Once in a while, someone always comments on my Facebook page saying that I’m happily married because I have money, and that because she is poor, she doesn’t have the luxury of having a faithful husband like Renato.
My question is: So, does this mean a happy marriage can be bought?
When we got married 26 years ago, I had just finished high school and didn’t even have a bank account. On my wedding night I received many presents, but I didn’t get to use even one. Actually, I didn’t even get to spend a night in my new home. The apartment that I had decorated with my mother’s help and all the presents that that I got were left to be enjoyed by another couple.
We came back from a short honeymoon of four days and were transferred to New York. I took a small luggage, and my husband another. Upon arriving, far away from my family and friends, I had to learn to live alone.
The church was located in Brooklyn, during that time, it was a dangerous town. Since I was also responsible for my 6 year old little brother, Moyses, we lived an hour away from the church so he could study in a safer school. I had to adapt to the new life of a newlywed and of a “mother”.
Soon after, my father was imprisoned, and if I were to leave the United States to go see him, my husband wouldn’t be able to get the green card that he needed in order to work in the country. I had to bear the pain of knowing that my father was dealing with an injustice far away from me in order to be strong for my husband and little brother.
That’s when my collection of deserts began…
Without any friends around to share what I was going through, and when I did try getting close to someone, I would be easily judged by what I would say. Actually, this even happens today, but I’ve gotten used to it.
During that time, being a newlywed and the daughter of Bishop Macedo, no one did anything for me, and to make matters worse, I was insecurity itself in person. I would turn red, sweat and my eyes would turn watery every time I tried to express myself in anyway. When I would speak, people would either feel sorry for me or make fun of me, and when I wouldn’t say anything, they thought I was nosy.
I started to look in Renato for this friendship that I couldn’t find around me and that’s where it hurt the most… he didn’t have time for me, nor patience. Aside from staying the whole day away from me, when he would arrive home all he wanted to do was rest. I really felt like a zero to the left…
I would try to speak to my mother sometimes, the few times we could by telephone (international calls were very expensive at that time), but she would always cut me off saying that I had to get used to the life I had chosen, being a pastor’s wife… but I couldn’t express myself properly and I think she would misunderstand me, as if I was complaining – when in reality everything I wanted what to also be useful for something.
Despised, misinterpreted, daddy’s girl, nosy, and annoying were some of the labels I acquired during that time. And as if that wasn’t enough, I began accepting everything others would say about me… I started seeing myself with bad eyes…
But it was good for me. Everything was good. God used everything that happened to me during that time to help me mature and develop my faith. All the injustices I faced, and still face, were and are always rewarded by Him whom I Serve more and more as each year passes by.
This week, I’ll be completing 26 years of marriage for His honor and glory. And no, it wasn’t because of whose daughter I was, nor for the material goods that I supposedly had. No, it wasn’t my beauty nor my wisdom that provided the happiness that I have today.
I didn’t depend on money, a career, studies, beauty, material goods, popularity, friends, groups nor fame – I depended on my faith… that small, weak, insignificant faith that I had back then when I was born of God. It had to go through various tests in order to receive the sustenance I needed in being able to celebrate one more year of marriage beside the man that I love.
Thank God for the battles, tears, for the misunderstandings, the injustices, solidarity, for the difficulties, sacrifices, for the bad days, gossip about me, for being judged, for enmities, slander, and all the bad things I experienced to this day. Everything made me a living proof of the following promise:
“…for whoever is born of God overcomes the world, and the victory that overcomes the world is our faith.” John 5:4