By Steve McIlwain
Ash and I recently joined the food truck craze. For those of you that aren’t aware, the food truck renaissance is on. They have traded in their greasy spoon, not-so-clean reputation for have-to-have status. Lines run longer than city blocks for the opportunity to dine at these motorized eateries.
Food trucks have long had a reputation for bad, greasy food. Sure, there were some good ones sprinkled in the mix, but the name “roach coach” was spawned for a reason. Dirty kitchens + sweaty cooks + greasy food = bad reputation. And then things started to change. An intersection of economic and technological factors set the stage for a food truck boom. Rough economic times forced quality chefs to look for outlets other than the traditional restaurant. The rise of smart phones created a way for people to pinpoint a constantly changing location. Street food became hip. BOOM: food truck mania.
So every Tuesday night Ash and I head over to our local food truck round-up. Six or seven food trucks gather from 5:30pm-9pm. Each week they Facebook post and tweet the line-up, and it’s always different. The food choices run the gamut: Argentinean, BBQ, southern, Mexican, Hawaiian, sushi, sliders, hot dogs, bacon, waffles, cupcakes, and more. It is an overwhelming array of choices, and it’s nearly impossible to narrow it down to just one.
The food truck thing got me thinking about marriage. Food trucks have been completely transformed. Something that people used to avoid like the plague is now something that people literally flock towards. What types of things do we have in our marriages that are due for a turnaround??
Every marriage has issues. Some issues simply come and go. Some issues explode out of the blue and blind side us. Some slowly creep in over time. Some plague our relationships from day one and simply won’t go away. Anger, lack of intimacy, frustration, trust issues, jealousy, bitterness, and sadness are just a short list of the potential battles you and your spouse are facing.
These issues, while often incredibly difficult and painful, present an amazing opportunity. Is there a more inspirational story than the saga of a miraculous turnaround? Is there a better opportunity for growth than working through extreme difficultly together? In my opinion, the answer to both of those questions is a resounding, “NO.” You have the opportunity of a lifetime staring you in the face: transform your most difficult issue into your greatest success.
Don’t get me wrong; this stuff isn’t easy or fun. There’s a reason (well, many reasons) why so many couples out there suffer through the same issues their entire lives. Fixing problems is incredibly difficult, tremendously painful, and beyond frustrating. It requires extreme levels of introspection, grace, love, humility, patience, and sacrifice. Facing your issues head on may be the hardest thing you ever do in your life.
Inspired yet?? Well, here’s the payoff: a lifetime of openness and authenticity awaits. On the other side of those battles lie unparalleled intimacy, understanding, growth, love, and affection; the amazing depth of truly knowing someone and being known. The ability to say, “I never thought this was possible.” The inspiring story of overcoming invincible odds could be your own. Your tale could be the encouragement other struggling couples need to stay together. Will your struggles define your marriage or will your marriage defy your trials? The choice is yours.
To wrap it up: what area of your marriage could use a revival? What issues are ready for change? Don’t allow lifelong issues to plague your marriage. Do what you need to do to start an upward trend: talk to your spouse, talk with a trusted friend, talk with a marriage counselor. Transform your roach-coach problems into must-have victories. At the very least, check out your local food truck. The metamorphosis is truly inspiring.