Winter 2008 Rapport: Healing Broken Marriages
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|Tricia Cunningham (M.A. 2001) is a lead intensive therapist and director of support resources at the National Institute of Marriage—a highly specialized, God-centered marriage program for couples in crisis. Couples come from around the country to a scenic location near Branson, Mo., for two to four days of intensive therapy.
I have one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. I get to help broken marriages come to a place of healing and health. I watch in amazement week after week as God shows up in powerful ways right there in the therapy room.
God’s miraculous healing was evident in the life of a man who showed up one Monday, saying, “I can’t stand my wife. When she sits across from me at the dinner table and just breathes, it annoys me.” When I asked why he had come, he said, “Well, we were ready to meet with our lawyers to sign divorce papers, and there was a knock at our door. Our small group from church was standing on our doorstep with an envelope. They had pooled their money to send us to the National Institute of Marriage if we’d be willing to go. How could we turn down a gesture like that?”
After a few days of counseling, their hearts began to soften, and by Thursday morning they looked like honeymooners. Upon leaving, he said, “No one will believe it when we get home… I didn’t think it was possible to feel this way again.” They renewed their vows a few weeks later and currently are involved in leading a marriage ministry in their local church.
Though couples often arrive feeling hopeless about ever achieving a satisfying marriage, 95.8% of the participants leave saying that they believe the experience will make a difference for their marriage, and 99% report that it will make a difference for them personally.
Although not every couple who enters the program finds success, the stories of restored hearts and homes are countless. Most of the time it feels like I get a front-row seat as God shows up and does his miraculous work. I am so grateful for my training at AGTS which enabled me to do one of the things I was made to do.
Monday, December 10, 2007 2:41 PM