The year that my husband and I started dating and eventually got engaged was probably one of my best year spiritually. I had just gone through a lot emotionally with the post-election violence that followed the 2007 elections here in Kenya. Not only did it directly affect my family as we moved from the Rift Valley to Nairobi but I returned to the Rift Valley 4 times taking photos of the Internally Displaced People (IDPS) during prayer and relief missions organized by Nairobi Chapel and other churches, as well as working with a group of children displaced by the violence and going with them as they returned home. In the midst of all this I knew I needed God and became really close to Him. I had plenty of time on my hands, plenty of privacy and plenty of drive to know God more.
Even after Billy and I started dating, my morning date with God was an important part of my life. I even remember going for a camp/mission trip to Uganda and how surprised everyone was that I would get up at 6 and spend time with God since we were spending time in Bible study most of the day. It didn’t seem surprising to me because by then I was used to my morning date with God.
This continued for a while but I started missing my date with God now and then after we God engaged as the wedding planning kicked into full gear. At that point it seemed like my focus needed to be on my husband-to-be and preparing myself for marriage and preparing a home for us and such. I still made the dates with God when I could and even took myself out on lunch dates with God when I just needed to get away.
I remember being told many times, during premarital counseling, from women I respect, during my bridal showers that my personal relationship with God would be critically important after I got married. But I was in the wonderworld only a bride can understand and believed that after we got married we would do everything together…including our relationship with God.
Our wedding was a beautiful celebration of the love God gives to two people. We really wanted our ceremony to reflect the fact that what we were doing was just a glimpse at the wedding awaiting the Bride of Christ and her Groom. And it was what we desired. For us the worship that day was an unrivaled experience. To praise and worship God while standing there with my husband and seeing how far God had brought us and all He had provided for us…nothing can compare to that.
We started a practice on our honeymoon of reading the Bible together each morning. It was so wonderful to read and learn about God together. Even when we came home we continued reading a little devotional each morning and praying together. We also continued praying together every night, a habit we started soon after we started dating (over the phone of course in those days). I enjoyed the moments we spent together in God’s word, so grateful that I had married a strong Christian. But even as we met with God together, weathered storms together, walked the slippery path towards oneness I slowly drifted from God. Why get up at 6am when I can cuddle in bed with my hubby? How do I find time once we get up between preparing meals, figuring out where the money is going to come from, cleaning the house, washing the laundry and being there for my husband? It seemed impossible.
I justified my drift from God with the fact that even the Bible predicts this dilemma in the life of a wife, talking about how the single lady has time to think of God and serve Him, but the married lady’s responsibility lies on earth, in taking care of her husband and family. So I said…see even the Bible says its ok.
I kept hoping that our time together in the word and praying would be enough but slowly even that started to drift away. Especially after Benji arrived. Now, not only was there not time for my personal relationship with God there wasn’t even time for the two of us to spend time with God. It dwindled down to just our prayers together at night.
Now after 2 1/2 years I’m left wondering what happened to my relationship with God and more importantly how do I get it back? I still have all my wife responsibilities, combined with my mommy responsibilities, and then pile on time my responsibilities to our photography business…if I thought I didn’t have time 2 1/2 years ago, what about now. But I have come to realize if I want to be successful as a wife, a mommy and a photographer, I need to figure out two things. The first is how to have a stable relationship with God and the second is how to discover who I, as an individual, am and how to remain true to that in whatever I do. (More on that another day). For now my hope for my relationship with God is 30 minutes every morning before my hubby and baby get up. I can already see it making a difference.