Saturday, January 3, 2009

Marriage and So Much More

Last night, 0ur Marriage and More group had its first "official" meeting. DH and I were hosting (and therefore running) the meeting. We began with prayer. DH led us in a brief prayer of thankgiving, and then we all joined in to pray the Lord's Prayer together. It was an incredibly powerful moment for me. Twelve adults, some good friends, others practically strangers, all sitting in my family room, praying aloud.

I got goosebumps last night, and I'm getting them again today as I recall the moment and try to capture it in words. I believe strongly in the power of prayer, and I am always affected by praying aloud with others. But this was new. Usually, if I am praying aloud outside mass, it is with a group of women, or with DH alone. But praying aloud in mixed company, six couples, all committed to our marriages and to our faith, there was a power and a Presence that I have not experienced elsewhere, and which I feel completely inadequate to try to express in mere words on a screen. It truly can only be expressed in feelings.

The rest of the meeting was amazing. It would have to be, I guess, after such a Spirit-filled start. I was amazed at the sharing that happened. Every couple shared the story of how they met. At the end, we spent a few minutes remarking on the many ways in which God's Hand was so clearly present in our meetings. We had long-distance couples, couples who kept running into each other, couples whose meetings were of such chance that only God could have orchestrated it. Then, DH and I passed out papers with a few questions for each person to consider. After a few minutes to compose our individual answers, we broke off into couples and shared our answers with our spouses. Finally, we came back together again and shared some of our responses with the group.

The group sharing took me by surprise. We have several husbands in the group who, while willing to be a part of a marriage group, weren't exactly thrilled with the idea of "group sharing." And yet, they shared. Some shared on such a personal level, I was really touched by their trust. And so many of our thoughts and experiences were inter-related, or bounced off of one to another. The conversation was moving, flowing, bouncing around the room. To be so affirming of marriage, to admit that it's not always easy, but it is for life, and it is more than worth the effort... well, that's not something we usually get from our culture. After the last couple left, DH and I were up talking for nearly an hour, and he kept commenting on how clearly he felt the Holy Spirit's Presence in the room with us all night.

I loved recalling how DH and I met, remembering how kind and funny he was, the little things that made me take notice of him and think, "This guy is pretty special. I'd like to get to know him better." I got a lot out of our couple-sharing time. We had come up with the questions (relating to our expectations of marriage before we were married and how they've changed), but I hadn't really had time to consider my answers in advance. I appreciated DH's honesty. One of the major benefits of our deepening faith life is that we've reached a level of honesty in our marriage that I never envisioned being possible with another human being.

Last night, I told him how much it means to me that I can share even those dark and dusty, dismal places in me that I wish weren't there. It is this incredibly powerful circle. Our deepening faith brings us closer in our marriage, so that we pray together and share our inner lives with one another, which brings us deeper into union with God and strengthens our faith, which brings us closer in our marriage, and so on. It flows so smoothly and makes so much sense, only God could have designed it.

No comments:

Post a Comment