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Lives of Doctor Wives: If I only had.....

Friday, October 30, 2009

If I only had.....

In our lives as spouses of doctors, medical students, and residents we can very easily get trapped in the, "If I can just make it through 4 more years," "If I only have the money to...." and other negative mindsets due to the fact that most of the time we are in the background supporting our spouse and not seeing the action. We are home with the piles of laundry, screaming children, and cartoon that has to be replay a hundred times a day. But this wonderful message came into my inbox today and I thought it might just give some of us that are struggling with our positions right now, some encouragement. Take what you like, leave the rest at the door!


If Only I Had …

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32 (NIV)There's a simple little script many of us play in our mind—simple, yet incredibly dangerous. Dare I say it's one of the biggest things that hold us back from feeling fulfilled in our relationship with God. It's a script tangled in a lie that typically goes something like this: I could really be happy and fulfilled if only I had …

… a skinnier body
.… a husband
.… a husband who was more tender and romantic
.… more money
.… a more successful career
.… a better personality
.… a baby
.… smarter kids.

I don't know what your "if only I had" statements are, but I do know that none of them will bring fulfillment. They might bring temporary moments of happiness… but not true fulfillment.In the book I just wrote, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl, I expose the "if only I had" lie with this truth: Apart from a thriving relationship with God, even if we got everything on our list, there would still be a hollow gap in our soul.Instead of saying, "If only I had" and filling in the blank with some person, possession, or position, make a choice to replace that statement with God's truth. Here are some examples that have helped me battle the temptation to let people, possessions, or positions take God's place in my life.

People -

I no longer say, "If only I had a daddy who loved me.…" Instead, I say, "Psalm 68:5 promises God will be a father to the fatherless."Maybe your gap isn't left by an absent father but by a friend who hurt you. Or perhaps a husband who left you. Or the children you've longed to have and still don't. Whatever that gap is, God is the perfect fit for your emptiness. Pray this paraphrase of Luke 1:78–79: "Because of the tender mercy of my God by which the rising sun will come to me from heaven—to shine on my darkness and in what feels like the shadow of death to me—I will find peace."

Possessions -

I no longer say, "If only I had more possessions …." Instead, I recite Matthew 6:19–21: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."Any possession I ever long for, no matter how good it may seem, will only be good for a limited time. In light of eternity, every possession is in the process of breaking down, becoming devalued, and will eventually be taken from us. If I set my heart solely on acquiring more things, I'll feel more vulnerable with the possibility of loss.Possessions are meant to be appreciated and used to bless others. They were never meant to be identity markers. It's not wrong to enjoy the possessions we have as long as we don't depend on them for our heart's security.


I no longer say, "If only I had a better position .…" Instead, I say the words of Psalm 119:105: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." I don't need a better position to get where I should go. I don't have to figure out my path and jockey to get ahead. I need God's Word to guide me. As I follow Him and honor Him step-by-step, I can be assured that I'm right where He wants me to be doing what He wants me to do.

Whatever "if only I had" statement you are struggling with, you can replace it with solid truths from Scripture that will never leave you empty. It's a bold assertion to make but it's true. When God's Word gets inside of us, it becomes the new way we process life. It rearranges our thoughts, our motives, our needs, and our desires. Our soul was tailor-made to be filled with God and His truth, therefore, it seeps into every part of us and fills us completely.


Blogger --Leann-- said...

hmm. maybe you can help me. my 'if i only had' statement always ends with "more time with my husband."

I am extremely grateful for the training he is receiving, but gosh darn it the hours are long. and hard. and I want more of my husband! I dont want my family to be lower on the totem pole than his work is (even though I realize that what he is doing is FOR the family, having to choose to go to work instead of participating in family events makes us sad).

What does the Bible say to my 'If i only had more time with my husband' statement?

(by the way, 8 more months until he graduates residency and I get more time with him)

November 2, 2009 at 4:58 PM  
Blogger Married to a med student - Marissa Nicole said...

Alexandra - this is great, Thank you!

Leanne - I try and recite the serenity prayer: grant me the serentity to accept the things I CANNOT CHANGE, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

November 4, 2009 at 2:10 PM  

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