Thursday, March 10, 2011

Answering That Little Whisper...


So, for the past year or so there has been a little whispering heard in the back of my mind... it was always stirred up when I would talk to or hear of a friend, family member or acquaintance struggling with marriage... not getting married, but people already married and go through a rough time... some issues more serious than others, but struggles, none the less... and the ones that would talk to me, as I listened I would recall, "I remember going through something similar... I remember feeling that way... I remember thinking that..." Gosh, there were so many things that seemed SO serious at the time I was going through it... I was just "done"... I was tired and weary and felt lost, alone and helpless... SO MANY issues that my husband and I went through that I had NO clue of when we said our "I do's"...

I believe that part of why we are still together after almost 23 years of marriage is sheer stubbornness on both our parts... My own desire of not wanting to "fail" and my husband already having been married once before not wanting to "fail" again... But I also give credit to God and the graces we received in our Sacrament on our wedding day... But for the Grace of God go I... I look back now and see how unprepared we really were to get married... thought I don't know that any couple can be COMPLETELY prepared, I know that we could have been better prepared... if only I could share this information with other couples!

So! I finally took the prompting in my heart and made an appointment to meet with our associate pastor, a Retrovaille priest, to speak with him and ask his thoughts on a married couples mentoring group. I wanted to know what he thought about having hubby and I share our married experiences with other couples going through a rough time and maybe offering them some insight, hope and SUPPORT for their marriage... So many, today seem to be "counseled" in to trial separations or even immediate divorce so that they can "get out" and "get on" with their lives... but do they, really?... and what about children in the mix?... that makes these things even MORE complicated... Anyway, Father was THRILLED with the idea and sent me to speak with the Pastor of our parish... he too liked the idea and was ready and willing to offer support for such a program... My next step was to figure out the "how"...

Having directed an RCIA for 5 years, that was pretty much all I had to model any kind of program off of.... and I started to wonder, with a house hold and 5 homeschooling children in my care day to day, how much time was I willing to give to this venture?... Hubby was on board and supportive, but he works full time, as well... with some suggestions from friends I started to do some research, when I came across what seemed to be the perfect solution!

The Third Option is a program that has been put together for couples to mentor other couples! it is a multi-week program that can be started at intervals and replayed as needed. It specifically markets itself as being an option to couples wanting to SAVE their marriage but not live in misery... couples mentoring couples! My pastor agreed to order it for us and we can't wait to get it, look it through and get started! It seemed an answer to prayer! What struck me most, i think was when I read through how the idea came about for the creator of the program.... she, too was tired and heart broke over the stories of struggling couples looking for support and help in their marriage...

As a Catholic I believe that marriage is FOREVER.... I believe that our parishes across the country have been duped in to the "divorce and get over it and on with your life" lie, as a justifiable option... Not that there aren't instances where divorce/annulment is justifiable... I just think that it has run WAY out of control... When couples start to experience struggles they should be able to find help and support FOR THEIR MARRIAGE from the Church! While individual personalities are inevitable and we should stay true to ourselves, on our wedding days, the two become ONE.... It's tough learning to be a couple... you aren't always going to agree... But God gives us one another as a vocation and opportunity to ultimately draw ourselves and one another closer to Him. And when we learn this in our own marriages, I believe it's our duty to let other married couples know...

Next time you attend a wedding... a Catholic wedding, in particular, think about this... you were invited to witness this momentous event... to show your support... that support shouldn't end after the reception. Thank you, Jesus, for that little whisper you sent to me... I pray that this venture will produce "good fruit"...

2 comments:

Karin said...

I'm not Catholic but I do agree that marriage is something people should not take lightly. And relationships are very difficult, they involve sacrifices and compromises which I don't think many people are willing to do anymore. Getting married couples together for group therapy and support is a great idea. Best of luck!

Lady M said...

Congratulations on 22 and may you be blessed with many more! I also stopped by (as a fellow homeschooler) to let you know I'm giving away used school books. If you or someone you know can use them, please go here http://www.lifewithgq.com/2012/12/school-book-giveaway/. Thank you!