It's Ann here, and today I want to share some thoughts about 2022 for us as a community.
At this time of year I spend some time praying about the year and asking God if there are any particular themes for us as a community. For 2022, here's what seems to be on my mind:
The SUM walk is so multi-faceted in the kinds of issues we face and the skills we have to develop in order to thrive. In fact, it's not only multi-faceted, but it is long. Some SUMites do have an experience where their spouse joins them in faith quickly, but for most of us the SUM journey is like a marathon or high-altitude mountain climb. It's high-risk, tiring, and takes endurance.
This year, I think what God is saying is, hone your skills, equip each other for the climb, and persevere.
These are just some of the complex facets we have to tackle specifically because we are in a spiritually mismatched marriage:
- Tackle our own doubts, and hold fast to our basic belief in Jesus.
- Understand God's heart for unbelievers and his plans for humanity
- Stay connected to church when it feels almost impossible to do so.
- Understand Satan and demons, and know how to fight them.
- Take on the solo responsibility for our children's faith lives
- Learn about prayer, including using our authority in the spirit realm
- Learn to love our spouse well and be a great marriage partner
- Set good boundaries within and around our marriages
- Develop a strong devotional life
- Learn to hear and discern God's voice
- Build a healthy personal community around ourselves.
Phew -- There's a lot there. And though it is the spiritual equivalent of a high-altitude mountain climb, a lot of what we go through seems to be about training ourselves in the above areas over and over.
Now, I'm not a climber myself but my Dad was (he's still alive, but older now). As a child I remember he would go off to climb mountains in Europe, taking pick axes, ropes, pulleys, crampons, pouches of dried food, compasses, maps and more. It was serious business. He would also go in a team: Mountaineers have to work together to keep each other safe.
That's what I feel we're going to do here in SUM in 2022. We have unmovable mountains to conquer: The mountains of our spouse's and family's unbelief. So, to face those we have to dig deep, roll up our sleeves, decide we're not going to give up, and keep equipping ourselves together.
There's a fabulous documentary on Netflix about high-altitude mountaineering called '14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible'. It's about a Nepalese man who climbed all fourteen high-altitude peaks in the world in record time -- Within a year. These were peaks over 8,000m. He took a team of fellow mountaineers and the documentary follows all of their climbs. It is an absolute inspiration to watch. The sheer grit that he displays, the skill level, the fatigue, all of it .... Amazing. He called his feat Project Possible, because people told him it was impossible. He came out victorious, and so can we.
"For with God, nothing will be impossible" (Luke 1:37, NKJV)
Dear SUMites, this year -- 2022 -- I'm looking forward to us becoming even stronger, even more perseverant, and even more equipped to walk out our faith in our unique marriages.
Now here's a question for you: Which of the above issues would you particularly like to see us write about this year?
Love to you all