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Mount Everest and Marriage: Braving New Heights Together

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
February 3, 2021 5:00 am

Mount Everest and Marriage: Braving New Heights Together

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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February 3, 2021 5:00 am

Capt. Harold and Mrs. Rachel Earls share their story of the challenges they experienced surrounding his quest to scale Mt. Everest, the most difficult of which were their marital problems. Our guests describe how dealing with those problems strengthened their relationship, and encourage couples to brave whatever heights they face in their own marriage.

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I believe you will most leaving tomorrow to go headfirst. I just want to leave you this in case maybe some not so good happens to me of their kind. I guess if you listen… Schism that I love you so much. So much it's difficult to imagine your your voicemail like that from your spouse you today on Focus on the Family. You're going to hear one couples amazing story of resilience and hope and helping each other follow their God-given dreams. Thanks for joining us today your hostess focus president and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller, John God's design for marriage works so well because together we can do so much more than we can separately. Of course that applies to having children. But what I'm really talking about is husbands and wives helping each other follow their God-given dreams second run the gamut. I mean for us.

Dean has always wanted to write a children's book and really excited to see what might unfold. When she finally gets the time to try to do exactly for Jean. It was higher education without gene, I don't think I would finish my MBA shoe such an encouragement to me, and likewise I was able to encourage her to finish her undergrad degree.

Shortly thereafter, actually today were talking to a couple who is an amazing example of helping each other accomplish some big dreams in their lives. I'm really looking forward to hearing their story will we have Capt. Harold and Mrs. Rachel Rose with us today and Harold is an active duty Army officer who most recently served as the commander of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier. Rachel is the host of a very popular blog called the girls family and have two little boys and 1/3 baby on the way and Harold and Rachel have written a really inspirational book.

It's called a higher calling, pursuing, love, faith, and Mount Everest for a greater purpose and we have that here.

Just click the link in the episode notes Harold and Rachel welcome Focus on the Family. Thanks so much for having his smiles and you just are the epitome of a young couple. I must admit I have grown up what we love.

That story absolutely now working to get to your every story, but Rachel at space facts right. Having a baby is so far that I may not.

That's wonderful and congratulating your third on the way you other two children. How old that's awesome, hard years, maybe in terms of busyness be great.

Here's a look back at Sears and realize that it's all fun and then Jean and I have 18 to 20-year-olds were think back to when our kids were that young think and will they get out of school graduate, but it's awesome to see so thanks for being with us and thank you so much for your service to the country I really mean that my brothers about out of the Navy I know your West Point grad black man. Thank you for what you've done for our country.

Sincerely appreciates what I think it's one of those thing service has always meant so much to me. Having it so important and where do you know that message you left me there's a tearjerker now and I'm so glad that you kept that and that we were able to play it. Let's start way back. Let's start start about how you guys met this was amazing six hour phone call was that after you saw each other out of the six hour phone call come about and call happen after a Facebook message first actually sell my cousin Harold's very best friend was that connection that original connection and gas just told Harold about me.

I still don't know why so my best friend Tommy was like hey I got this cousin she's a redhead, she's amazing. I'm just not in the right now now now I have a redheaded wife.

I have redheaded kid. I have a redheaded dog so not that I mean that all the redheads way to go that obviously work six hours later you guys okay well so you that connection right right it really like is that first phone call afterwards or like holy cow like I am a person I'll allow you to forget I I was playing my barracks room had a top bunk and it was probably for him is very late and I just never looking up at the ceiling, refinishing a phone call and we literally said mind you have met in person and I was like I found you like what I found.

I literally told a girl that I haven't even met in person, but it was so clear. It was like this is her I just found my person that it's beautiful. I feel Jean I can have that experience to we didn't go out for a long time with friends that were trying to get us together.

We finally both said yes we go to the Pacific theater and then she struggled, she wrote like seven notes for each one. She was trying to say hey I I'm really interested.

I was there were similar, just like we knew that we knew this was, and that such a good feeling. Let me say they're the serious side of all this fun banter is wonderful to hear how you connected the spark yes we say right after you started dating Rachel Harold your family had a really tough situation that through you for a loop. What happened yeah it was about a month after we started dating my parents actually got a divorce and parents. So I came from an amazing family so they were unbelievable parents. I had a sister who is so wonderful.

Yeah, you know, I thought we were the iconic Christian family, you know it's everything that I was so proud of my thought marriage was amazing. You know once I got a phone call out of the blue for my mom who was in tears and you hearing that you know still so young in our relationship, but hearing of their divorce.

