A friend of mine recently asked me to share a bit of our marriage testimony. After praying about it, I decided to share it openly here and just my part of our journey. I have shared bits and pieces here and there on this blog but, not as a testimony so here it goes!
First, let me take you back a few years before I met Jeremy. I was on active duty with the Army at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. My identity was completely wrapped up in my ability to do well at work and the accolades that came from that. The years leading up to my time at Walter Reed were rocky to say the least. I had asked Jesus into my heart at 20 years old after moving away from my family with an older man. At the time, I was desperate for some kind of change and thankfully, the Lord got a hold of me. For the next 8 years, I flailed around. I had asked Jesus into my life but, still tried to live the same old way. Yeah, doesn’t work folks. By the time I arrived at Walter Reed, I had been hospitalized twice for mental health, tried at least 5 different medications before ending up on Lithium, and felt my life was only worth what little successes I may have. I had been sort-of dating the same man for about 3 ½ years, the first of which he wouldn’t even call me his girlfriend. There was a long history of abuse in my past that I carried around with me almost like a badge-of-honor. Through a wonderful counselor, I was able to get off of the Lithium and function well on a daily basis. A year and a half before meeting my future husband, I decided that I wanted to read my Bible all of the way through and do whatever God asked me to do. One of the first changes from the Lord was to be single. The man I was dating treated me well however, we were unequally yoked. As I continued to devour His word, He was faithful to guide me through some major decisions that lead me to finish my enlistment. All of my life changes were timed perfectly for meeting and marrying Jeremy Lozier. It is amazing though, how many things cannot be removed from your life until someone else comes into it.
When I married Jeremy, I still viewed the world as a victim. I am not saying that I believed everyone was “out to get me” – that is being paranoid, not being a victim. The victim says “why me?”, “but what about me or my feelings”, “but I need…”, “You just don’t understand”. The victim always has a “good” excuse for why they can mistreat another person. It is the most selfish and therefore demonic point-of-view a person can have. I did everything from this perspective. I was a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend this way – it was awful for everyone involved. So, the first year of our marriage was hell on earth. A few weeks after Emilia was born, everything came to a head and Jeremy and I separated for a while. The first month and a half, I didn’t know if I would have a marriage anymore. Any small bit of trust I had given to God, I quickly revoked. Jeremy and I were not speaking or seeing each other. I didn’t even know if he loved me anymore. Emilia was only a month old and she had this horrible chest infection. Our puppy Farrah had the worst puppy-poops ever and we were living with my parents. It was rough. Just an example of the fear I was dealing with: we had a credit card with a $9,000 limit and a $10,000 line of credit, most of which had never been used. In the weeks following our separation, I used the entire line of credit to pay off my vehicle and racked up debt on the credit card to buy things I thought I would need in the event my husband and I never got back together. I. was. terrified. After breaking down completely in my parent’s garage one afternoon, I decided that I had to choose faith in the Lord. Me, Emilia, and Farrah moved back down to our apartment in Annapolis as Jeremy rented a room in someone else’s house. We paid for two rents, for 3 therapists, and worked hard on our communication. It was so painful and so sweet at the same time. Looking back, Jeremy allowed God to completely change his heart but, I mostly stayed the same. I am so amazed how God infused Jeremy’s heart with patience and love for me for years following that time.
There were a few moments over what I like to call the “baby-making” years when I changed direction. Over the last five years since we accepted God’s call on our life to go into missions, Jeremy has been laid off 3 times and hasn’t worked for longer than a year at a time due to contracts drying up. Because of all of these financial fluctuations, we have lived with both sets of in-laws from time to time. You want to grow as a believer? Live in community. I am not saying that God designed for a husband and wife (and kids) to live with their parents however, community living will test your Godliness like no other! About 3 years ago, we jumped off a cliff and travelled to Kona, Hawaii to complete a Family DTS (you can read more about that in past posts). During our time there, I was miserable. I was in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, with my husband and kids, surrounded by some of the most powerful speakers and worshippers for Christ – but, I still looked at everything as a victim. Even little things, there was a family that had older kids than us but had a bathtub, we had three kids (2,1, 4mo) and no tub; somehow that got to me. Funny thing is since Kona, we mostly shower our kids – very few baths! There were things I had not yet given to Jesus and because of that, I hurt the people around me. Frankly, I believe I was straight-up verbally abusive to Jeremy. I was a jerk. It was all about me and had NOTHING to do with Jesus and loving Him. My behavior not only hurt my own family but then hurt others in our DTS. One gentleman was cool enough to tell me that I didn’t treat my husband well or submit to him. Oh yeah! He went “there”. I am grateful to this day for the folks in that DTS that gave me truth in love because it changed me forever. We got to the end of our lecture phase, pregnant again but with twins, and had no money to continue. Now, I am so grateful that the funds weren’t there because I was not ready. I would have junked up the Gospel all over the place.
After flying back to the mainland, I dove into time with Jesus. I had been so reluctant to let anyone give me correction and finally fell apart when we got back. The fact that I was on bedrest with the twins gave me some major time to work through my victim “issues”. I spend two weeks straight for 4-5 hours a day working through “The Wounded Heart” (I have mentioned this in past posts). I was able to forgive everyone and release my past to the Lord. It was incredibly life-changing and allowed the room I needed to begin the path of Godly submission to my husband.
Once I was able to see clearly (not through the eyes of a victim), I was able to submit. Now, let me say this, I do not believe that submission means that women cannot lead, cannot teach, or cannot speak. I had to submit myself completely to Christ. When you are a victim, you cannot allow God to be a good father. Even He isn’t safe to the victim. I could not submit myself completely to the will of God and certainly not my husband in that condition. Once that was removed, I could give myself completely to the Lord. Then, I could give myself to Jeremy. I no longer was crushed if Jeremy didn’t speak to me lovingly, it was between him and God. I no longer needed Jeremy to father our children the way I wanted him to, it was between him and God. I no longer needed to worry about my physical or emotional safety because I was free to die to myself. If we did have an argument, it wasn’t the end of the world anymore. It became just a slip-up and we could move on. Joy came flooding into our marriage possibly for the first time. It was cool.
I want to also address one more thing: Jeremy and I both had sexual partners prior to meeting each other and we had sex with each other before our wedding day. First of all, DON’T DO THAT. It is so damaging. I will briefly explain… I always thought the damage from sex outside of the marriage covenant was damaging because it is with someone other than your spouse; that is a big problem. However, an equally destructive decision is sex with your future spouse outside of the marriage covenant. Jeremy and I took deliberate steps to heal our physical relationship and I will say it was more than worth it. What we did before marriage does not compare to what we have with each other now. Making love is also a wonderful tool of spiritual warfare. We are one and when we step out in faith as one flesh, God honors that. In times of struggle or stress, try not to turn off that part of your relationship. It is such a fulfilling part of marriage that bonds us closer together and will bring comfort in trying times.
We still make mistakes as we work together towards God’s call on our family but, we are one. ONE! So amazing! There are many times that I lose my breath in amazement over what God has done in our family. It is all basic Bible teaching that we began to live out every day. Commit yourself to do exactly what God says in the Bible and be the person He calls you to be, He will take care of your spouse.