“In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.” Psalm 95:4
There is a magic about the Smoky Mountains. Once you have spent time there, they seem to become a part of your soul. The noise of the world disappears into the background as you walk the shadowed trails. The waters make music here, sometimes rushing, dancing down the hillside; other times forming flat mirror like pools that reflect the majestic peaks soaring above your head.
I brought my children here every year during their summer break from school. It was our time. Our reconnecting. The mistakes I had made faded into the background as we laughed, hiked, rafted, and tent camped like gypsies. The nightly campfires were like a healing balm for our hearts, giving us memories that still come rushing back.
This week I brought sweetheart to the mountains that had healed the tears in the fabric of my family all those years ago. This last year has been so hard on us. While divorce is a word we promised each other we would never use, we came within a whisper of throwing in the towel. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that without God, I wouldn’t be writing this story.
We spent this week doing a lot.
A lot of walking.
A lot of praying.
A lot of talking.
A lot of listening.
Just as He promised, God met us here. Every moment of every day, at each turn of the road, in the voice of every person we met, at each trail we chose to hike, even at the foot of a roller coaster when we ducked into the booth of an artist, He was there.
With Him, in this place, we have once again used the threads of His majesty to stitch our life back together. We had no one but each other. No cell service. No wifi. No cable. No worldly things to take our minds off of each other.
Only God. Only with God. Only God.
I know it is not easy to be able to get away from the world to reconnect with your spouse. Especially if you have children. We had all kinds of reasons why we couldn’t do this. Kids. Work. Debt. You name it. But we asked God to make a way. We submitted our marriage to Him. We trusted He would give us time together even when we didn’t understand how He could.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
And of course He did.
While what worked for us might not be what will work for you, there are some things that are universally successful when you lay your broken marriage out before God.
First….pray. Pray. PRAY. Together. All the time. Whenever you think you should and especially when you think you can’t. There is no way you can stay mad at each other while you are holding hands speaking to God.
Second….hold hands. All the time. When you are walking, when you are sitting together, when you are sitting in church. Hold hands in the car, in the mall, at the restaurant, on the couch. Again, it is hard to stay mad at each other when your hands are clasped together.
Third….get a CHRISTIAN marriage counselor. If you have cancer, you get chemotherapy. If you have a broken leg, you get a cast. If your car won’t run you take it to a mechanic. When your roof leaks, you call a roofer. God gave certain people on this earth the ability to heal emotions. He gave them that gift so that they could work in the body of Christ to keep marriages strong, families together and heal shattered hearts. (I am sure our marriage counselor gets TWO vacations this year because of us!!!)
Lastly, know that there will be days when you will stumble. Words will be hurled that you should never have said. (You might even break a plate or two. Just saying.) But there is someone on your side. Someone who loves you so much that He weeps when you weep. Someone who WANTS you to succeed.
There is a scripture He gave us that describes what we need to do when the fabric of our marriage has become thin. When we aren’t quite sure what “love” means anymore. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Cor. 13:4-7
There are always mountains and valleys in marriages. There is much beauty in both places. Remember that our Abba created both for us to dwell in. Meet Him there. He is waiting.
How can I pray for your marriage?
©2014MichelleWelch, team member of Breath Of Life Women’s Ministries
photography by Michelle Welch, all rights reserved
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