Hope ignited

The story of our Winshape experience, part 1 of 2.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” –John 10:10 ESV

The truth is, there is a large part of me that doesn’t want to share about our experience at Winshape. It feels too sacred, too personal, to even put words around it. The reason I am sharing is because I think someone needs to hear it. Do you believe that life abundant applies to your marriage?

For years, I told myself many good and healthy things regarding my marriage. That Josh is an earnest, loyal, dependable, steady, good man and a good husband and partner. He is a wonderful father. I am truly blessed to be his wife. All still true.

However, I also believed some partial truths. The biggest one being that I would never experience emotions with or from him (besides “glad” and “mad”). I told myself that I needed to accept that “he just wasn’t wired that way.”

For years, I didn’t allow myself to acknowledge the longing I felt when I saw other men cry when their brides walked toward them. Or, their tears of joy and emotion when they became fathers.

And then, while innocently taking a class to improve my clinical skills, I heard a man named Dr. Bruce Walker say that after decades of marriage (and experiencing the principles of intimacy therapy/Intimate Encounters) that he and his wife, Joyce actually lived a bible verse together for the first time, “…mourn with those who mourn.”

Once I heard that, my longing was reignited. Y’all, I need to warn you. It didn’t feel good to let myself feel that. It actually hurt deeply. Longing usually does. Even still, I couldn’t dim the hope that Josh was capable of feeling and experiencing emotions; he just didn’t know how yet. And suddenly, I no longer was willing to accept that I couldn’t have a more deeply intimate marriage with my husband.

The hope of a marriage, more abundant, was lit. We had a good marriage. Great in many ways, even. But, I wanted us to go to the marriage intensive. One that is generally for couples in crisis. Are you picking up on why this might have been a difficult conversation to broach?

So I told Josh about the marriage intensive. And he said, “YES, OF COURSE! ANYTHING FOR YOU, DEAR!”

No. That’s not what he said. He was hurt and confused, understandably. He didn’t believe it would accomplish what I was hoping it would accomplish. Plus, we couldn’t afford it. 4 days?! Thousands of dollars? He said no.

There were a myriad of reasons why it wasn’t practical or possible and only one reason to do it: I was no longer believing the lie that good was good enough when it came to our marriage.

So I prayed. And God, though not immediately, heard my cries. He provided a way. And, I didn’t let it go this time. Josh finally agreed.

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