My husband and I will celebrate our 30-year wedding anniversary next month. It is so hard for me to believe that 30 years have passed since our wedding day, but the calendar says it’s true, so I guess it is!
As many of you may relate after years of living together, there are many forms of communication that exist between us outside of the words we speak. We’ve learned to read one another’s body language, tone of voice and even deep sighs that might occur for various reasons. We don’t always get it right, but often we can tell how one another is feeling without a single word.
This year, as part of the empty-nest season of life, we bought a fifth-wheel camper and have spent the spring and summer camping in many of the Tennessee State Parks. Owning a RV has required a very large learning curve for us. Of course from the technical side of making sure we are taking good care of it and camping safely, but also from a communication standpoint. Being that close together for days on end brings some new challenges.
Each of us has taken on roles to make the set up and departure run as smoothly as possible. Perhaps my biggest role is that I am assigned the task of being the eyes in the back of his head by assisting with the back-in portion of each trip. I am to assure that the camper is backed in carefully avoiding any obstacles and is placed in the optimal location (hopefully in the most level spot). After several trips I now understand the appeal of the T-shirts that read, “Forgive me for what I said when I was backing up the camper!”
Typically, assuming we have cell coverage, we will communicate via cell phone as I give instructions such as “more driver side”, “straighten up”, “come back six feet”, etc. We have tried to vow that we will not become quickly frustrated with one another during this process so that our trips do not start on the wrong foot with one or both of us being furious with the other.
So far, we’ve been able to avoid any HUGE arguments, but I can’t say there haven’t been a few moments of elevated voices or deep breaths for patience. Overwhelmingly I would say the thing that I’ve noticed most, particularly when my husband is the most frustrated, is the deep sigh. And when I hear that, I know things are not going well.
This morning I came across Psalm 38:9:
“You know what I long for, Lord;
You hear my every sigh.”
I was reminded that even though I know my husband very well after 30 years of marriage, I still don’t always know what he longs for, nor do I always know how to interpret every sigh. Yet, our Creator does. He knows what every sigh means. He knows our deepest longings. In fact, as believers, we are told in Romans 8:26 that we don’t even have to know what to pray for. We can just groan and the Holy Spirit intercedes.
“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”
The next time you feel yourself releasing a big sigh of relief, frustration, impatience or even overwhelm, I pray that you will be reminded of how well your Heavenly Father knows the reason and hears every single time. You are fully known and fully loved.
Stephani Cook is a life coach, speaker, writer, podcast host and the creator of On Purpose Coaching. Through On Purpose Coaching she helps others to improve relationships and to discover intentional abundant living. She does that through group and/or individual coaching, live event speaking or Enneagram workshops in private and corporate settings.
To connect with Stephani about the possibility of coaching or speaking to your group or organization, visit her website http://www.stephanicook.org