Earlier this month, we headed to Branson, Missouri for an intimate gathering at
The National Institute of Marriage. Five years ago, Jeff and I were in the middle of what was about to be a very bitter divorce when we decided to make one last effort to try to save our marriage by attending an intensive at NIM. We had heard about the success rate, and although we were not feeling very hopeful, we thought we'd give it one last try. In 6 years, we had been through 5 different marriage counselors. The last one (a Christian counselor) actually "fired" us when she told us there was nothing else she could do and told me it was "okay" to get divorced- I had tried everything. I filed soon after that and the ugly process began. We had already invested several thousands of dollars when Jeff heard about NIM and asked me if I would go. I said no several times, before finally agreeing to it.
We attended a 4-day group intensive (5 couples) and it was life-changing. We left Branson filled with hope and equipped with new communication tools that literally transformed our relationship. We called off the attorneys and worked hard to implement what we had learned. Our relationship was healing, and we were falling madly in love with each other again. We vowed not to keep it a "secret," so we told everyone about NIM and even started hosting classes with NIM videos at our church. We sponsored and mentored several couples to go and shared our testimony at several events.
A few years later, Jeff was offered a spot on the board, and about a year after that took the spot as chairman of the board when the current leader, Jack Herschend, retired from the duty. Jack (Herschend Family Entertainment- Silver Dollar City, Dollywood, etc.) is truly one of the loveliest people you will ever meet- and this dinner was to honor him.
After several people (including us) spoke we were given a private concert by one of my favorite duos, Elenowen. We thought that their music and lyrics would be so fitting to a marriage ministry; raw honesty about the challenges they face yet still filled with hope. Josh and Nicole were amazing and so nice, too! We heard some of our favorite songs from "Pulling Back the Veil," plus their new single
No Such Thing as Time and several new songs that have not been released yet. They even treated us with their version of "Falling Slowly" which is the song they performed for their blind audition on NBC's The Voice.
Here is the new video for No Such Thing as Time... I love all the images of their sweet life together. Makes you believe in love!
More highlights from our weekend: Branson Landing and The Christmas lights at Silver Dollar City...
Photo: Branson Tourism Center
There's a frog on our balcony!
Our view from the main house at NIM- a place where miracles are born.