When All Seemed Hopeless- An Unexpected Rescue!
Written by a couple who attended the Thriving in Life and Love conference in 2014.
I remember waking up Saturday morning thinking, “Why bother? Why am I even going to this?” I had already missed the previous night, and I had to drive over an hour away to get to the last day of the conference. As I lay there, I thought “my marriage is over anyway”… and I’m not the one who needs help. But even as I thought this, just as quickly I felt the need to go, if only for my husband to get the help he desperately needed. After all, he is our children’s father and he seems to be at a place of desperation. I don’t want my children to realize one day that I refused our one last hope… a conference to help. I didn’t want to say I gave up and walked away without trying this meeting. Well, it couldn’t have been better timing.
Just nine days earlier, my husband sat me down and confessed to an affair. I remember feeling a buzz in my head the moment he said “affair”. I believe God immediately covered me. I remember at that time, realizing it wasn’t about me. However, we had been in a similar situation five years prior. Thus, I felt we had to end our marriage now, so I would not get hurt again.
Two days after my husband confessed to a second affair, we separated. A few days later we were given the name of a couple who had been through a similar situation four years earlier. On the phone with her, I felt my first glimmer of hope in five days. We had never met anyone who had been through what we had. It was amazing talking with this girl about her story, which was similar to mine, and how they had recovered and actually thrived! I couldn’t believe it. She spoke hope into my life.
This same couple had met Bob and Audrey Meisner during their own crisis. Bob and Audrey had mentored them and were instrumental in saving their marriage. Now they had a friendship with Bob and Audrey and they informed us that, unbelievably, they were coming to Red Deer this weekend! I didn’t feel we needed to go, as I was pretty much done. My husband, on the other hand, took initiative and signed us up and asked if I would go. I couldn’t make Friday so he went on his own. He later texted me saying how amazing their testimony was and that he couldn’t wait until I got there the next day to hear them.
Long story short, I ended up attending the Saturday sessions. The meeting was amazing and spoke right into our lives many times. Especially regarding intimacy. We realized that while we were ‘living good lives’ (involved in church, got along great, had a good physical relationship and had great kids) we had lost true intimacy. As a result, we slowly started walking side by side, arm in arm, rather than face to face. We were ‘good’! (My own sister said if there was any marriage she would want to have, it would be one like ours). But we had lost real intimacy. My husband had many times asked for more emotionally from me and I didn’t understand what he meant. He came to realize what he needed, we now know as intimacy. I didn’t realize what we were missing, until we restored it in our marriage after this conference. I then realized how much I need it too.
Bob and Audrey have a similar story to ours. However, as a result of an affair, Audrey became pregnant. I sat there watching them and they were very down to earth and funny. They are so cute together, respectful to one another, looked like they completely adored each other and were in love in a deep way that I’d never seen. I envied them but at the same time thought, “hey, they went through what we did (and even more) and look at them now! This is the other side! There is another side and it is possible”! They explained how to start to make changes in our marriage right now.
But first, we had this big issue to deal with.. what had brought us to the conference. Our new couple friends, arranged a counselling session right after the meeting with Bob and Audrey. Couple to couple, since we were considered in crisis. I will make a long story short now by saying they spoke into both of us about satisfied hearts and making God our source, not each other. There was healing, revelation and tears. I remember thinking this session will be all about my husband getting help, probably deliverance from lust and adultery. I will be a support and sit and watch. But it wasn’t like that at all. Audrey spoke to him and made a connection that began a process of healing in his heart. Bob spoke to me and I understood that I had the power to make or break this man by forgiving and not shaming him. It wasn’t up to me to “fix” him or “trust” him just yet.
Bob and Audrey turned our eyes to God, who was our Source and this was crucial to our recovery. I remember my husband tearfully asking, “But how will I ever get her to trust me again?” And Bob replied, “That’s not up to you. That is what God will do. Now, what about your heart. Why are you so unsatisfied?” Relief washed over him. He had been trying these many years to perform and please me in order to make up for things and he was exhausted. He had resigned himself to think he will never be good enough for me so why bother. He had given up. He had messed up a few times in those five years because he tried on his own strength and abilities. He was failing. He had also carried a shame with him that made him think “this is who he is” not “this is what he did”.
Then later I asked, “How can I forgive or trust him again” and again Bob said, “Oh that’s not up to you. God does that for you as you make him your Source”. I felt a weight had been lifted off me. I have since learned to trust God with my husband.
There are many, many more things I could say about how God used Bob and Audrey to rescue our marriage and begin the healing process! But I will finish by saying, that if it wasn’t for this conference I am not sure we would be together. And even if we had stayed together, by some miracle, I know we wouldn’t have the keys for healing that they brought us that day. The following January we went to Mexico with them for a marriage getaway conference and vow renewal and it also was amazing!!
We have never been better and I am thankful for God and his grace and mercy for restoring our broken marriage to a thriving and passionate marriage where God is the center. We have even been able to help other couples and look forward to helping more.
If you would like to find out more about the miracle of healing for marriage, consider attending this year’s conference. Thriving in Life and Love.