A couple of weekends ago, DH and I gathered with 100 other adoptive, foster, and pre-adoptive couples for our 4th annual Together Called marriage retreat. It is always a time we anticipate greatly. To say that this year was our favorite is an understatement. We were so blessed to be a small part of the event. We met so many new friends and were incredibly honored to hear their stories. We hugged old friends who we hadn’t seen in a long time. We learned together. We worshiped together. We prayed together. We shared meals together. We openly discussed our struggles in a safe environment. We were unmasked and vulnerable together. We drank coffee by the fire. We spent time in fellowship and laughed until we cried. Sometimes we just cried. We enjoyed the beautiful views. We even watch snow fall. In April.
We were urged by our speakers to have open discussions with our spouse throughout the weekend – to share favorite memories, reminisce about where we’ve come from, reflect on where we are, and dream about where we might go. We were inspired to complete our “We were … We are … He is …” statements.
Most of all though, we were reminded that through this crazy journey of life, we are enough because HE is enough. That can sometimes be difficult to remember in the midst of folding laundry and cooking meals and making beds. Helping children through trauma and tantrums and bad choices, as adoptive and foster parents often do, can make anyone weary. And feeling the shame of not measuring up to whatever standard we use, can be utterly crippling. But this weekend brought encouragement and hope to press on. To keep running the race set before us, looking to Jesus. We truly are enough, because He is enough.
Many couples have commented about the refreshment, restoration, and connection that this weekend has offered them. I’m so thankful for that. Because that’s what this work is all about. DH and I were humbled to serve with a remarkable team who tirelessly worked to make this time together simply unforgettable and hope-filled. Seeing the Father work through so many families was truly inspiring. We are already counting down the days until next year’s retreat! Mark your calendars for March 31-April 2, 2017! We’re back at Bear Creek in Macungie, PA, and would be absolutely delighted to see you there!
Nicole is a daughter to the King and a wife to an amazing man. She is a classical homeschooling mama to four, by birth and adoption. She is a part-time newborn photographer, a founder and adoption photographer at Red Thread Sessions, a contributing blogger at No Hands But Ours and an advocate of orphan care and adoption. When she’s not with her family or behind her camera, she loves to blog, create, give life to old furniture, spend time at the beach and read. She strives to live her life to glorify our Heavenly Father. With His love, all things are possible.