As I began walking through this journey, I began to realize that since I was a small child, I have felt responsible for the well-being of my family members. I have always been the family “rescuer” – the one everybody counted on to smooth over conflicts and restore peace. I learned early in life how to rescue others.
When I chose a career, it was nursing. I thrived taking care of others. In my marriage I became responsible for just about everything. I worked full-time, I took care of the children, I cooked, I cleaned, and still managed to learn to do calligraphy, stained glass, and sewing. I made all our kid’s clothes for many years. I returned to school in the middle of all that to get a Master’s degree. I was superwoman. There was nothing I wouldn’t tackle and nothing I didn’t feel responsible to take care of.
I was shocked when Michael chose to leave me for another woman. I was sure I had not done enough. Immediately I personally became responsible for the healing and restoration of our marriage. I am so grateful God ministered to me and brought me to a place of realizing I was helpless to do it. My heart was transformed during that time and I began walking with the Lord in a very deep and special way.
I am thankful for every one of those days and all that God did in my life. My heart had been broken by the words my husband spoke to me when he left. My self-worth depended on how he felt about me. I believed that I was worthless. For so long I had allowed him to determine how I felt about myself. Thank God that He walked me through to healing in that area and showed me that I am priceless to Him. He gave His very life for me, bought me with a price. My husband’s words no longer determined my worth.
But the rescuing continued even after our marriage was restored. We began a ministry together and I transferred my need to rescue to other marriages. I took on responsibility for the health of the ministry. I allowed the words of others to determine how well I was doing as a minister. I blamed myself if something went wrong. I carried a great weight on my shoulders for many years.
Then, through a series of events, God began to deal with these issues in my life. I began to let go and let God. I actually began to enjoy myself! Ministry became an adventure with the Lord and I no longer had to trust myself to be right all the time. I had made mistakes – first in my marriage and then in ministry – but those mistakes did not determine the life or death of what God had created. That set me free.
Are you a rescuer? Do you feel that you have to fix things – your marriage, your children, your work, or your ministry?
Do you resent having to walk in all that responsibility? Do you feel others don’t pull their weight? Do you feel unappreciated? Do you resent seeing others blessed when you feel they haven’t done enough to deserve it? Are you tired of being “the good spouse”? Do you wish you could have some fun and not care about the consequences?
Do you wonder how long you have to suffer? Do you resent God for not doing more when you have done so much? Do you feel responsible for everyone to have a good attitude about your spouse? Do you think it’s your fault that your spouse ________________? (You fill in the blank: drinks, runs around, left you, wants someone else….) Do you just want to find someone that will take care of you for a change?
If you recognize yourself in any of these patterns, then let’s continue on this journey together. God wants to heal your marriage, but that means letting go of what you hold so tightly as your own. It means honestly looking at what you are responsible for and what you are not. It means realizing that not everything depends on what you say or do. It means coming to a place of knowing who you truly are, not what others have told you that you are. Love, Marilyn
“This is the day the LORD has made;We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39