Let me just say you are not reading today’s blog by chance or accident. You are reading it because God knows you need it as much as I do. 

Every year I have a word……. Yes, a word. Just one single simple word. It’s a word I’ve been given through bible study and prayer leading up to the new year. Sometimes I question the word and try to find a new word because I disagree with God when he gives me a word. Because, to be honest sometimes it’s not a simple word. It’s a hard life-altering word.  Then he one-hundred-percent of the time he sends someone, something or both to confirm the word, and redirect me back to the specific word. This all began in 2016. Initially, I thought it was just me looking for more meaning in life, or something to give me more of a purpose. Then, the first year, it made sense. The second year, it was scary perfect. The third year, I finally understood (rebellious & hard headed it takes me a minute). I have to remind myself yearly (okay sometimes daily) God has this and he knows what he’s doing.

2016 = Mission/ˈmiSHən/
1.an important assignment carried out for political, religious, or commercial purposes, typically involving travel.
“a trade mission to Mexico”
synonyms: assignment, commission, expedition, journey, trip, undertaking, operation; More
2. the vocation or calling of a religious organization, especially a Christian one, to go out into the world and spread its faith.
“the Christian mission”

2017 = Restoration  /ˌrestəˈrāSH(ə)n
noun: restoration
1.the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition.
“the restoration of Andrew’s sight”
synonyms: repair, repairing, fixing, mending, refurbishment, reconditioning, rehabilitation, rebuilding, reconstruction, overhaul, redevelopment, renovation; informal rehab
“the restoration of derelict housing”
the process of repairing or renovating a building, work of art, vehicle, etc., so as to restore it to its original condition.
plural noun: restorations “the altar paintings seem in need of restoration”
synonyms: repair, repairing, fixing, mending, refurbishment, reconditioning, rehabilitation, rebuilding, reconstruction, overhaul, redevelopment, renovation; informal rehab
“the restoration of derelict housing”
the reinstatement of previous practice, right, custom, or situation.
“the restoration of capital punishment

2018= Absolution /ˌabsəˈl(y)o͞oSH(ə)n/Submit
noun: absolution; plural noun: absolutions
formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment.
synonyms: forgiveness, pardon, exoneration, remission, dispensation, indulgence, clemency, mercy; More
antonyms: punishment, condemnation
an ecclesiastical declaration of forgiveness of sins.
“the priest administered absolution”

Each year the word had a specific meaning. It had a purpose. With study, prayer, and reflection of each word came mission, restoration, and absolution. Perfect words, for each year. So, why would I ever doubt this year’s word? Uh, let me tell you…

This year, 2019 God gave me submission. WAIT… WHAT…HECK NO! Refund, exchange and or regift?    Just so you know there is no backsies when it comes to this word. We all know how well the word submission in any fashion is a no-no, tabu, and downright scary. Especially when you naturally have a rebellious gypsy spirit. I grew up in a church where women were told to submit to their husbands without questions, hesitations and with a cheerful heart (insert eye-roll here). Some of these women were like 1950’s Stepford Wives, smiling and cheerfully serving. Some were more along the lines of an 1800’s Little House on the Prairie wives, with a touch of Wild West in their spirit.  I am not saying either was right or wrong, good or bad, that is just how they were.

In our house, there was homeschooling,  long hair,  buns, skirts,  long sleeves,  no cursing, no movies, no music our pastor wouldn’t approve of, and a submissive mother. Along with submissiveness, we had so much hostility, abuse, cheating with a touch of Sodom and Gomorrah in our house, it was unreal. To look back I am honestly not sure how one or all of my siblings didn’t end up highly medicated or institutionalized. This is something we do not discuss because there are members of the family who get offended. Well, I am not one of those members.

After my first divorce, I married a man, my second husband, who was very similar to the man in the house I grew up in. Let me throw this out there, I am told my father isn’t the same man I grew with and has changed. I didn’t see all the signs and red flags that raise questions as to what kind of person I was about to marry. I had to learn the hard way. Well, because I am hard headed and stubborn. Oh, and let’s not forget rebellious. I had to marry this man, we were married for less than a year. I should have known the night we got married and I laid on my grandparent’s bathroom floor unable to breathe due to a panic attack, that it was all wrong.  After we divorced his bun wearing, skirt toting “Christian” mother told me If I just did what he said he wouldn’t get angry with me. I believed it was my fault and if I changed what I was doing it will work. So, I decided to heed her ill-advised advice and agreed to attend anger management (he was court ordered) and marital counseling with our pastor. With my now ex-husband we were at our first counseling session, our pastor found out we were no longer married and said, “I can not counsel you unmarried when I see you Thursday be married” So, a quickie courthouse wedding took place. Thankfully my kids were at school. And, on that dotted line, I signed my self-worth, my happiness, my smile, and my life away.  We attended counseling, anger management and I became that submissive wife our church and his mom told me I had to be, seen and not heard. The same wife my mother was. I am not telling you these stories because I want sympathy or as a woe-is-me story. Actually,  I am only mentioning it here to give a backstory on why the word Submission alone gives me a not only a severe but chronic case of the heebeegeebees.