I'll never forget. I broke down in the first person I called was Rachel and I just broke down into tears, but I tell you there was a silver lining to all that it was incredibly hard for me as hard for my sister but we built our relationship from the very beginning.

With that in mind, that you write the word marriage every single day and so by no means you have everything figured out the exit to celebrate our five year wedding anniversary but we know that it is about working on love every single day to choose love every single day matter what stage of measure. Well let me ask you know because somebody an older couple with kids in their 20s may be contemplating that right now there know they raise the kids largest fastest growing divorce sector if we can call it that is what they called the graying of divorce that when you become an empty nest. Are you looking to go with it. I don't know you. I don't like you and I'm done and that usually women that are filing for divorce because I think part of their purpose is over and they're not sure who they are now, but that phone call I want to come back to that speak to the parents of adult children that are contemplating that what that communicated to you if I can actually go even deeper and more raw and maybe the obstacle that created them in your world had to crash because of that.

Yeah I got some really good advice and I don't. Be careful not to speak outside the scope of what we know but we have some really good advice from some of marriage we really look up to their very strong Christian couple even today and they said that essentially you are choosing to love your partner every single day you what it really means when you have kids is to even put your marriage before your kids and I think that we saw. We were so blessed that you know our parents put everything they had into us, but in the day they were pouring into themselves and their marriage and so that's been a very important lesson for us as we have two kids and another on the way, is to make that time is to find time to even have little moments in the house after they go to sleep you can afford. Find a way to get a babysitter relative to come over and be intentional with our love and to always grow the loci not to say I love you because we have kids together, but I'm actually in love with you. I mean, that is to learn that to know that five years in your marriage. You are so far ahead 99% of marriages.

I may learn that maybe two years and married 33 years 34 years.

Are you doing, but I mean that's awesome that you were able to come to that conclusion make something so positive out of that rubble. Harold your Rachel got engaged obviously and then shortly after you drop some surprising about a dream you had.

I'm laughing because I just love the way this works you want to get married yes by the way I want to fill in the blank. I wish I asked the marriage partners on a show covering your checklist really well.

Exactly. Yes, I was at the time is good at West Point and I never forget us immigration and I wrote out my bucket list. Always been a huge dreamer.

By the way, that's why you're at West Point and so at the very top list was to climb the numbers and I started to realize you know I think the only time I really would have to do the right after graduating and getting married and so I actually called Rachel out of I think I want to climb honors and you said things that I would be like what you talking about, you have to have a deep understanding like he that all type of guy and he is and so this is just the next thing you know I'm smiling from ear to ear because you guys. You are way beyond your years with wisdom. This is justice.

Harold, if you know Harold you know what he wants to sound like a very mature married woman who understands her husband so well this is that in fact Rachel in your book. Harold says that while preparing forever giving you short end of the stick even after you got married. Many spouses would not react well to that and would've complained that you begin knowing him continue to support him. So women are screaming back at us right now. Why do that well.

I think that goal I chose to. Mary and I chose this life. Is there any long as you're saying and I chose to marry him and him is just not a blank slate so it was obscene and I support or I don't support him.

And if I don't support him. This is separate.

You know we talked about divorce and how is cable separation starts to happen you not united any longer and said I was really important for me.

What I learned a lot of mistakes early was and that I learned about love through her and how she just responded to me is that not only became my dream. It became her dream house while working to run this race were gonna run it together on the run it beside you and him to be your number one supporter number one team eight and that is taught me so much in marriage and how I want to reciprocate that back to her right. She has dreams deal with YouTube. It's like what can I do to be on your team.

If that's your dream it's can be my dream as well and that's that.

I just really admire about her very and Rachel did you have to push through climbing Mount Everest is a pretty risky endeavor. So it's not like you not mention my wife wants to write a book. Yeah, I can cheer her on. It's not like she's gonna risk her life writing a book suggests push through some fear absolutely so many different fears at a time.

We are trying to figure out if we wanted to start a family get pregnant what it look like you know I can have a miscarriage. Then I be going to that loan. Maybe I get pregnant maybe my husband died in a be a single parent. All of those things like this is not a normal thing for someone to think about, 23, 24 years old right after you get married. I'm so is very challenging and to not just be consumed by the spears all the time.

I had to rely on God. I had to just give it all up to him and trust that there is something so much bigger than I could see Rachel. I want to dig into the little because I was kind of kidding but not really a lot of women do go catastrophic on things you know we've come through. Hopefully the pandemic and all those things in June. I have friends that really struggled. Many of them don't know the Lord and we recognize that how much fear has gripped them in. It typically will be the mom's window that there's just so much fear.

