This has been an amazing week. Having recently sold our travel trailer to some dear friends, they suggested we take it out (they won’t be using it for a while), and so we did. We drove 45 minutes from home to a state park, hooked up, and are in the middle of a 6-night stint. We’ve been reminiscing about other trips we’ve taken, ruminating on how much we loved this trailer, and dreaming about what the future might hold. We hope that this isn’t the end of our camping days, but rather just a transition to something more affordable and sustainable.
There is something about being away from home and its responsibilities, hugged by nature on all sides. We are surrounded by tall trees with a canopy of shade shielding us all day, and this, along with unseasonably cool August weather in middle Tennessee, has made for the most pleasant conditions imaginable.
It’s not just the weather and the trailer “swan song” that have made this trip particularly worthy of mention. With a lot of time to think out here, I’ve been pondering why life with Flyboy just keep getting better, and three words popped into my head: known, valued, and loved. It’s almost inconceivable to think that I can be known and embraced so completely. The years have revealed our flaws, yet, in spite of them, being so fully known has drawn us closer and closer together. There is safety in being fully known, and it points back to the fact that while we were still sinners, God knew us completely – and yet in our brokenness, took the punishment for the sin that belonged to us. Being known and knowing so wholly is both beautiful and wonderful. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have spent my life with than this awesome man given to me by my awesome God.
Being known but not valued means that flaws (and we all have ‘em) are held against the other, in a state of constant judgement with that terrible feeling of never being good enough. Flyboy and I have worked hard to value one another. We call it “racing to the back of the line” (taken from an Andy Stanley message). We care for the other by anticipating needs, by helping out (even in yucky jobs), by coming alongside during hard times to listen and hold a hand – these actions show how much we value each other. Being valued means that no matter what, even when you fall short, there is a person in your court who believes in you. .
True love includes both being known and valued, and what a spectacular gift that is. Flyboy and I have spoken much these past few days about the gift of an enduring love. It’s been work – hear me on that – but so worth it in every way. We’ve had hard and painful times like everybody else, but choosing to work through them (sometimes with outside help) has yielded a sweet, sweet closeness and a love that has been an unbelievable blessing, particularly at this point in our lives.
Are you considering giving up on your marriage? Please, please seek some help and work to emerge victorious on the other side. I promise you it is worth every tear, every struggle to understand the other, and every difficult baby step in the right direction. Choose to be the person who makes the first step in valuing the other. Love unconditionally, be a helpmate (particularly in ways that can be easily accepted), and have their back at all times.
If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him. — I Corinthians 13:7 (TLB)