So, this years word I immediately thought was wrong, I searched for two months for another word, seriously, high and low I wanted a new word. Begging him to regift this word to anyone else, just not me.  I needed a new word. I would almost sell my soul for a new word. But with God’s perfectly impeccable timing he leads me back to Submission. Sorry, God, I did facepalm here.

As women, we automatically take the word submission and think it’s about letting our husband control us from behind the scenes. We associate it being opinionless, timid,  quiet and still while we serve a man because a big guy in the sky said to. Because we are human, we are female and we are emotionally driven creatures. And, if you are like me, history says you are crazy, insane and a little on the special side of stupid.

I love the book of Ephesians. It like Proverbs and I and II Corinthians spell out everything in layman’s terms. Easy to read and easy to understand. Which is why these scriptures are so hard to swallow. Like eating nails with a vinegar chaser. But, In Ephesians, and in  I Peter it’s is simple and finite, any Christian woman should know.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22-24

********************************************************************************Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 1 Peter 3:1-2

Simple enough, right (insert sarcastic tone)!!

My husband now, my third husband is the love of my life, husband of my dreams. Three times a charm, right!?  Yes, seriously. God gifted me this kind-hearted, sweet spirited, humorous (but not as humorous as me), caring, attentive, selfless, patient (seriously, the patience of a rock), and loving husband. I promise you this husband of mine would give his life without a thought if he thought it would add to my life. Is our marriage perfect? Uh, no, by far. But, it’s definitely worth fighting for, praying for and sticking out the bad days for. Speaking from experience it is so much easier to submit (I am sure he is laughing as he reads, this) to a man who loves you as instructed in Ephesians 5:25-27.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27 

I mentioned I am sure he is laughing when he reads this because up to 2019 submission wasn’t something I have been worried about in our marriage. I have free reign, he has never asked nor required any type of submission from me. Actually, he lets me make plans and then just let him know what we are doing. I have tried to always ask him, maybe it’s because I know he would never say no. But, after digging deeper into the word and praying on it I’ve been schooled and I’ve discovered a few things…

  1. Submission isn’t just about submitting to your husband, it’s about your obedience to God. Submission is something we as women get to do. It’s part of  Our God Gifted Femininity  Wow, I truly surprised myself there.
  2. Submission isn’t about sitting quietly without an opinion or minimizing you as a woman. It’s about valuing his opinion and knowing a man submitted to Christ will never lead you where the Grace of God won’t carry you.
  3. Submission isn’t a burden to carry.  When we surrender our will to our husbands we are surrendering to God.
  4. Submission does not mean you are losing yourself or who you are but finding your identity as a wife in Christ.
  5. Submission in basic biblical principal.
  6. Submission is not about what others think about me, but how I honor God and my husband. It’s about the act itself.
  7. Submission means loving and honoring God by sometimes putting aside our own interests for the good of our spouse. Having a Christ-like attitude and laying down our own plans, will, and dreams and whole-heartedly honoring, encouraging and supporting someone else’s.

I do not have it all together. I do not cook a five-course meal every night, we sometimes have mac-n-cheese, sandwiches or fend for yourself nights. Is the laundry always done? No. Are the floors always mopped, and ready for company? No. Because that is not real life. God knows this. When you begin to truly submit to your husband and Christ he knows your heart’s content and will honor that. My husband does not require me or even ask me to iron his work clothes. I hate ironing, seriously despise it. However, he needs it done for work so I do it. He loves to cuddle, seriously loves to touch All. Night. Long. I am not a cuddler, never have been. But, I try my best and cuddle until he falls asleep and during the night if I roll over I make a conscious effort to place my hand on his back or side. I’ve been employed prior to our marriage for twelve years. I am a Registered medical assistant and certified phlebotomist. I am also an ordained minister so, I hold a license to marry and bury. I have ten years of medical management experience. I am a good leader and a great manager (tooting my own horn). I took a job a few months after I relocated to marry him. However, we learned he likes it better when I stay home. I am home when the kids get home and home when he gets home. At first, it was a struggle. I hated it. I felt useless, I’ve always supported my kids and I felt lazy. Over the months of struggle with prayers. I now enjoy staying home. I get more time to blog and work around the house. Best part, turns out these are ways I can honor my husband in a submissive manner without even trying, in turn honoring God as well, win-win.

So, as I walk this journey I challenge you to stop and ask God what are some of the changes you can make today to help you become the wife he has called you to be. To be the helpmate to your husband. To serve your husband to help him be the man, husband, and father God created him to be. Take a moment to look out for the good in submitting to your husband, be genuine, transparent, build him other up and encourage each his interests. Remember it’s not about you, it’s not about your husband. It’s one hundred percent about honoring and submitting to Christ. I can promise you this blessing always follow obedience.

I know now that I have accepted the word, submissive. I have blogged about it and spoken to others about it, I have opened the door for the enemy to attack. So, I can feel my prayer life instantly increasing. 

Side note: If you are in an abusive marriage that does not mean to endure the abuse like the lyrics to a country music song. Speak to your pastor, seek Godly counsel. I am NOT advocating any kind of abuse. Leave, seek help and stay safe. 

Remember to keep your coffee hot and your prayers hotter, 

Hollie McCalip