Mark: Jill and I were teaching a No More Perfect Marriages seminar a week ago, and it was such a powerful event. My favorite part was when we had people stand representing how many years they had been married. Of the nearly 200 people in attendance, nearly 30 couples remained standing who had been married over 40 years.

Jill: Mark and I were amazed!  Such wisdom to see these couples who have been married for so long STILL investing in their marriage.

Mark: During our teaching God gave me another huge awareness of me. I went “off script” and was inspired to share about “The World of Me” that used to drive me. This world (in my mind), exists as I expect it, plan it, want it, and believe I should experience it. It was ME that was driving ME. Is that messed up or what?

Jill: Before we speak, Mark and I pray that if God has something for us to share that’s not in our notes, we’ll be sensitive to the Spirit and allow God to lead. God was definitely doing that with Mark. I really tuned into Mark’s description of “The World of Me” because before our crisis, I truly felt the weight of his “World of Me!” It was crushing!

Mark: After the seminar, I continued to think more about this and determined that outside of this World of Me” exists the “World As It Is.” In the “World As It Is,” God and people respond, lead, love, engage, serve, and give.  But because I was looking through the lens of “The World of Me” and expected things to look a certain way, I missed how God was working around me.  I also missed the blessings around me. I missed all of them.

Jill: We all have a “World of Me” to some extent. It’s the lens we see life and relationships—specifically our marriage and our spouse—through. Sometimes it’s a lens of pain, sometimes a lens of expectations, sometimes a lens of selfishness, sometimes a lens of insecurity….I’m sure there are dozens more.

Mark: I missed the beauty around me including what Jill brought to my life because I filtered every experience that wasn’t taking place in the “World of Me,” through my filter of control. My filter included unquenchable demands, deceitful desires, false accusations, false intentions, anger, rejection, and blame.  I was blind to reality because of me.

Jill: When we are able to remove the “World of Me” lens, we come to understand these powerful words of the hymn Amazing Grace: “I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.”

Mark: I found myself pondering deeply this week just how much of life I have truly missed because of me. I have thought deeper about how much I have put my family through, how much I have put Jill through, and how tough I have been for God!  I’ve looked at this through eyes of humility. Conviction not condemnation.  Just a reminder of where I’ve been and where I do not ever want to return.

Jill: As Mark and I processed this week, I’ve been reminded that my “World of Me” can see things through a lens of pride, selfishness, and control. When I move into the driver’s seat of my life, the “World of Me” returns. When God sits in the driver’s seat of my life, “The World of Me” disappears and the blinders that keep me seeing the blessings around me are removed.

Mark: It was the decision to surrender when I began the journey of being free of me. My commitment and my pledge is to keep distancing myself from the selfish, self-centered man who once was, and keep surrendering myself to Father God who wants me to abide in Him, to love Him, to find myself in Him.

What about you? What “World of Me” lens is keeping you from seeing the blessings your spouse brings to your life? What selfishness needs to become selflessness?  

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