Monday, May 18, 2009

500 weddings and a proposal.

I had great expectations for this weekend and both DK and I were genuinely excited about going to this marriage conference. However, there was a sense of worry and dread too, knowing this could be totally hokey and a repeat of all the stuff we hear daily at work about forgiveness, acceptance and showing grace, putting others first. While those things are very important, we were looking to take things to the next level and really dig deep... no surface talk pleassssssssse!!

The Weekend To Remember conference is Friday night, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning to lunchtime. But it wasn't until Sunday morning on the drive back to Sugarland I realized the best parts of what I'd been learning wasn't really anything the speakers said. It was how I saw in DK in this new environment.

At one point Saturday, we were instructed to huddle up into smaller groups of about 4 couples and choose a team leader based on largest shoe size. Haha! DK was nominated as group leader and like I said, I didn't realize it until Sunday morning but I think this is something I do often.

Allow me to explain: DK was to lead the group but within me I grew a little anxious, prepping myself to kinda "help him out". I think because of our balance - me being the more talkative, outgoing, more a people person (bossy and controlling too, hmm?) and him naturally more reserved, a thinker, more an observer, I tend to feel the need to either overcompensate and in this case "help him along". I cringe to think about it now, how ridiculous I must look but I seem to talk more, sometimes finishing his sentences, etc. And in this small group he took charge with enthusiasm and gusto, led the group and asked questions, stirred conversation and more. My favorite part was to watch the other people in our group listen to him speak and then refer back to great points he made, finding clarity in their own situation.

Sunday morning when this hit me, we talked about it and I apologized, realizing I really just want to get out of the way and never keep him from reaching the highest points of his greatest potential. In any aspect of our lives, EVER. I felt (feel) so humbled and enlightened.

Later that day the lady speaker gave us an awesome visual that you should actually do yourself right now. Hold out your hands in front of you, palms facing away from you, fingers spread. Imagine you're on the right, your man is on the left. Think of your fingers as strengths, the things that God has gifted you with. Then inbetween your fingers are the holes, our weaknesses. We both have strengths and weaknesses but what happens when you take your hands and fold your fingers together? The strengths of one fill in the weaknesses of the other and vice versa. It's perfect.

I also learned about how when arguing, I spend more time working on my defense strategy than moving towards his needs and understanding what he's trying to say. Imagine how fluidly communication would jive if I stopped expending energy being defensive and trying to explain my side but instead just gave up myself to love him and listen to him. Then as a team effort, holy smokes, both of us working this way, can you imagine? Good things!
Then as the conference was coming to a close, the speakers had everyone in the room stand up and face each other. I guess it's tradition to lead each of the married couples in renewing their wedding vows. I started to feel awkward and nervous, standing next to DK in a sea of married people being all serious and junk but then, watching and comprehending what it was truly about, it all became more real to me than ever before.

Some couples were anxious and twitching nervously, others were steady and focused, but as the words were said out loud "To have and to hold, from this day forward..." I felt like this this THIS right here is what it all comes down to: Two people, before God, giving up themselves to become complete and as one, making and declaring this ultimate committment for life. I imagined how at some point, each of these couples planned and held a wedding with food, dancing, dresses, flowers etc. But to witness them in this stripped down raw version of their nuptuals, I saw the core of what it's really about. I like to think I attended about 500 weddings this weekend and for the first time for me, I truly experienced the main point.

I recommend you sneak away to a weekend where conversation is stirred, topics are brought up and where you get to see other couples striving for the same goals as you. We had a blast!

Oh! and the proposal I mentioned in the title of this blog, hahaha. There was a couple who got engaged in the lobby on Friday night at the conference :)


Natalie said...

So glad you had such a great experience. I was thinking about you and DK all weekend. Thanks for sharing your insights!

LC said...

I thought that was you!! LOL My hubby and I were 2 rows behind you & Dk. We were probably one of those couples twitching during the vows. This was our 2nd year in a row at Weekend to Remember we loved it that much! I highly reccomend it.

holly becton said...

Liiiiz you can't put "proposal" in your title line makes this girl get pretty excited. :)

The Tucker 3 said...

Hello Liz:

I am a dedicated KSBJ listener and I really enjoy your afternoon show and your willingness to be open and sharing with your faith. I was reading this post about the marriage conference and I can relate so very much. My husband and I have been married for almost four years now and we have a beautiful two year old daughter. We went through a horribly rough patch in our relationship at the end of last year and we have been working on our relationship through marriage counseling at Houston First Baptist Church. It has really helped us so much and I so relate to not putting full faith in the man that I love. I am just like you, always trying to be the one to take care of things, overcompensate, and often not trusting in what my husband is capable of as a person. My counselor is the one who really opened my eyes to this and reading your post I am happy to see other women face this challenge. I am so happy that you and DK went to the conference and got so much out of it. Maybe Sam and I can make it next year. We are always willing to enrich our marriage. Thanks again for your encouragement and sharing so much of your life with us the listeners!

sissyg said...

Thanks so much for sharing. It is so encouraging to hear. My husband and I were leading the prayer team at the conference and I had a special burden for the singles there.
To have you share makes my day! These conferences not only help hurting marriages, but bring refreshing to good marriages and help engaged couples get a good foundation to start their marriages. So glad you came.

Emily B said...

Hi Liz,
You don't know me from a hole in the wall, but it's really fun to hear about your experience with the Weekend to Remember. My hubs and I were supposed to go when we were engaged, but I landed in the hospital with mono that weekend. So, we didn't make it to the conference until the next year, when we were 10 months married. It has been 7 years, and we're now in our 4th year on staff with FamilyLife. The conference impacted us so much that we wanted to be part of helping others grow, too. I'll be following your blog, and looking forward to the day when that proposal is not one for a couple in the lobby! LOL!