It’s not my way. It’s not your way. It’s our way!
Both of us are at least 40 and I’ll be 50 this December. We both have figured out by this point in our lives how to do all that need to be done. Our methods and strategies have worked well for us. So well that we attracted each other. There is no struggle to learn how to do things out of necessity. We weren’t learning how to do laundry, clean the kitchen, pay the bills, maintain a car or cook a chicken. We aren’t first timers at much of anything. This conviction that we have figured most things out is exactly what got us in trouble. When two people with deeply established life patterns get together, both of you can’t keep doing what you’ve been doing without a crash. It just doesn’t work for very long. Difference surface and sparks fly.
On a camping trip in Tennessee at Natchez Trace State Park our differences came to a boiling point. We had been carefully taking turns doing things my way one time and then hers another. We hit a point while making camp that night when neither one of us would budge. My method of picking a flat surface to set up the tent conflicted with her method. Maybe we were just tired. I don’t know why we got ticked off by this on this night. We had been so happy to be there. We were camping with good friends from church. It was going to be a great night…but…we both hung on to our way as the “right” way. It quickly brought on a rush of emotional water like being downstream when the Corp of Engineers opens all the gates on the dam at Rock Island.
After almost an hour of talking, we were exhausted and getting nowhere. My Honey tried one more time in the verbal chaos to explain what she was feeling. I listened carefully to her word picture. She talked of what our life could look like if we focused on doing this a new way—our way. She reminded me what it was like when I first joined the department I’m in now at work. I had experience and expertise that got me promoted but my way of doing things from the old department couldn’t be used here. Most of what I knew and had done was transferable but I had to work with my new team mates and develop our way of doing things. There was nothing wrong with my way and there was nothing wrong with their way. We just had to have a new way developed to get things done that would work for everybody.
I slowly got excited! A clear understanding was emerging as the fog lifted. This was a business…the business of love. It was not an indictment of me or my methods when she didn’t want to just do it my way! I wasn’t rejecting her when I didn’t want to do it her way. God was inviting us to a deep relationship as husband and wife achieved by developing a new way called “our way”—taking parts from each of us and making something completely new—a mosaic made up of both of us beautifully reflecting Gods light.
This water shed moment is one we will never forget. Every thing has become “before Natchez Trace” or “after Natchez Trace.” It was that significant when we learned to create OUR WAY.