I had a conversation with a sister friend and we were talking about being intentional. Her and her husband have a planned date night, on the calendar, every Friday – it’s non negotiable. One week they were having one of those moments that couples who live in reality have and they didn’t have anything to say to one another. I forgot to mention that hubby was out of town during this moment of silence. When he got back in town that Friday, he told her he knew that no matter what, they were gonna have this date because that is what they’ve always done – no.matter.what. It was the commitment to their date night that he was holding on to. I will never forget that.
We are in Jamaica right now as I write this. I thought of her story this week because one of our non negotiables has become, what I now call – a marital sabbatical – it doesn’t have to be any place big but we must get away at least once a year without the kids. Our story is similar to my sister friend – but instead of a moment of silence – it was more like what felt like a storm that came out of nowhere and tried to tear our home apart.
Our story – The year the storm came….let me preface this story with Truth. The Lord saved our marriage guys. Travel was merely one of the tools he used to hold us together but the Lord rescued our marriage and I give ALL glory to Him. So, here goes: Anytime we travel, we book well in advance to give us a chance to pay in increments. This cruise was no different, we actually had two trips planned out – one for us, one for the family, both of which, I was ecstatic about. Fast forward a few months later when the news came – “your marriage is not what you thought it was and THIS is what’s happening – BAM!”. I had a flood of thoughts racing thru my mind. At this point, I could do one of two things – fight or give up. I remember having so many feelings – confusion, sadness, anger, violation, disappointment, fear, anxiety. I needed to talk to the other woman and I needed her to hear my voice. So, I did – and it wasn’t a “let me pray for you, I forgive you” conversation. I said what I needed to say and felt better. How it affected her, didn’t matter to me – there was a fight in me and I wasn’t willing to lose. After confronting her that one time – I was determined to make her nonexistent – no more calls, no more messages – I could no longer allow her to be a part of my life nor our marriage. I began to speak life over our marriage. I wrote out a prayer and confession. I even placed written prayers and scriptures under my husband’s pillow. I spent many days and nights crying in my closet with a towel over my face to catch my tears that just didn’t seem to stop, my neighbor prayed fervently over me, many talks with those who were close to me just helping me thru my thoughts and even more nights and days of praying and talking to the Lord.
One of the many thoughts and perhaps even a light in my darkness was this idea that we hadn’t yet gone on this trip we had booked. When I would think about it, I never even considered cancelling it. Having that cruise planned gave me a piece of hope. It was just one of the glimpses of light that allowed me to hold on. It’s interesting how something so small can make such an impact.
This traveling thing has become a non negotiable in our marriage. It doesn’t have to be a far off destination – it just needs to happen. Funny because when I think about it, I remember that travel is what brought us together and now has become a tool used to help keep our marriage strong. We love to travel, that is something we enjoy doing together but we also realize that one day our kids are going to be adults and our house will be pretty quiet. If we aren’t intentional now, we won’t know how to relate to one another later. These moments allow us to reconnect with one another, renew our minds and reenergize.
To be cont’d……