Fear of job fear about kids surroundings. You know I'm hearing you say you know we trusted the Lord, that is right, but go a little deeper with that with your fears mean what it mean practically to trust the Lord. I mean, there's a superficial list of some people had to go a little deeper say God he's yours and I trust you yeah so I think what people might think when I say Tessie God is not a test to God that he would just protect Harold and let my prayer actually lies because I was very aware that he could die. I got lays a reality now and so I was testing.bigger than that Lord is my husband does not have to literally skip napping hearing you because I will not be able to do this on my cell much bigger just like me. Trust that everything is okay now it was just fully knowing I don't have it all. You know like I can't be the only line in this situation and to be me and God. Let's get to the makeup of your group that went to process typically the key component is with you and being in the military. I know you deeply appreciate that my sister-in-law actually attempted to climb Everest and only got up to the fourth camp because of altitude sickness and other things and you know that better than anybody with that but describe who is with you is kind of a historic group in one so we actually the first Army team first Army team to going climb ever so in a combat wounded amputee went with us was absolute rock star.

We had a female she was just an amazing climber with a doctor with us as well. The team of Sherpas helping us. What and what was it like getting up there and describe it for the listener and going from the stage of the base camps in place of the first time I saw her. She worked her way out. It takes about two weeks just to get to the mountain you're traveling through Tibet and I'll never forget when I saw Evers for the first time.

Our team got out of the psych band.

We rented in Raleigh giving high fives and were all excited, but honestly me is like. I was terrified it was very dark. It was black. It was incredibly intimidating and I think it became very real, very fast that a girl Georgia boy doesn't have a lot of climbing experience was about to do something. Nurse is start asking why one that's true, it's a daunting task and it's incredible Rachel.

When Harold some of the he accidentally gave you kind of a scare. What happened on this case.

Minutes of my life so I was actually in Guatemala at the time I had just flown over as trying to calculate the time difference when I thought he would send me get back in a course I had no service because a mountainous rural town and so I ended up using my friends down in this text message comes through you that says have Rachel earls call this number ASAP in my heart just sank like why would that message be coming for you now like something terrible happened in a call on this call that came there like nothing was quite working so I was trying to grab my wallet go to the Internet café and just like waiting and remind you to.

This was just a few days prior. I've actually gotten really sick so I called Rachel right before I was to make the final summit pushes about 30 hours straight of climbing very intense part hours straight from the top base came from advance.

Can't you sleep it WHEN you make the final push and I was sick of throwing up and I told her I don't think I can go to some Mariah tears my eyes is very intense conversation we had a the very next day off feeling better and I called Rachel to go to the summit and that terrified her because she knew I told her that I was feeling better. Quite honestly oppose about 80% by I told her that I was going to her knowing that and then getting that text message really just added it was really that I'm about to find out if my husband is alive, and thankfully the message came through.

It's your mom all 11 of my life that something that we call each other and I just seen or disseminated, and I'm back and so just in that moment of relief. I meant I collapsed into my friends arms and just like any tears everywhere.

I felt the breeze for the very first time. Touch on is something called summit fever actually so not. I deftly had a case of it is not what you think like that kind of sickness. It's actually signifies that you want to make it to the summit so bad that you're willing to sacrifice everything in order to do you blow by the same right.

I believe I recite every Sunday night. I was still probably the only 80%. I lost my goggles on the way, I'm interested terrible and since which is obviously should turnaround come back right but for me I was so fixated on reaching the summit I was willing to sacrifice everything including my lovely wife back home just to reach the top. I think there's so many truisms to life and that the sometimes you get so fixated on your own dreams that you want to do that you willing to sacrifice everything. What is your marriage with kids and I think this is so much applicability that I've taken with me so that I fever applied to just about everything that you know put the pieces together.

You're thankful when he got back down but getting down you had some harrowing experiences right a near death experience. Actually, that made national news.

What yes to my this is above camp three coming down in my Sherpa hit with ice and he started holding his eyes from his eyes kept going and I notice he was trying to put on his glove backwards.

It was as weird as pilot 20 m in front of me and so I worked my way to end and it turned out he was snow blind, which is when your eyelids freeze shut or the sun, the reflection of the sun can make you temporally blind to diversions and so he was so cold that he was having a difficult time seeing ice blowing his face and so I am there for their weirdest huddled together. There was a cliff face on her right and into the left were sitting on probably with no wider than the surfboard was about 7500 feet straight down and I was 23 years old, hugging my Sherpa with his face in my chest, trying to warm his eyes alone on Mount Everest talk about terrified and honestly you think this module is and that you would be no was terrified.

