Updated: Jan 17
My sister-in-law invited my husband and I to vacation in Las Vegas and then had to cancel on short notice. AFTER we bought non-refundable plane tickets! We’ve thanked her PROFUSELY over the years for BOTH the invitation & cancellation! We didn’t realize it at the outset but it proved to be the BEST cancellation ever!
Change is inevitable and the disruption it causes can create BOTH inconvenience and opportunity.
This change created both--and the opportunity was life changing.
We have a remarkable origin story. Thirty years ago we got engaged after three days without ever going on a date. And it was mystical, and magical, and embodied all the romantic whimsy of fairy tales and happily ever after.
But serendipitous beginnings aren't a guarantee of exemption from marital difficulty. Allowing people to revel in the magic of that story without acknowledging the challenges would be to perpetuate fiction. And I don’t write fiction. I’m a creative NON-fiction kinda girl.
Before the cancellation---we had plans. Fly to LA. Spend two days at the beach. Rent a car. Meet family for a week in Vegas. Suddenly, there was no week in Vegas. There were 9 days to fill, and only 2 days of arrangements. We decided to go anyway.
Sometimes the unexpected, provides a portal to something wonderful. Our “something wonderful” was a spontaneous road trip across California, Arizona and Nevada.
We COVERED miles of highway in a rented SUV, while UNCOVERING years of issues that had been deftly tucked away; folded and neatly shelved in a closet of avoidance.
Alone for nine days, 24/7, with no distractions, no disruptions, and no agenda, TIME granted us a magnifying glass through which to examine what our relationship had become. And a sacred pause to consider what we desired it to be.
Because here’s the thing. Nothing of major import was wrong! No adultery, no abuse, no distrust, no irreconcilable differences.
Amidst juggling the logistics of life with 3 kids, 2 careers and an unending onslaught of busyness, we found ourselves on a slow but steady drift into the doldrums of indifference.
GRACE granted us a chance to correct course. A much needed chance, because joyless co-existence was NEVER our goal.
And though nothing was majorly wrong, is anything majorly right about being physically proximate, but emotionally distant?
Stress became a frequent visitor. Laughter became increasingly rare Nature abhors a vacuum. Apathy showed up to fill the void.
Who knew a remedy would be found in the guise of a random road trip?
We discovered many things during our 1500 mile, tri-state trek. We revelled in the blue brilliance of the Pacific, the glamour of Beverly Hills, the glitz of the Vegas strip, the scenic wonder of the Grand Canyon. Ahhh, the Grand Canyon.
It was there, amidst the majestic splendor of cavernous rock, beautifully colored and carved by nature, that we began to awaken from the slumber of an undesirable status quo.
We peaked over the edge of the South Rim, and saw more than an expanse of rocky splendor. We saw our lives without the haze of discontentment.
And with that filter removed, we were open to asking questions, seeking answers, and embracing the hope of change.
Why don’t we have fun anymore? Why are most discussions about bills, work, and kids? Why do we talk AT each other instead of TO each other? When did we stop laughing? How did we forget we are best friends who both love and LIKE each other?
Our walk around the Grand Canyon was a catalyst for the miracle of REMEMBERING. And as we remembered, we also RE-discovered intangible treasures of joy. Laughter. Camaraderie. Silliness. And LIKE!
We learned that a divine redirect can provide CONCRETE answers to UNSPOKEN prayers in ways that transcend the scope of finite mortal imaginations.
Our journey of discovery was luscious ripe fruit plucked from the tree of an unexpected cancellation. A closed door that opened a window of possibility.
Sometimes, what presents as disruption is really Divine Providence intervening with an unanticipated solution.
We are GRATEFUL for just such an intervention!