It was my hubby’s birthday yesterday and it really was about this time two years ago that we were celebrating the birth of my second son and then his new job which FINALLY brought him home to us in Lagos, having been in a long distance marriage the first 4 years (and that straight from a long distance relationship too)
I recall how very excited and thankful I was, naturally, but there was another emotion I felt and that was
Or fear if I may call it that.
I was used to calling the entire domestic shot and I loved the order with which my home ran…
Kids went to sleep at a certain time…
Family meals went a certain way…
Church was a certain time…
Whenever hubby came visiting, he changed things but that was fine as he stayed really short periods of time. I could handle it. Now, he was coming home permanently and I knew he wouldwant to throw his weight around.
Phew. The anxiety was real. So real that I started to seek counsel. I spoke to my mentors and pastors and I love what they said to me. However, I want to highlight something a senior friend said to me which really was the game changer…
The friend was former anonymous blogger, Inthemidstofher
It was a DM on twitter. I have always looked up to her per marriage so I went to her with my concerns. And she said
‘Eziaha, the GRACE is gone…’
I even have chills just recalling that line.
She told me that when Bolaji was away, I could handle and run things very well because God GRACED me for it. Now, if I attempted to still run things like I used to, without being wise enough to step back and run literally everything by him, then I would be very frustrated doing it because the grace is gone.
This reset me like nothing else did.
I understand GRACE yawl. If you wanna talk to me about something, find an illustration that involves grace and understanding quotient enters genius levels.
At that point, I made a resolve to STEP BACK
Drop everything I knew to handle and run EVERYTHING by him.
Yes, in some areas, I KNEW I had superior knowledge but I was going to humbly submit it to him and present my strong logical reasons why my way was better, but still be willing to give it up if he insists.
And I did a lot of that, and of course trust God to vindicate you when hubby comes back to say we should revert to my own original way haha.
But I was willing to lay it all down first and submit completely. I have too many stories of this.
Oh and Inthemidstofher, who btw is no longer anonymous: Toyin Adekola also told me to basically sit down and enjoy the baby girl life, as a Queen in the midst of men.
Ah, me the babe who could change oil in even generator, fix plumbing issues, had all the electricians and carpenters on speed dial and basically ran the home like a boss now began to live the baby girl life.
If a light bulb spoils, I call Bolaji.
If I need to open something that is hard, I call Bolaji.
If light trips off, I call Bolaji AT WORK to call the electrician ON MY STREET and handle it.
I stepped all the way back and started to reap the harvest of all my years of being wife and ‘husband’
And it worked.
My husband didn’t come home and start feeling like he was second fiddle, which would have put him in that male bravado/egotistical state that would mean he will just want to change everything just because…
He came home and felt instantly like he was the MAN of the house and I am sure he even wondered how the home ran without him because now it seemed like I could not drink water and drop cup without him haha.
Why did I do this post?
Because a couple of yawl have asked me how I coped with my hubby not being around as some of you, that is your reality now, or about to be.
I started by telling a reverse story because the lesson is right in my story
THE GRACE IS PRESENT!!!!
Oh honey, if this is what your present reality at home looks like and God actually would have this be the case, He has already graced you for it babe. YOU CAN HANDLE IT.
Now let me share another story that hopefully should drive this home for you
I got home that day feeling drained. Every little thing seemed to take strength from me.
I mean, I am no wonder woman but I can hold my own, so why was I unusually weak and weepy today?
I took my emotional self to the Lord and He graciously showed me what had happened and why I was feeling so weak about handling life.
I had let people speak words into me that were draining me and I had not attempted to shut down and uproot those seeds right at the source. Sadly, I had even agreed with them.
What exactly am I about?
Whenever people heard that I was in a long distance marriage and I even ran a business, they would say things like
‘Gosh, I can NEVER ever let my husband live in a different place. I can NEVER cope…’
I don’t know how you handle this. It must be really tough and challenging. Hey ya
And the likes
God showed me that with every of this kind of word I heard without countering it, strength was being taken away from me.
And that particular season, I had hung out with a group of women who didn’t stop repeating those kind of words to me complete with stuff their husbands were doing which they could never imagine having to handle on their own.
Every time I nodded and kept quiet, I agreed with them and then my strength and grace went down.
Safe to say it was EMPTY at that point when I found myself double emotional.
I repented then and asked God to fill me again.
Then I entered attack mode.
If you said any of that crap anywhere around me, I shut you up by saying ‘I believe that God has graced me for my season and so I can handle it’
I didn’t shut up again, I shut you up instead. In love.
That way I was even more strengthened and handled my business as good and well as I needed to
So if you are in or about to be in a LDM, this post is for you
1. You have the GRACE for it
2. Shut down anyone who says words that deplete that strength and grace
You got this girl
You really do!!!
You can handle mechanics, and artisans, and school runs, and gas finishing when you are preparing for school in the morning, and NEPA drama, and pumping machine issues, and headaches, and kids picking up a fever from school, and sleepless nights and more…
YOU CAN HANDLE IT, YOU HAVE THE GRACE!!!
And hey, when you are ready to transition back into the more conventional family, never forget what Inthe told me
Girl, the grace is gone.
And if you are one of those constantly speaking words that deplete strength from your sisters in a long distance marriage (or in a life season you really cannot relate with e.g. your MIL living with you), can I challenge you to be more intentional about speaking STRENGTH and leave all those your ‘I can NEVER…’ stories
Never say NEVER ooo.
I still recall one of my friends back then who was the champion of ‘I can NEVER…’ movement and is now in a LDM. I could not believe it but even though I wanted to pay her back, I instead chose to speak strength and grace to her and her season.
Let me know if this helped you… Or any other questions you may have.
I love you and I am always praying for you, God’s Domestic Queen