My husband and I had experienced so much damage in our short marriage. After just a year and half we were at the end of our last and painful attempt at reconciling.
Throughout our relationship, I felt a compulsion to go back to the church that I attended in my teens, as I felt safe there and it was special to me. I suggested to Leslie that we visit there and, although he was not sold on the idea, he knew as much as I did that we had to do something different to figure things out, for the sake of our child. If this did not help, we were headed for divorce.
We went to the church (Anthem), both of us were anxious and apprehensive at not knowing what it would be like., but we were greeted warmly and with genuine interest, so we decided to come back again regularly. Two weeks later, they announced the start of an Alpha.
I got a pang in my heart as if God was knocking, saying "do this", I muttered to Les "we should look into this", and he just nodded (to hush me), but when the church sent an email reminder., I sent it to Les with the caption “I think we should do this?” He responded “we can” generally meaning "I'll do this to please you but not because I want to".
I signed us up for the introduction dinner with the hope that it would catch a string in our hearts. We went and, still unsure of what we where signing up for, we registered 8 weeks of who knew what to expect?
Our first night we ate together with our new group awkwardly wondering who each person was I remember our Pastor saying that these people would more than likely become friends we would do life with. I could not even begin to fathom how he believed that - they were all so different to us. I laugh now because I love each of those people so much and cannot imagine life without them.
Throughout our Alpha weeks we became closer, and things I once never completely understood became clear. Every week I felt less hesitation to speak up, and I even prayed out loud for the first time. To my shock, Les (who really was not keen to participate) began sharing and asking questions. We would get in the car at the end of each evening and continue the evening's discussion,
As our faith grew, laughter and friendship returned to our relationship, and over time, we found ourselves loving each other again.
Holy Spirit weekend we did not go away which really made it easier for us as with an 18 month old going away was never an option but something happened that night. We had our leaders pray over us and a friend who had been writing things down as he had observed through the course called Les and I aside and began prophesying over each of us and our marriage the words that to this day I hold on to and believe are “your marriage is no mistake, God will use you and your marriage to do great things” what a word! Such encouragement, we both left that night with supernatural hope for our lives.
God had begun a work in our hearts. He had restored and brought community together from nothing into something.
Alpha helped to ignite and fan the flame of passion for Jesus, the Bible, prayer and ultimately what it looks like to trust in something I cannot see. I cannot say I always get it completely right but I guess that the point. His grace is sufficient and that’s good news.