. In the book The Bait of Satan, John Bevere writes that “just because you are mistreated, you do not have permission to hold on to an offense.” That is what I immediately did. I got angry and held onto the offense. Like everyone who tries to stay on the good foot, I trip from time to time. Donnie McClurkin even wrote a song about it. But now I know that if I fall down; it’s time to stay down, get on my knees, and pray. That’s what I have to do to keep myself on the right path. The more that I keep myself on the path, the better person I am which in turn means that I am a better wife and mother.
This is what I try to convey at 7am CST every Monday through Friday with the #marriageprayer on twitter. I try to remind myself to start the day on the right path. I start the day thanking God not only for who He is but for all that He’s done in my life. Saving my marriage is awesome. But that’s just icing on the cake. I am most thankful that He not only saved me but continues to save me daily.
Neysa Ellery Taylor is an integral part of the writing team here at Blackloveandmarriage.com. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick. An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing. You can read more of her work at Myriadthatisme.blogspot.com.