Paul and I recently spoke about marriage to a high school theology class at St. Thomas Academy, a Catholic all-male military school in the Twin Cities. Our friend John is a teacher there, and he asked us to kick off a Vocations series for his seniors, who are starting to think pretty seriously about the future. Both Paul and I were initially pretty terrified at the prospect; high school students are notoriously uninterested, bored, and sometimes downright rude... and I can't speak for Paul, but I do not have anything resembling a thick skin. We were concerned that we wouldn't say the right things, that we would forget all of the important stuff we knew about marriage, that we would say something that could be misconstrued and offend someone (or everyone) in the class. Neither of us has spoken in front of a group for a long time, and while I feel I have plenty to say to young women on the subject, I've never thought of speaking to a group of 11 young men about marriage!
But in spite of our reservations, we felt pretty strongly called to suck it up and do it (Those may or may not have been the exact words I heard in prayer). John sent us a list of questions from his students, and we prepared a short introduction about our discernment process, marriage, and children. While we were sitting down to talk through the questions, I realized that whether we said anything helpful to the students or not, it was the first time in years we had taken time out to discuss our vocation in depth with each other. It was awesome.
The next day in John's class, we were happily surprised to be greeted by a class full of genuinely interested and respectful young men. These were seniors in high school, and they were asking questions about our families, our engagement story, our plans for the future. I was floored. That school--and the parents of these kids--are doing something right. It was a great morning from my perspective, and I hope the students can say the same.
But even if the experience had been as awful as we imagined it could be, I am so thankful for the opportunity to sit down with my husband and relive the last six years, seeing how God worked in our lives from day one to bring us to where we are now. To right here, with our three beautiful children, striving to move closer to God each day.
Thank you, Paul, for saying "yes" to John with me last week, and for saying "yes" to God with me every day before and since!