It was terrifying, standing alone, it became very real. Death became very really climb past dead bodies. It is very real to death.

You know, was near that experiences amazing.

I just can't fathom not being there. What that must've been like being on something the size of the surfboard and you have a 7500 foot cliff and 70 mile an hour winds blowing yeah for sure that's perilous Harold after you return home. I think you had a summit party or something like that.

I've never had a summer party at a summer party. Something happened it wasn't positive what happened and how did you guys process… A couple we actually struggled most yes context after Evers not during something Everest actually brought us together because of the mission we have to do it. We had a goal yet totally focus, but on the back in is actually really struggling so to tell you a story. We have the summit party we had all our sponsors in media there family friends. Anyone who is involved in so I get up on stage and I do start going out and I think everyone you know and I Rachel sit in front center. She's a so proud of me as she looks up at me and I think everyone but I didn't mention my wife, who had been my number one teammate right we talk about you. She ran that race with me when no one else believed in me. She believed in.

And yet, I didn't even think that she expect me to think or know what I think that was such a lesson for me. You know that I think that I took my wife for granted. Right now, and all that she had done for us. I remember right after that Sergeant Major Burnett got to speak in the first person he think this is wife and I decided cry. Of course Tina thanking her for the support he wasn't even on the client but I was more involved ingesting his life. He now I did the social media I got out all day. Staff said to his team.

It's important to say. I see you from think tanks that can be just the way that you look at each other so much more than just a thank you and a summit party saying like, hey, yes we have success in this, but I see you I see the impact you have on our marriage and on on my dreams as well. But Rachel, you're able to get through that and over that it seems I have or are you tempted, when something is a little sticky, a safe arrow like me forever if she's grown tremendously in time not yesterday how we have come so far in that area where we really set the president of the whole marriage of how we really work together as a team and how we lift each other at all the time like really recognizing on each other by I'm not so many time just let something fly guy says that night we stayed inside for in the morning, but I just let it all out. You know I told him how is hurt and we are able to talk through it in ground-level is love that about you. Like she will say something's not right, which is so important America think the more that you start silencing yourself and you just keep those feelings internally. That's when bigger issues really start to run it. Sometimes a party guy doing the right way. We need to tell Mike hey, this is how I'm feeling. I'm hurt in this way we always made a promise.

We don't want to go to bed so we may stay up till 4 AM but it's like if that's what it takes.

We need to have those conversations on those conversations are in fact you mentioned when you transition back you had more appreciation for the little things, expressing your love for each other just described that because I think again people that have been married 34 years can benefit from the lessons that you've learned all I think when you face something like a life right that obviously changes the you know you see everything in a new light. You played that voice recording at the beginning of this llama spotting tears again because I think about it now we have three children. I get that a lot has been locked with our boys. You know, play with them like there's a very real possibility.

I never would have gotten to experience that. I just see it through new eyes now and I want to live in those little moments and know that they are so precious in such a get something beautiful in the book and you said little moments can turn out to be the big moments and we found that to be so true life. Well, I think I might translate that into those things that are risky in life often. That's where you're going to find the most profound moments with God. So Rachel's trust in that dream you had. We want to honor that. That's an awesome story and Rachel and Harold, you have both illuminated the journey of marriage and dreams and the pursuit of them and how we can honor God through it all and you've captured so beautifully in your book a higher calling and I want to encourage our listeners to get a copy of this book, especially as a gift for that young couple in your life and if you can partner with us and give a gift of any amount. All send you a copy of a higher calling to say thank you for helping us encourage couples through broadcasts like this one, and Rachel, let me say as I think Harold for his service you're equally a part of that is a spouse staying back during deployments and I want to say thank you for doing that and being long-suffering in that way for our nation. I really appreciate and Jim, I'd like to mention our marriage assessment which is free.

It's online and you can take it over a million people have participated in that assessment gives you a good idea about what's going well and the relationship might need some more attention to get free marriage assessment. Donate. As you can and get a copy of the book by Harold Rachel. It's all online on the link in the episode notes or call 800 K Harold Rachel, thanks again for being with us back here on behalf of Jim Daly of the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back again help you and your drive when a woman discovers her husband struggled with pornography. She needs a practical plan. The latest book from Focus on the Family aftershock but professional counselor Joanne Conti will help you through the seven steps of self-care and to learn how to deal with the emotions involved in the discovery of your husband's addiction. Joanne Conti's timeless wisdom. If you hope, even while you're in your whole season of aftershock. Learn more about aftershock

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