So this past weekend Dave and I attended a Marriage Care Weekend at church. Twenty couples, at different stages in their marriage, came together to be led in a whole weekend to work on keeping their marriages healthy. One of the organizers, who is a counselor, said, "I wanted a weekend to focus on promoting marital health before it hits a crisis point." Our facilitators, a couple who have been married for 49 1/2 years, shared four different sessions on Caring Communication, Creative Conflict, Satisfying Sex and Family of Origin. This couple was amazing in sharing from their own marriage as well as other resources.
Dave and I were excited to have a weekend, without our kids, to talk about different things in our marriage. We had a couple of really good breakthroughs and I am looking forward to seeing the results of those play out over the next weeks and months. One of the things we discovered is that a frustration we have been having lately (trying to go home from church events in a timely fashion) was actually the result of something which attracted Dave to me in the first place (how connected I was with people). It's hard to be connected with a lot of people at church and try to exit quickly! Especially when I love to talk :) We came up with a strategy to help Dave (the introvert) deal with this issue and I will fill you in in a few weeks if it has helped at all.
This connectedness with people really hit me yesterday when I had four different conversations with various friends about struggles they are facing. Big struggles when it comes to parenting, marriage, health and work. You know, just some of the major things in life.
I was telling Dave about some of these conversations, in general, after church and he asked if having these conversations, and knowing that friends are struggling, was stressful to me. And I told him, "You know what? I feel honoured that friends invite me into their struggles with them. I feel helpless because they are dealing with big things, and I don't know what I can do, but I feel privileged that they have shared that with me."
And today this verse has been sitting with me. Galatians 6:2 "Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." This verse doesn't say to "solve each other's burdens" or "take away each other's burdens," it simply asks us to "bear" them for each other. So I will help those people I talked with yesterday by bearing their burdens, by being a listening ear, and by supporting them as best I can.
And I will give thanks for my connectedness with people. Even if Dave and I might need to have a few more strategizing sessions about leaving church.