If Your Day Is Hemmed
NOTE: A presentation on Marriage Spirituality is given by Lori and Chris on the Marriage Mansion DVD. Lori and Chris welcome you to the bright and uplifting Sun Room of the mansion. Just as the sun brings life and growth to plants, so couple spirituality brings life and growth to our marriage. Lori and Chris tell about their childhood religious upbringing, how God helped them through some difficult times, and how they learned to pray together.
For more information about the Marriage Mansion DVD series and how to place an order, click here.
The presentation on Marriage Spirituality by Wilma and Larry given here is taken from the book, T.I.M.E. By Mail (The Inmates Marriage Encounter By Mail), a publication of Marriage Mansion. Larry and Wilma saw each other for the first time in 6 years several months after Larry was released from prison. He was permitted to participate in a Marriage Encounter program at the correctional facility where Wilma was still incarcerated. Following that program, wanting to help other couples, Larry and Wilma prepared this presentation to give at the next Marriage Encounter program at the same institution as part of the team.
For more information about T.I.M.E. By Mail book and how to place an order, click here.
We both believe that Marriage Spirituality means of God, given by God, and sanctioned by God. Our spirituality grows as we try to live by the will of God. Our marriage ties get stronger as we keep God as our foundation. As in any structure, we are only as strong as our foundation, and the foundation is the basic part. The foundation has to remain strong or else all will crumble.
Open communication between spouses is a necessity to build and maintain mutual trust and confidence. Wilma and I have pretty much been on the same wave-length since we first met. Many times, the things that one was thinking the other would just come out and say.
We were both arrested at the same time. Being in different prisons, we spent five years and eleven months apart, when we didn’t see each other. We saw each other for the first time in January when I came to this prison to meet Wilma for the weekend Marriage Encounter program. We had only our letters to rely upon as our communication with each other during this time, with only an occasional phone call.
I have to give credit to Larry for being the strong one who has really tried to hold our marriage together all these years of us being apart. For months at a time I would quit writing except for maybe one letter every two or three weeks, but his letters kept faithfully coming to me telling me how much he loved me and planning for our life after we got home. I was here in my own little world and could not comprehend life that far in the future. I was only trying to live one day at a time. I even told him on many occasions that I didn’t even know if I wanted to still be married when I got out.
During Wilma’s stay in prison she had surgery. It was a serious surgery and I was very worried about her. I was so far from her at a time when I needed to be with her. I found out the name of her surgeon and wrote him a letter not even know his address. I just sent it to the hospital and prayed that the doctor would get it.
The morning of my surgery, my doctor came in and asked me if I knew someone named Larry. I smiled and told him that he was my husband. He asked me if I knew that my husband loved me very much. I said yes I did. At that point he pulled out a letter from his coat pocket and gave it to me.
This is what it said:
Thank you, Sir,
Several years ago I went out on writ and stayed in several different jails. It was impossible for Larry to write to me, but I could always feel the warmth of his love with me. Finally, I arrived in the jail of our hometown where I was going back to court. I wanted to talk to him very badly, just to assure him that I was OK. But I had to know where to reach him when I called. It seemed an impossible feat.
I knew nothing was impossible with God. In the silence of my room I began to pray about it, and it was almost instantly that as I looked around, I saw a card on the wall that Larry had sent me right after I had arrived in prison. I had always kept it in my Bible or hanging on my bulletin board, never really thinking of it as a possible link as how to reach Larry. The card was like a business card, advertising his Bible class at the prison he was in, with the times and days of the study and the phone number of the chaplain’s office. I knew Larry attended all the studies so at once I had a “brainstorm”. A seed was planted of how I could talk to him. I also knew that for my “brainstorm” to work, everything had to be handled on an exact schedule.
Our phone calls were limited at the jail and I had to get special permission from the chaplain to get a special time on a special day, and hope that no emergency would come up that would prevent the matron from taking me to the phone at the right time. Finally, Thursday night was here. Everything seemed quiet and was on schedule. I was nervous. I called the matron just to remind her that I had permission for my “special” phone call. In my room I quickly told God that if I had ever needed Him before, I sure needed Him now.
Well, here I was, the phone before me. It was 7:30 p.m., time to call. I said another “quickie prayer” asking God to relay my message to Larry to be available. By this time the control operator at the prison was on the line. My stomach was in my throat and my heart was racing at 90 miles per hour. I told him I wanted to contact the chaplain’s office. All at once a voice on the other end said, “Chapel”. I told the man I was Larry Robert’s wife and he was there at the Bible study and I would like to talk to him. He asked me if Mr. Robert was staff or inmate. With my heart in my throat, I said inmate. He said, “Just a moment and I’ll see if I can find him.”
The next minute seemed like 30. Then I heard a man’s voice say hello, and I knew my prayer was answered. It was Larry on the other end. He couldn’t believe his ears either and how I had been able to find him available near a phone. I told him I didn’t do it alone. God helped this go through.
We both realized the miracle that was happening at that very moment and thanked God for our call. Only God could have been on the line that night making the call possible.
After almost six years of not seeing each other, we came together at a Marriage Encounter program here in this prison. After this step in the program Larry wrote me this letter that I will share with you:
Go in peace, and write with love.
After you finish your PR and CD, you will be going to the Breezeway. Jane and Jack will meet you there.
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