11 is a very special number to us. In marriage, it represents the synergy that we intentionally create as a couple because 1+1 is not 2 but 11 (our whole is greater than the sum of it's parts).
11 has shown up a lot in our life as a couple...shortly after setting our wedding date for the 11th (because we love the symbolism of that number), we discovered that we are exactly 11 years and 11 months apart in age. It also worked out that Jeff's oldest son got home from his mission on May 11th (2017) the year before we got married on May 11th (2018) and that same son married his sweetheart on May 11th the following year (2019). My first niece was born on the 11th about a year later (2020). The year married my young boys were 7/11 and now that 7-year-old is 11. When picking up birthday food from the grocery store for his festivities (including these 11 candles), the change was $11.11. 💕 How awesome is that!?!
We see divine design in symbolism and such synchronicities as a sign from heaven that we are loved and being watched over.
HaPpY SaBbAtH DaY from our home to yours! It's so exciting to attend all of church again. This was our first week as a family (with the kids) attending 2 full hours in over a year (since Covid-19 hit Utah in March of 2020).
It is a self-evident truth that, in the realm of human relationships, agency will always create the opportunity for truly irreconcilable differences.
During our long-term marriages, we believed we would always be able to think of an acceptable alternative to divorce, no matter what problem arose. However, in both of our cases, the decision was our spouse's. At other times, the kind of marriage a spouse might have to settle for would violate their integrity. For example, we know a man whose wife told him she would stay married to him if she could keep her lesbian partner in a separate bedroom in their house. He would not remain married on those terms.
In situations where your spouse gave up on the marriage, placed serious addictions above the marriage, or proved chronically unfaithful or abusive, you can continue to hope and pray if you wish. This may be living in denial. Acceptance of reality and of your partner's agency is the beginning of healing.
If you are broken-hearted over the decisions of a former spouse and think, "It wasn't supposed to be this way" or that something is "wrong," give yourself time to grieve. But also begin to ask yourself whether, perhaps, your situation is exactly as it should be. Consider whether a chance to start over at mid-life with all the knowledge you have gained is a tender mercy. Begin to think and dream about creating a new future with a spouse that is aligned with you in the most important areas of life – and see your situation for its possibilities.
Enjoy an associated LILY Pod episode:
Lilies are our symbol for Love In Later Years. They have three true petals and three sepals, which are the same color, shape and size of the petals they are there to protect. We relate the three petals to Peace, Progress, and Pairing and the three sepals to Resilience, Intention, and Faith!
Resilience protects peace, and it is the first step in becoming whole as a mid-single. Healing from adversity, heartbreak, and disappointment rather than remaining stuck, is essential to obtaining and protecting inner peace.
Intention protects progress, by getting purposeful about efforts and actions. This moves mid-singles in the direction of their desires and deliberately cultivates what is in their highest good. Intention and progress also means investing in loving relationships so that in the latest years, we will have the assurance of eternal love and the blessing of warm memories. Consider the famous line from An Affair to Remember, “Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories. We’ve already missed the spring.”
Faith protects pairing, opening doors to the love of God -- which ultimately leads to love of self and love of others, our two greatest commandments and the source of our greatest joy! Having faith that our loving Father in Heaven knows our deepest desires can provide peaceful reassurance that a power greater than our own is at work in our lives. This is what our Savior said about lilies:
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin... if God so clothe the grass of the field...shall he not much more clothe you?... your Heavenly Father knoweth what ye have need of... seek ye first the kingdom of God... and all these things shall be added unto you."
St. Matthew 6:28-33
To us, the LILY represents the glorious blessings of a loving Father who knows what we need and has the power to provide it. May the LILY of resilience, intention, and faith bloom in every season of your life!
At our recent General Conference, President M. Russell Ballard and Elder Gerrit W. Gong both highlighted the fact that a majority of adult members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are now unmarried, widowed, or divorced. Among other things, Elder Gong emphasized that, “Our standing before the Lord and in His Church is not a matter of our marital status but of our becoming faithful and valiant disciples of Jesus Chris” and that, “Adults want to be seen as adults and to be responsible and contribute as adults.” So often, mid-singles of our faith have been treated by other adults as if they had returned to a state of adolescence. Many of you have been lectured about the law of chastity the way we were in our teen years, as though we had not matured in our ability to make moral decisions or to create evolved relationships.
Often people assume that singles must have missed out on the secret possessed by married members of the Church. It is comforting to believe that divorce cannot happen to us. We were among those who sometimes judged divorced or unmarried members for not getting married or “not making their marriages work” – before we, ourselves, were divorced. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12.)
We are living in an era where a universe of possibilities is open to mid-singles of the Church. President Ballard made clear “that eternal life is not simply a question of current marital status but of discipleship and being ‘valiant in the testimony of Jesus.’” He quoted President Russell M. Nelson, “In the Lord’s own way and time, no blessing will be withheld from His faithful Saints. The Lord will judge and reward each individual according to heartfelt desire as well as deed.” If an eternal marriage is your heart’s desire, the Lord has promised that it will be yours, in this life or the next, if you are true and faithful and remain on the covenant path. As President Ballard reminded us, “The hope of all who are single is the same as for all members of the Lord’s restored Church - access to the grace of Christ through ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.’” Love in Later Years is here to help you achieve the spirituality, personal development, and relationships you desire.