Just after Valentine’s day, 20 couples from four different states came together for the first-ever Waiting in Hope couples’ retreat, Waiting Well Together. What a great weekend we spent together in Tyler, Texas. It was amazing to witness how God moved.
Set in the piney woods at the Pine Cove Bluffs camp, we shared fireside s’mores, listened to a variety of speakers discuss grief, marriage, adoption & orphan care. We laughed at some poor souls caught in games onstage, got to rest, and some screamed and squealed with glee on the zipline, coming together at the table for meals, and a sweet date night post Valentine’s style.
Fellowship is an essential part of growth for believers. As we continue to wait, grieve, step forward in our group, we must pursue our spouse AND community TOGETHER.
Couples were able to make connections with other couples, some of whom were struggling in the same way, all of whom know what it’s like to be waiting. Each pair also had a chance to meet with either a licensed counselor or a mentor couple who had also walked through infertility and/or loss.
One couple commented that this was “a breakthrough hour” for them, as they sat shoulder to shoulder, talking with a third person about what they were feeling.
I think the most powerful part of the weekend happened on Sunday, after the final session, and we opened up the floor for people to share. Man after man raised his hand, took the microphone and shared: either about his wife’s surgery, or how they’d been without a church family or local community, or how much it meant to him to see other men at the retreat, a reminder that there really are other guys in this too, like me”. Sometimes we seemingly focus entirely on the woman—her quest to become a mother, what tests or procedures she endures, how she’s feeling—but in every journey to growing a family, there are TWO people. It was an unexpected but encouraging finale for our retreat about marriage.
There is nothing better than getting away together— away from work, distractions, home. Being somewhere else promotes conversation, intimacy, true rest. In this season in particular, we must continue to pursue one another. The weekend was not perfect, but we are confident that it had an impact on each couple in some way; not because of anything we did, but because God met them there. The entire Waiting in Hope team is beyond grateful and honored to have been a part of this weekend. It was truly beautiful to watch the couples take their focus off their journeys and instead give some much needed time reconnecting their marriages.
Hallie Wallace - Editor@waitinginhopeinfertility.com
Hallie Wallace is the Editor for Waiting in Hope Ministries and a local WiH support group in Tyler, Texas. After almost a decade post infertility, IVF and loss, she is humbled to be able to come alongside women who are walking where she has. Hallie is a lover of words and a self-proclaimed word nerd, but also an encourager. Most days you’ll find her dancing around with her two girls and cooking breakfast-for-dinner for her husband Jason.