I am amazed by the healing that only God can give.
Last Friday I wrote a very sad post and found out that during my absence my DH had registered us to a marriage retreat.
The retreat had not been in my radar and I had been traveling a week already so I longed to be home, so I was less than happy to find out that we had filled the last spot on the retreat.
Then I told him of all my excuses he was adamant and was unwilling to cancel it.
He said WE need it. NOW.
My DH is a sweethart and almost never makes decisions without consensus and so this was an exception and I took it as something that was crucial for him so in the end I agreed to go.
Well it turned out that the one that needed it most was me.
We left Saturday morning early towards a beautiful late 1800´s Hacienda complete with its own church, traditional patios, etc. It was absolutely gorgeous.
We were 16 couples, most with their children, that were there to meditate on their vows and the status of their marriage. Most I knew from Church and the lead of the retreat was one of the priests that had married me.
A nun together with 2 other girls would take care of all the children (I think more than 20 plus!) so we had time as marriages.
There were many important moments in the retreat, but 4 were crucial and complelty changed my outlook.
The first was that we watched (again for most of the people) the movie Fire.proof and then we were given a set of questions to discuss with our husbands. The questions were amazing and have my DH and I a lot to reflect on.
There were 4 pages of questions and excercises, but we only were able to do one and a half since they were so very profund. We have promised ourselves to dedicate time each night to finishing it.
1)We were asked to list the time that we spend on: Family and Friends, work, hobbies, household tasks, our marriage etc in percentages (I failed miserably!)
2) To describe in a few words how we were feeling in the last days deep in our hearts. (Me: afraid, tired but hopeful, he anguished, but with a deep desire in his heart for his family and work)
3) To remember our wedding day and say what feelings remained and which had changed?
4) Which crazy things had we done since getting married that we were very proud of. (be both said our month long honeymoon in Italy with only guidebooks and a return ticket!)
5)Which were the good influences for our marriage and which were the bad?
6)Which couples inspire us?
My DH opened completly up about many important subjects and although we talk all the time we had not touched for months the crucial questions.
I asked him point blank why he was still afraid about adoption since he had told me so a few weeks before. I sensed it and he confirmed it, but did not elaborate on it.
I had been thinking all the time it had to do with worries about the adoption itself (genetics and all the crazy misconceptions peopel have) and what his family would say or think (a big part would be supportive, but we expect several members to be very much against it).
I had been worrying about this also, mostly about how this possible opposition would affect him.
What he answered took me by surprise: No, this is not the reason he was worried. He said: " I really do not care what they say. Actually my worry is my job. That I can fully support both of you."
I did not know what to say. Here I was worried about something that was not even on his radar and what I thought was his main worry: It was how we would manage with his lack of a good job and me having to work full time.
The second part that was crucial during the retreat is that the priest on Sunday Mass asked each couple to renew their vows.
It was completly unexpected and so very healing and beautiful. I had asked him he night before if he felt I had failed him for not giving him children. Its one of the most important things in life for him and I knew it from the get go At the beginning both of us had IF factors, but now it seems its only me.
He looked at me with such love that he did not have to say anything about this and he only said that he loved me 10 times more than when we got married and he would do it 100 times again. I still have tears in his eyes.
The 3rd gift from God was that we were joined by several couples struggling with IF and one of them has adopted 3 children and is extremely happy.
I had been feeling so left out, but I met with 3 other couples that were childless and had still not adopted, yet were very happy and were being faithful to the Church, one that was facing secondary IF and one that had adopted.
It was so healing to see this amazing adoptive family , carry in my arms their new baby ( they adopted him less than 3 months in the same agency that we are and have been our adoption coaches guiding us in the process) and see how much they were the same as the other families. Exactly the same.
Specially holding their baby to sleep, hearing his breath agains my chest and seeing how perfect in every way he was, gave me profound hope.
I could love an adoptive child exactly the same as one that had been born from me.
I knew it, but had never felt it so clearly and it was so very healing.
I could literally see myself holding my own adopted baby and falling completly in love.
I had been so afraid to feel this after my miscarriage, but all my barriers came tumbling down in sight of this beautiful sleeping baby
And the last part. We were 16 couples at the retreat. Of which 3 had already been my clients in CrMS.
During most breaks different couples started approaching my DH and I to ask about Napro. He was so proud and enthusiastic about it and was such a support, I absolutely could see this as our joint service to the Church and not only mine.
Every break a different couple approached us and we did not even say what we did, the current clients kept referring each new couple to us.
One that was and older, childless woman that had faced breast cancer and wanted to protect her nieces and give them the tools to know their bodies.
Another couple facing secondary IF. They wanted to heal from a very bad first pregnancy and birth 9 years ago and to find out the root cause of why the never conceived again. Her mother had died of breast cancer and she wanted to make sure she was Ok hormonally.
Another that was facing IF and was working with a RE from a public hospital, yet they did not even understand the basics of her body and wanted to learn what the Church allowed.
Another that had had a baby 2 months ago and she had been told by her doctors not to get pregnant again in at least 2 years since she had had 2 back to back cesareans. She had never used NFP and wanted to be loyal to the Church.
and the last one. She had many health issues after being treated by many different doctors for her 13 years of IF. Her health had been destroyed in the process and he was adamant against adoption. She was at her witts end..
All these couples faithful to the Church gave me so much hope. They were so thirsty for the Truth.
They all gave us such a gift.
They gave my DH and I such a clear vision that our mission is to speak to anybody that approaches us about the gifts of the Theology of the body, Napro, adoption and what we had learned so far. That IF is a major cross, but that it has many gifts also.
Such an amazing husbands that have far more insight about what their wives need than the wives themselves.
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