THE TRANSFORMED WIFEANESTHETIST TO FULL-TIME HOMEMAKER
ANESTHETIST TO FULL-TIME HOMEMAKER
This is a testimony about the transforming power of Truth from God’s Word from a wife, mother, and homemaker who once was an anesthetist!
Consistently reading you has radically changed my life and marriage for the better!! Where do I begin? I always wanted what you have taught, but it’s been a battle bringing it to fruition in my life!! I longed to be a wife and mother at an early age and was blessed to have a wonderful mom who stayed home full-time! Like you, I loved that she was home each day when I arrived home from school so I could share with her all about school and the little stories of my day. She now lives eight hours away and, even though I am 59 years old, we still talk almost every day.
I was an excellent student, a hard worker and was already, unknowingly breathing the air of feminism all around me. Because of my good grades, responsible behavior and ability to work hard, I went off to college with the desire to become a nurse. However, my college counselors recommended, based on my ACT scores and grades that I become a physician instead.
So, being a young woman who also loved to please my parents and others, I began taking pre-med classes. I felt virtually no peace!! I ended up switching back and forth between nursing and pre-med (Natural Sciences) three times because I was torn between wanting to be a wife and mother and feeling like I “should” be a doctor. I recall telling my college counselor, who really wanted me to go to medical school that “I want to be a mom” to which she replied, “You can be a Doctor and a Mom.” But inside I thought, “I want to BE there, raising, loving and being with my children!” I am beyond grateful that I didn’t become a physician. Many of the female physicians I worked with over the years were jealous of the nurses who worked only a couple of shifts a week or month.
I met my first husband the first week of college. We both loved the Lord and wanted to be obedient to God and reserve sex for marriage. When we got engaged, the majority of our friends, acquaintances, and the staff at the small private Catholic college we attended were STRONGLY opposed to our marriage as we were “too young”! I can only recall one friend being supportive of us. However, both of our parents were supportive. I was terrified of getting married and thought we were making a huge mistake because everyone was so in an uproar about it.
Despite this, we were married in the Church right before my sophomore year and his junior year of college. Of course, with both of us working and taking a full load of courses, we began to be overwhelmed and started not getting along. Unfortunately, I thought I made a huge mistake and ended up leaving him a year after we were married. In hindsight, I was twenty years old and desperately wanted to get pregnant (the age of highest fertility…this was totally normal!!). If I had been listening to that still, small voice, I should have dropped out of school, stayed home, and helped my husband finish college and then get pregnant. Our marriage was later annulled.
After I graduated from college, I ended up meeting a wonderful man, and we were married within a year of meeting. I still felt pressure to go to medical school and ended up living three hours away from my husband while I attended anesthesia school where I was under so much stress the entire time. My husband wanted me to work, and I desperately didn’t want our children in daycare full-time. I thought by becoming an anesthetist, I could work part-time and be home most of the time. That is exactly what happened! I worked one day a week and was home with our two sons most of the time for their entire childhood.
However, I am convinced that the stress of school, my career, and feeling like my husband didn’t really want to step up and be the provider and protector, led me to have “Unexplained Infertility.” I was able to conceive one time, but miscarried early on. We ultimately were blessed by the beautiful gift of adoption. We adopted two baby boys at birth who are now 24 and 26.
My job was a very stressful job, but the bigger problem was that I made three times what my husband made. It seemed like no matter what I did or how hard I tried or how much I prayed, there was no unity in my marriage. Little did I realize the high divorce rate when a wife makes more money than her husband.
Through a series of unfortunate circumstances, (which I now realize was just the normal life of a working wife and mother in our culture), three years ago I essentially had a nervous breakdown. I ended up quitting my job as an anesthetist. and I was also volunteering as a teacher one day a week at an all girls private Catholic school an hour away…and I stepped down from that as well. I was singing, decorating. and floral arranging at Church and I stepped down from those volunteer activities, and we left this Church.
At this point, I had been reading you for a couple of years. I began to realize from reading you that the way that I am, sensitive, nurturing, and more emotional, was not a mistake and didn’t mean there was something wrong with me. I learned from you that I wasn’t weak, because I felt the stress of my job more than a man. It was the way God created me!!! It was a huge relief to be able to accept myself.
Another aspect to your writing that helped me immensely was your blog post on your friendships growing up and how you had experienced cruelty from girls and women. I had this experience so many times throughout my life that I began to believe there was something wrong with me. I also experienced unknowingly, men falling in love with me…wanting to buy me gifts, wanting to bring me dinner when I was on call at the hospital, texting me, etc.
Finally, a priest admitted to struggling with being attracted to me. I had no idea of his struggle as he always treated me with such respect, integrity, and fidelity to his vocation as a Priest. As a result of reading your blog and his honesty with me, I realized what had been going on for all of my life both with men and women. When I quit my job and all outside activities, I was so grateful to God (and relieved) to be in the safety and security of my home each day; no longer having to deal with the unkindness and jealousy of women or the danger of men being attracted to or falling in love with me.Thanks be to God!
The other thing I realized from reading you is that so much of my focus was on outside ministry. Yes, it’s for the Church, but the line that you wrote that helped me the most is:
“You should be spending the majority of your time and energy serving your husband and family!”
The area that has most been set right though is my marriage. I never wanted to be leading the family, but sometimes a wife just has to quit her job and volunteer activities, prioritize her husband and things are restored to the proper order naturally. This has been true in the case of my marriage.
The videos where you show your peaceful, slower paced life have been a great help too! The article on “A Quiet Life” was so powerful! Everyone says that “When you retire you will be busier than ever.” However, I have made a conscious decision not to sign up for volunteer activities or to look for another job, even part time. I cannot tell you the peace that has come into our marriage, home, and family as a result of this. My husband seems comforted by my presence and my availability. He is able to focus exclusively on his career and work whatever hours he needs to work.
I went to spiritual direction regularly with a couple of priests over the last ten years. I am so grateful to God for their help during these trials in my life, but in the quietness of prayer, I am able to acknowledge that, by a landslide, your teaching has helped me in way that has brought such a profound peace and joy to my life; a peace that has eluded me for most of my life. I know that I will never return to the way of life I never wanted in the first place. It’s not so much that you taught me something new, but you provided support and affirmation for being a woman in the way God created me in the midst of a culture where there is little to no support for women being…well, women. This gave me the courage to come “All the Way Home.”
Thank you for the love you have shown for all of us women struggling desperately out here in the land of militant feminism!
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.