I’m an achiever. I wake up every day thinking about the things I need to accomplish for the day to be productive.

A few years ago, crisis interrupted. Because of the pain, I changed my routine. Instead of rushing off to exercise or work after breakfast, Charlene and I would sit together on the couch and drink coffee for as long as it took. I had no choice. Suffering pushed us together.

It was hard for me not to rush off. I love my wife, and I enjoy spending time with her. But I felt the weight of what I had to accomplish, and it usually pushed me to get going. But this time I had no choice. I sat. We sometimes cried. We prayed. And we changed.

The crisis passed. But still, almost every morning, my routine is the same. Wake up. Do devotions. Eat breakfast. And then sit on the couch with my wife for half an hour or so. Drink coffee. Pray. And cherish the time together.

We’ve been married for over 27 years now, and we’ve followed this routine for the last 4. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to establish this pattern earlier in our marriage. I wish we had, but I can’t change the past. I can, however, carry this routine into my future.

Sometimes it takes a crisis to teach us what we should have been doing all along. Pain gave me the gift of unhurried time with my wife, and it taught me to pray with her. By God’s grace, I’m not going back.