Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Lessons in Marriage from A Stuck Jeep

The day after Christmas was a beautiful one. The snow covered the ground and we decided to go out and play. We drove up to the mountains in the Jeep with our pups and frolicked around in over a foot of snow, taking pictures and feeling the joy that is a white Christmas season.

But Cameron. . . oh Cameron. He was high on winter and his newfound camera skills. He took a few good pictures and bam! he thought he could do anything. So after a while of frolicking he decided that we were going to drive deeper toward the mountain, even as the snow got thicker and thicker.

"I don't think we should go any farther," I said politely. "We have already gotten stuck once, let's just stay where we are at." 

But Cameron did not listen to his wife. Cameron, like the little engine that could, kept driving forward. The tracks ended and you could see that the snow ahead was at least a foot and a half deep, and yet Cameron pressed on the gas until. . . thwump. Vroof. Vroof. Vrooooooof.

That's right folks. We were stuck. Like really stuck.

I got out of the jeep and didn't have far to go- the snow came up to the bottom of the door frame!

I stood by as my husband did everything he could to get the Jeep to move. He pulled branches from the forest, dug snow out from under the vehicle, made me try to take the wheel as he pushed (stick shift is not my thing so this was a serious endeavor!). As time passed and passed and nothing seemed to be working, I sat on the only non-snow-covered rock and I prayed that God would do something to help.

I had visions of trekking through the woods, walking miles to the main road, rationing out our two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches until we could find help. I had dreams of the Jeep being stuck out there in the woods for days as it became an icy Jeep grave, never to be used again. I sat on that rock and pretended we were in the Amazing Race and Cameron was doing a Roadblock. I knew that being mad wouldn't help, so after quite a few "I told you not to go any farther," and "are you going to listen to me next time?" I began yelling encouraging things like, "I believe in you babe!" and "Do you think we should call your dad?"

I'm not sure that was actually helpful but it was my contribution to the situation.

When an hour had passed and no progress had been made (despite immense efforts) we decided it was time for a break. I could tell Cameron was frustrated and I figured a peanut butter sandwich could be sacrificed to make him feel a little bit better about the situation.

And that is when we heard it. 

The crunch of another vehicle moving towards us through the snow. It was the sound of salvation.

"YESSS! FINALLY" Cameron yelled into the air. We were saved!

The two trucks pulling up were not new and fancy. They were a bit rusty, with around 12 hounds yelping from the back. But the two older men did not hesitate when we asked if they could pull us out of our predicament. Salvation came to the sound of hounds and I could not have been more pleased. As the Jeep finally began to move I was overwhelmed. . . mostly because I had had to pee for over an hour.

All was well in the world again and Cameron and I headed home.

So what did we learn?

Well obviously Cameron learned to listen to his wife ;) . . . but more than that, I think it showed us how far we have come in this year of marriage. In the beginning we were mostly about ourselves- our own ways, needs, wants. We clashed often because we weren't on the same team. We were fighting to assert ourselves against the other. But the year taught us a lot. As it peeled off our layers, as we reconciled over hurt feelings, as we took our mistakes to heart and decided to be better, we found that we really were on the same team and together, we were better.

When the Jeep got stuck it wasn't just his problem, and I didn't sit sullenly to one side as I might have done a year ago. I knew that this was a situation we were both in, and I needed to be on his team. So I did what I could to help, I shoveled snow in my (fake) leather gloves and my fancy coat, and I tried not to complain as the time passed. I am still a work in progress, but when we got back into the Jeep to go home, holding hands and talking joyfully about our lives, I was so pleased to see how far we both have come.

God has blessed us in so many ways and ass we gear up for year 2 all I can say is. . . I can't wait to see where we get stuck next!

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