This time last week, we had just gotten home from a retreat near Houston where JTH and I presented the debut weekend of Missional Marriage. I've been working on this for months, thinking of ways to apply the principles of Faithwalking to marriage. It's nice to have the first one behind me.
It seems that couples get tripped up in one of two ways: some are so busy living missionally (or even just living lives of ministry and service) that they neglect their marriages; honestly, sometimes one or both partners may be using missional living as a way of avoiding going home and doing the hard work of being a couple. The other pitfall is the one C and I most often fall into: life together is so good and so appealing that we lose momentum for mission; why can't we just hang out together all the time, you know?
So Missional Marriage is an attempt to help couples navigate that precise point where mission and relationship intersect. We discovered on the retreat that it's hard to even define the variables, even for people who are living them. We also discovered that the point of intersection is unique for each of us. Taking these things into account while trying to hit the needs of each couple was a challenge.
I have to say, I love this work. I was anxious on every level, feeling insecure and inadequate after overcoming the paralysis that sets in when I get scared. On the other hand, I got to learn once again the powerful lesson that the antidote for insecurity is passion. When I focus on the task at hand or, even worse, the reactions of other people, I'm sunk. When I connect to the passion I have for couples and for ministry and for God's redemptive mission in the world, I come alive on a level that is hard to describe.
The best part of the weekend was having C with me, partly because he helps me make that connection when I can't get there by myself. He encourages me, literally, by putting courage into me and also by letting me talk things out so that I can know what I think. We did a lot of our own work, especially on Saturday, refining and restating our own vision for our lives. Thankfully, we didn't have much relationship work to do--what a blessing!
So anyway, that's something I'm working on these days, trying to nurture a dream into reality. Life is good.