Jon and I recently returned home from a tour of Israel. This was an amazing opportunity for us and a blessing from the Father in heaven! I really desired that we would make this journey for our 25th wedding anniversary celebration, and the goodness of God ushered it right into our lives! I won the trip thirteen months in advance of taking it and only two months past our anniversary! To read more about our journey, you can click here to check out my post on Sharing Love and Truth.
In reality, the days of touring with scores of other people did not feel much like an anniversary celebration, but that is completely okay! The trip was designed for the masses, so with the masses we traveled and made new friendships in the process!
Leaving the east coast of the United States required a quick flight to Newark and then an overnight, ten-hour journey to Tel Aviv. Upon arrival to the hotel in Jerusalem, we quickly unpacked and headed out to explore the city. This was the opportunity that Jon and I had to enjoy the trip alone, since the official group tour would not begin until the following day.
We learned the route to a nearby light rail station and prepared to follow the directions of the hotel staff for finding cafés and shops. They were all very specific: do not get off the train at the next station; go past it to the next one. Not until later in the week did we understand the problem with the Damascus Gate site- if a lone terrorist attack was going to happen in Jerusalem, more than likely it would be in that vicinity.
In reality, Israel is a very safe nation and hundreds of thousands tour it every year. We spent most of our days on the streets and visiting numerous public sites, and never did we feel vulnerable.
At the train station near the hotel, Jon and I realized we couldn’t ride the train unless we had shekels to purchase tickets. We left the station and went back to the hotel to ask for the location of the nearest exchange. The front desk attendant pointed us in the direction of a neighborhood bank, but there we were turned away due to the fact that we weren’t account holders. At this point we began to walk. To where were we going? Neither of us knew, but Jon was persistent in his pursuit of a cash exchange location.
The first place we came to that offers the needed money-exchange service was closed. Now I was beginning to sense what Mary and Joseph experienced when they came south from Galilee! Of course, she was great with child, and I am not, so perhaps I’m exaggerating slightly! We continued to walk, and as Jon expected, we found the place we needed. Shekels in hand, we walked back to the hotel and started all over again!
This one day of lone touring with Jon did sweeten our marriage, because I saw something in my husband that I had forgotten: He has a great resolve to finish what he starts! I told him at some point in all of our walking and searching, “I just want you to know that if you were not here, I would have given up on this adventure and gone back to the hotel a long time ago!” My personal hang-up is I want things to go efficiently, but ease and convenience escaped us when we were turned away at the neighborhood bank. Jon? He kept going after the goal!
It’s a good thing to stop and investigate the traits that your spouse possesses and you lack. I think the Lord delights in seeing us join together and becoming stronger than we were in our solitary state. And, a healthy dose of admiration never hurt any marriage relationship!
Here’s to many more adventures with the one you call, “Honey!”