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Stay the course

You would never know by looking out my window that we are supposed to “spring forward” this weekend. The recent sound of the snowplow scraping the side of the road along with the chunky clumps of snow being blown off the trees makes it hard to believe winter is going to exit stage left any time soon. Lake Michigan likes to do her thing by creating lake effect snow bands that produce white out conditions. These intermittent squalls make driving a significant challenge, not to mention dangerous, and last night was no exception.

As we navigated our way home from a sporting event, our usual highway speed was decreased to a crawl while the tension increased inside the car. Let me preface, I normally feel very safe when my husband is driving and rarely pay attention to the road since I’m usually scrolling through Instagram…BUT…there are times when I do look up and see brake lights quickly approaching and I gasp. It DRIVES. MY. HUSBAND. NUTS!!! He gets so irritated and says I make things worse, then I try to defend myself by saying it’s just my reaction (and you can’t control reactions, right?!). He assures me he is well aware of his surroundings and there is plenty of room between us and the car ahead.

After many years of these situations that make for minor arguments, I have learned that in fact, I can control my reaction. Instead of gasping and pushing my foot through the floorboard to emphasize my point, I simply say, “They’re braking”. Sometimes my tone is calmer than other times but at least I’m not gasping and causing my husband to have a minor heart attack!

Marriage is somewhat like a car ride. Two people hop in together with the goal of heading in the same direction – expecting to enjoy the ride! When we start our journey, we look forward to the sunshine and blue skies of romantic bliss but then we hit a pot hole – our spouse makes a choice so jarring we realize this is the reason we promised “for better or worse”. Other times storm squalls rise up without warning, decreasing our visibility to see past the moment much less until “death do we part!” Then we get lost. We thought we were cruising down Lovers Lane, but their annoying habit is making it very hard to cherish them like they deserve. We run out of gas so instead of uniting, we are constantly fighting over money and “To have and to hold” turns into “this is getting old!”

Marriage is a journey that is not always smooth and for those of us who have been around the block a few times acting like we never have problems, we are doing our fellow travelers a disservice. We are giving them an inaccurate map and creating unrealistic expectations for those coming behind us. However, it is also important to point out that the journey DOES include days, weeks and months of enjoyment and adventure scattered through the years. From those of us who have experienced that to be true we say to those struggling along… Stay the course! Eventually winter will spring forward, and the grey skies will give way to blue! Keep going and rest assured… marriage is a ride worth taking!

“Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong. And everything you do must be done with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13,14

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