Sunday, February 3, 2013

blood, sweat and tears (okay, mostly just tears)

I'm actually crying in this picture. Yep, it's true.

Thankfully, it's not a close-up. Why the tears? Well. This is a picture of our recent Josiah Venture marriage conference. 

Okay. Seriously. While it is true that I was crying, it's also true that last week's conference was hugely important for Brian and I.  We have been missionaries for three years, and while we are always "working" on our marriage, this was a unique opportunity to give it dedicated time. It was also uninterrupted time, which is hard to come by these days with three small kids.

It is in Brian's realm of responsibilities to plan these events; however, Dave and Connie, Mel and Amy, and Katka took on more of the brunt of this particular conference so that Brian and I could really experience it. This was truly a gift. There were 50 other couples who serve throughout Central and Eastern European at the conference with us, and we heard from several that this time was just as impactful for them. I just keep thinking about what a gift it was for all of us to have our own president, Dave Patty, teaching and sharing very personally from his own marriage as he spurred us on to fight for extraordinary marriages.

I am convinced that this marriage conference moved Brian and I through some significant issues in our marriage that could have easily floated below the surface for a long time--hence the tears in the photo above. I'm a crier, what can I say? While I did cry a lot, Brian and I were also able to fight, talk, discuss, talk, pray, and talk some more and even share with others. All the while breaking strong-holds, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal missing pieces, and clinging to the power of Christ as we were fighting for oneness in our marriage. The fruit of this time is sure to be huge for us, our kids, and by God's grace, huge for those we serve with and reach out to.