Last Friday was a graduation for Mark and I.  It was the last regular marriage counseling session from our very hard 18 months.

For 18 months one or both of us has had a counseling appointment nearly every Friday at 9 a.m.  Not only that, but the counselor we chose to see was in Peoria, IL which is a 1 hour drive from our home in Bloomington, IL.  That made it a three hour a week commitment for 18 months.

Was it worth it?  Absolutely.

Was it easy? Not at all.

Things got worse before they got better. Hearts were hard. Hearts were soft. Anger was sorted through. Pain from the past was dealt with. Hurts that had never been healed were opened back up so they could heal properly.  Forgiveness was requested. Forgiveness granted. Compassion increased. Self-centeredness decreased.

One year ago last weekend was when Mark left. The separation lasted three months. In May, he returned home and recommitted to our marriage and family.  We chose to reframe the weekend that he left with a two-day getaway for just the two of us.  It was relaxing, restorative, and just what we needed.

Our final counseling appointment on Friday was the icing on the cake.  Will we likely sit in Dr. Hamon’s office again?  Maybe.  He said to call as needed.  We know the value of seeking wisdom when issues keep raising their ugly head. If that happens again and we can’t seem to work through it on our own, we will give him a call to help us figure out where we’re stuck.

We’ve both learned a lot about ourselves and each other. We will share many of those lessons in the weeks/months to come.

Today we’re celebrating the end of one season and the beginning of another.

God is the Redeemer…or as a friend of mine says…the ReDreamer.

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