I married Brian Keith Saylor when I was 19. No one knows the journey marriage can be when two fallible people come together in hopes of representing a perfect and infallible love that can only be displayed through the rigorous practice of it in the sanctifying days of marriage. This kind of love is unfostered in its earliest years of marriage, which can be seen in the constant need of God’s grace to lay down your own rights and desires for that of the other person. If the measurement for the health of marriage were compared to that of a new sapling, our tree would have 9 beautifully deep and rich rings that make up the trunk of our tree. It may not stand tall, but fights for the sunlight and nutrients it needs.
I began birthing a promise from the Lord in those early years of our marriage. A promise spoken to my barrenness in the late hours of night when tears and weeping tarried, until the breaking of dawn brought new mercies and hope from the Lord in Isaiah 54. Those early years of our marriage proved to be trying not only because two humans were trying to put on Christ daily and failing miserably, but also we had experienced our godly desires to be parents and have a family become a desert wasteland. A bitter reminder when month after month when my cycle would come and remind me that my body was unable to do what it was designed to do.
These early years of marriage have taught me distinctly about 3 things in no order of importance: my identity as wife, my identity as woman, and family identities…
As a wife I am to display the love Jesus Christ had for His church and the submission to the will of the Father. I am uniquely wife. I uniquely represent the church in this covenanted relationship to my man. I am the Gomer to Hosea, the Israelites who continued to fall away from the One True God, and more importantly the blood bought bride who is now no longer condemned, but free to live in the merciful redemption of my Lord. I am the helper to my husband. I am his playmate, his best friend, his confidant, his lover, and occasionally I am the voice of reason (not as often as you would think ). And I love him as such until the love of the One we represent will return for us and there we will be with Him forevermore.
As woman I am uniquely designed in a way that displays parts of the Triune Godhead. The way God designed woman is to be the compassionate, tender, nurturing characteristics that we as women have decided aren’t necessary in our lives, or gifting these treasured characteristics to our daughters and other women in our lives. If I simply see myself as woman because of my biological make-up, then I will not believe myself to be woman. Because of the fallen world we live in there are diseases, disorders, syndromes and even life experiences that cause women to exchange the truth about how God designed them for a lie the devil has cleverly tried to get us to buy into. I am woman. I am a mother. Regardless of the diseases, syndromes, and experiences that ravage my earthly body, I am designed to explicitly express the beauty of the Godhead through my womanhood. My womanhood is saturated in my hope in God. That is how the holy women of old adorned themselves (or put on their womanhood), and did not fear anything that is frightening (1Peter 3:5-6). Hoping in God means to hope in the finish work of the cross for my righteousness, hoping in the fact that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father making intercessory prayers for us as our final High Priest, and hoping in His second coming where we will be presented blameless with great joy (Jude 23)! Being woman is beautiful. Being woman is unique and incredibly satisfying as I am satisfied in the One who created me to be this way. I display a distinct character trait of God when I put on my womanhood and embrace it as His design and plan.
While embracing this unique way God designed me, I see how the propagation of the Gospel is not based on biology, or the temporal DNA. It is not based on choosing nursery colors, having a birth plan, deciding whether a home birth or hospital birth is the right choice for my family, or even naming a child of my own. It is simply propagated by those who love Jesus Christ so much because of the beautiful gift of salvation that a woman cannot help but tell others in the gifted way she was designed. I am designed as woman. I am designed to be a propagator of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He has gifted me in a way that allows me to spiritually mother those whom He puts in my path to the feet of Jesus, and then therefore we share in the awesomeness of who He is! What a high calling this is. What a high calling this is to anyone who has tasted and seen that the Lord is good! What a worthy God we serve that fulfills the desires of our hearts to be mothers as He places people in our paths to nurture and love His children. I take this calling very seriously… At times I feel like Paul. Crazy, insane, and wild Paul. He loved passionately, fiercely, and without restraint. He too, barren biologically of his own children, became a father to so many. A genuine father. That role he took seriously through the prayers he prayed for those he fathered, the suffering he endured for his spiritual children to know the riches and fullness of Jesus Christ, and the way he did that all through the way God gifted him to do so through the Holy Spirit using his manhood.
I am called to be a child of the Most High King. I am called to be woman. I am called to mother His children. The weight of these eternal implications of this declaration of spiritual identity has my heart racing with excitement to see how the Lord uses this for His Kingdom alone.