Within the first couple months of getting married we were already annoyed with each other, disagreeing on just about everything, and stressed thinking about the idea of living with each other for the next 30+ years. Parker became Catholic during our engagement and we were always good about going to church together on the weekends, but we never implemented our faith into our marriage. After dealing with these struggles privately for the first year, we decided to attend a healing mass together at our previous parish, Our Lady of Consolation, in Rockford. I truly believe this is when we both realized how powerful and amazing our God is and that without him, our marriage would NOT make it.
After the healing service, we both started to dive deeper into our faith and started to talk more openly about our relationship with God. We started praying together and regularly reading God’s Word to help encourage us to make a conscious effort to improve our marriage and our relationship with Christ. We learned that how we treat and love our spouse is a direct reflection of how we treat and love our God!
Once we moved back to Fowler we decided we wanted to not only improve our marriage but we wanted to reach out to other people our age who might be having the same struggles. We knew we needed a positive support system of other Catholic couples to not only talk about our issues, but encourage each other to be the best husbands and wives we can be. Now, almost two years later, these couples are some of our best friends. We have monthly get-togethers where we share our frustrations, ask for advice/support, and learn how to implement Christ into our marriages. We also try to regularly attend “Date Nights” in our parish and in surrounding parishes. We love having an excuse for a night out together and with friends to not only grow in faith, but to help strengthen our marriage at the same time. These nights are an easy, fun way to learn how to incorporate Christ in your everyday marriage/family life, while hearing from other couples who have gone through similar experiences.
No, our marriage is not perfect now (nor will it ever be), but with the help of our faith we are both doing our best. I try to help Parker become a better spouse, father, Catholic, and overall person and I know he does the same for me. It is our job to help each other get to heaven and I am so blessed to say I have a husband who is doing his best to get me there. I came across this quote from “Godly Marriage” on instagram and it really spoke to me, “The true beauty of marriage is found in its grand purpose. And that purpose is to drive us closer to Christ.”
The “We Still Do” Marriage Night is coming up on January 13, 2018 here at MHT. This is a regional event that brings together people from the parishes in Fowler, Pewamo, and Westphalia. Peter and Debbie Herbeck will be the guest speakers that will not only give their marriage testimony, but will talk about the specific roles we as Catholic husbands and wives should strive to live by. Drinks and a catered meal by Taste of Heaven are included. This is a great opportunity for anyone married, dating, or discerning marriage to attend and learn more about our jobs as Catholic husbands and wives. Come enjoy a laidback, fun night while growing in our faith with friends from our parish and surrounding parishes! Please visit MHTs website to register. If you have any questions you can contact myself, Andrea Schneider, or Haley Thelen.
If there is anyone who is struggling in their marriage know that you are not alone and that there is lots of resources and help out there. If you would like to speak with someone at the parish, please contact Andrea Schneider, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thanks and God Bless,
Carly (Fink) Surbrook