Every relationship, if it is long and enduring, will go through tough seasons. The past 5 years have been tough on my husband and I. Thankfully we became aware of the need to make changes and to get support in order to not only survive but to actually become stronger. Seeing a counselor these past 6 months has helped bring fresh air to our pressured relationship. More fresh air came for me personally as I decided to run on a consistent basis again.
I ran outside on the trails all winter long. It was a matter of life or death for me. I had to hear from God. I was desperate. I became done with the ups and downs of my finicky heart. I had to get off the roller coaster so I ran. To hear from God. I have 6 kids, for those of you who don’t know me. I have 5 boys and 1 girl. My oldest is about to turn 18! The rest are 16, 14, 12 and my youngest boys are 5 year old identical twins getting ready to fly the coop and go to Kindergarten this fall. Currently I am a stay-at-home mom. So you see, I need time away by myself to recharge and to be alone with my God, the only one who loves me perfectly.
God often speaks to me in pictures, I need visual aids to learn and grow. He has used the running trail time and time again to speak volumes to me. This winter we had snow, ice with intermittent warmer temps causing the trails to become extremely icy. I had to avoid the ice often. As I brought my marriage and my mind before God, he reminded me to find the small patches in our relationship, just like I had to find the small dry patches on the trail to be able to run.
When a relationship is strained I wonder if we get so discouraged because in the depth of our hearts we have a suspicion it can be better. In the depth of our hearts we long for peace and harmony. We long for understanding and unconditional love. We long to know and be known. We want the best there is. But we are usually so different and those differences between us can get magnified especially in difficult circumstances. We can suddenly find a deep chasm between us where there used to be multiple bridges and connections. We look at the chasm and begin to think, “It is no more and I have no idea how to bring it back. I can’t figure out how to get back to healthy, good connection.” Our hearts begin to despair because we can’t see it. We can not see how we can possibly fall in love again. We can not see how we can possibly draw near again.
But God said, “small patches.” Wait,” I thought, “I can do small patches.” I think I can look and find something small thing to appreciate about my husband. I think I can look for small ways to connect with him. I can put something out there and hope for small understanding. And so began the search for small in my marriage and it has made all the difference. God has been putting us back together one small patch at a time.
“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”