It happened last week. I didn’t see it coming, but God knew all along.
Most of you know that Tom and I have a cabin in Banner Elk, NC. You may also know that I have had the privilege of hosting Barefoot Ladies Retreats each summer there since we bought the cabin in 2013. It has been such a rewarding experience to watch as God, our Father, loves on His daughters. And Tom has been so supportive through it all, making sure the cabin is in good shape for our guests.
In my quiet time last week I was praying about the dates and topic for this year’s retreats. It was at the moment when I was impressed by God to not have retreats this year! What? At first I rejected the idea; certainly God couldn’t be calling me to do nothing! But as I considered it further I realized this was my 7th year; I had hosted 15 retreats thus far, and God was indeed calling me to a year of rest. I felt an immediate peace.
When I mentioned this to Tom he said he had had similar impressions but didn’t think I would like the idea. This led us to discuss why he thought I would not accept it. It was a good conversation about my tendency to react rather than listen, and his tendency to avoid unnecessary conflict. Hearing that God had spoken the same word to both of us was a comfort and as well as a confirmation. I was also glad to bring clarity to my need for Tom’s input in my life, and to repent of reacting to His lead. We agreed to work on this area in our marriage.
As I’ve considered the significance of this year, there are four great reasons for me to rest:
- We will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary (February 24),
- I will turn 60 (July 17)
- Tom will turn 65th (August 18).
- It will also be the 50th year since I asked Jesus to be my Savior in December.
I share all this with you to bring home the fact that we never stop finding new ways to grow and change in our marriage. Let me ask you, how open and honest are you about such topics in your relationship? Can you talk about areas of resistance and learn from them? Or do you avoid the conflict altogether?
Healthy marriages are constantly growing and changing as the years pass. We pray this describes your marriage.