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The Gift of Space - I Do Every Day - December 14, 2022

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The Gift of Space
By Aubrey Way

During a heavy, stressful season of work a few years ago, I began experiencing back pain. Assuming I'd slept on it wrong, I went about normal life, impatiently waiting for the pain to disappear.

Months before, I’d made plans with our city’s ultimate frisbee team to travel across the country and play in a tournament. As the tournament drew closer, the pain remained and I wasn't sure I'd be able to play. But with tickets already purchased, I decided to go anyway.

At the time, our kids were 5 and 2. A weekend away was no small thing. And the weekend was the only time I could give my wife a much-needed (and deserved) break.

Yet she graciously forwent this break in order to give me the space to leave town and play a game for two days.

Surprisingly (to me), the long hours of strenuous activity at this tournament did not result in soreness, exhaustion, and further injury (well, there was a little soreness). Instead, I experienced my stress melting away and my back being totally restored.

I hadn't realized my back pain was stress-induced. Without the chance to step away, I wonder how long it would've taken me to make that connection—and what kind of physiological, mental, and emotional consequences I would have faced as a result.

In freeing me up to step away for a bit, my wife put my interests above her own. She thought she was making a sacrifice for the sake of something fun but frivolous, but God used it to accomplish something necessary and restorative.

Read more on how to support your spouse’s mental health.

The Good Stuff: Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4)

Action Points: Could your spouse use a break? Think of one chore or activity you can take off their plate this week to give them space to rest.

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