Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ordinary to Extraordinary

Writing about a marriage conference is difficult.

How can I capture for you, what God did in the lives of our JV couples in Krakow last week?

I often stood at the window of our hotel room, praying for our couples, for our marriages, for the work that God had for us to do during our time together. And wow!!!! Did he ever answer.

I can truly say that He far exceeded our expectations, hopes and dreams for this conference.

Every detail had His fingerprints on it...from Dave's teaching, to the honest sharing and discussion that went on in this room, to ALL that God did in the lives and marriages of these dear people. It was POWERFUL.

Dave's teaching sparked so much discussion, and a lot of Spirit led conversations and times of prayer between husbands and wives. They were brave. They were honest. They did their work, even when it was hard.

As my friend Amy, who wrote a great blog post about the conference said, "This was not an ordinary marriage conference." Oh no! We're never about just ordinary!

It's not our vision to just get together, listen to a little teaching, have some meals out, and go home.

No. We have a far greater vision for the marriages of our JV family.

It was our vision to enter into deep dialogue about our marriages, to honestly probe the Word of God for His design. It was our vision to be gut-level honest about our own marriage, that it might be a catalyst for others to move forward in their marriages as they learned from our mistakes and our victories.

It is our vision that we have marriages that are absolutely EXTRAORDINARY!

So nothing was held back.

We laughed. We cried. We sought the Lord.

And He answered.

All week I heard from couples about what God was doing in their marriages...from couples with marriages of 2 years, to marriages of 20+ years. He was doing extraordinary work to transform them!

We know marriage is a great gift. We also know it's not easy and takes work to go from ordinary marriage to extraordinary.

One of the things we did to help our couples move toward extraordinary was to bring counselors to meet with every couple at the conference. Four couples, and one professional counselor sacrificially came from Washington, Illinois, Indiana, Slovakia, and Czech to meet with each of our 52 JV couples - not just once, but twice.

They gave up sleep, food, and time to be with us, meeting early in the mornings before breakfast, in between meals and into the night...wherever there was space in between the teaching sessions, they made themselves available.

I wished I'd gotten a picture of all nine of the counselors, but at least I got five of them! We are SO grateful to all of you for what you gave to us!

As you look at the faces of these JV couples, PRAY that God will continue the work He began in bringing about transformation in our marriages.

And pray that we will never settle for ordinary, but strive for extraordinary marriages!

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