I recently wrote about thriving marriages/relationships. Thriving = life, living, breathing, growing, not just existing or surviving. At the same time I have been working on finishing some counseling classes. One thing that I have heard repeated by many different teachers now is that it is very normal for our relationships to have ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys or cycles. Just because you are at either a high or a low today does not mean it will always be that nor should it. If you have ever been to the mountains you will understand what I am talking about. Traveling the winding road up the mountain with only a little (seemingly) metal 2 foot high rail separating your car from a steep decline down the side of the mountain can be a bit scary. Walking up a trail of the mountain can be the same or you can be deep enough into the trees that you don’t even realize by sight that you are getting higher, but your legs and lungs feel the burn of the incline and thinning air. Then when you break through to your destination at the top of the mountain the view is breathtaking. It always makes me stop and look around. I remember once doing this with my husband and he broke into the old hymn, “How Great Thou Art.” It was an amazing moment.
However, after a few moments you begin to look around closer to where you are standing. Often at the top of mountains you are “above the tree line.” There is really not a lot of greenery, growth, living plants near you. Where it is really green and fertile, alive and thriving is in the valleys. It’s the water from the creeks, often through snow melt, that provides life for the thriving valley below. The sheer height of the mountains can protect the valley from some types of weather. At other times the height itself can cause a problem, think avalanche or mud slide.
The point is mountain tops and valleys are both valuable. The flat drive across Nebraska to get to the Colorado mountains can be boring but it can also be restful. Can you identify some mountain top, valley and even some Nebraska flat land times in your marriage? Take a moment to think about this. We need to realize that all of these times are necessary for the growth our relationship as well as our own personal growth. What are you learning in the place that you are currently at? I had an assignment to identify 8 top experiences and then make plans to repeat them in some way. Will you join me?