Be sure and check out the previous rest stops for encouragement.
Here we are at rest stop 8. At this point of the ride my feet are barking, my legs are howling and my butt is yelling at me to stand up. I've ridden 80 miles, a long way, so there is a sense of accomplishment, but a big part of my psyche wishes I was done. Pulling out of this rest stop brings pain. But that can wait. We're resting.
We're getting nourishment and regaining strength. Looking around there are others who have ridden 80 miles. Just as you'll meet others who have dealt with or are dealing with an affair in their marriage. Some will want to talk about it and some won't. Some you'll see have worked through much of it and others have stayed together but haven't dealt with many of the real issues. Their smiles seem forced.
There are others at the stop. These are volunteers helping along the journey. Many have been where you are so they know something of what this journey is like. The ones who have worked hard you'll be drawn to. There is an authenticity and a deeper joy that emerges from their presence. They provide sustenance and strength for the remaining legs on this journey.
On this 444 day journey we're on, the previous 170 days or so we've discussed intimacy. Our journey moves into more pain too as we look back at the losses from the affair and what it means to grieve those losses together. Grieving implies facing the pain head on. We've been doing a lot of that already, but we are going to face it more squarely.
This next leg takes guts and courage. This one especially does because the ride is long and our souls and bodies can be weary and sore at this point. Leaving the next rest stop the end is in sight, but leaving this one doubt creeps in about the ability to finish this ride. Much of this next leg is through a valley of shadows.
Time to go. We can do it. In one sense it's just another leg on the ride. We'll get through it, but not without some suffering on the way.
P.S. After 'penning' this post I came upon this prayer in my morning devotional. May I be so bold as to pray it over you.
Lord, train us to hear your voice. When it is time to grieve, help us to grieve. When it is time to rejoice, help us to rejoice. When we grow weary, be the strength in our weakness. And may your most beautiful and perfect will, not ours, be done. Amen.