Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Grace Wedding ~ Our Community

After we embarked upon the wonders of remarital counseling, the very next thing we did was call our posse. Note that I did not say we formed our posse. We called a posse that God formed for us the previous year as we navigated the rough road of the first months of addiction recovery. These are the folk who came alongside us and pointed us back to Christ.

This is Bobby and Tiffany.

Bobby and Jeff share a passion for reformed theology, Derek's depravity songs, and Stumptown Coffee. Just a few short weeks after The Big Reveal, Jeff sat across from Bobby and said something like, "Well, I've had this struggle... and I just told Becky about it... and she's really mad at me right now..."

Bobby said something like, "There is grace for you."

Amen and hallelujah!

At our Grace Wedding, Bobby and Tiffany led us all in a very special time of worship.

Thank you, Bobby and Tiffany!

This is Geary and Jeana.

Jeana and I decided in March 2011 to be honest friends. Just one month later, Jeff and I had The Big Reveal. Four days after that, Jeana came over. As soon as she showed up to my house, I said something like, "Well, Jeff has had this struggle... and he just told me about it... and I'm really mad at him right now..."

Jeana said something like, "There is grace for you."

Amen and hallelujah!

For our Grace Wedding, Jeana did... uh... a lot. I will be talking about Jeana's contribution in many posts to come. Geary enabled her to help me by keeping the home fires burning.

Thank you, Geary and Jeana!

This is Reid and Carrie.

When Jeff was in the hospital last summer, Reid came and preached us a nice little sermon about his not finding out we were there until we'd been there for a few days. He said something like, "You live in a community, people! Come on!" He was very nice about it, but we were feeling pretty feeble right about then, so we just slouched down, me in my chair and Jeff in his hospital bed, and said, "Yes, sir... We're sorry, sir... Thank you, sir..."

After that, we decided Reid would be a safe person to talk to about our issues, so we went to him for marriage counseling. He taught us about passive vs. aggressive vs. assertive communication, and he reminded me that Jeff is my champion by position, not by doing enough nice things to earn enough points to land himself in the champion category.

Carrie also came to the hospital while Jeff was sick, and she sat with me in the lobby, helped me make a back-and-forth-to-the-hospital-every-day menu, went grocery shopping for me, brought all the food to my house, and put it all away. I know, right?!? She rocks. She also led my Bible study small group last fall, and when I quit going to Bible study, she let me email her my completed Bible study homework, which enabled me to give honest answers about the homework, my struggles, and my marriage in a one-on-one, albeit virtual, setting.

For our Grace Wedding, Reid did our remarital counseling and officiated the ceremony. Carrie helped with decor, lent me very many things, and took all the pictures (except the ones she's in, of course).

Thank you, Reid and Carrie!

This is Peter and Mary.

Peter is the one who called Jeff in February 2011 and invited him to join the support group. God used that one phone call to change our trajectory completely, and we are beyond grateful.

Last fall, Mary began the support group designed for spouses of those attending the other support group, and she is also my how-to-not-be-codependent instructor. She often hits me between the eyes with the truth, and that's happy, because Mary and I share a passionate hatred for lies. Down with lies!!!

For our Grace Wedding, Mary cut and colored my hair, lent me many things, and helped assemble centerpieces.

Peter had Jeff's back. And what I mean to say, if I can adequately explain this, is that one of the steps to recovery is the wife learning to trust that the husband's support group will keep him accountable and she does not bear sole responsibility for that. At our reception, Jeff began to tell a story and fumbled over his words a little. I wanted to translate for him, but I held my tongue. Then from across the table, Peter said, "Say that again? I didn't quite catch that." Jeff repeated himself and went on with his story. I'm sure that exchange was significant to nobody else, but God used it to show me that somebody in Jeff's life is comfortable saying things to him like, "Dude, you're mumbling. Speak up," and the same somebody will also say, "Dude, you're relapsing. Man up." God is faithful, and I love the way He showed me that.

Peter also happily engaged Jonathan in a rousing conversation about Settlers of Catan strategy.

Thank you, Peter and Mary!

With our family of four and these four couples, our wedding party totaled twelve. I'm sure I've left out a lot of the details of help and support, both tangible and intangible, lavished on us by these dear friends of ours. Mainly, I just wanted to say thank you. And I wanted you to meet them, like for show-and-tell. Each of them have their own stories of God's grace in their lives, and together, as a community, we are yet another unique reflection of Christ.