Marriage Gifts: Wonder and Awe

In my first Marriage Gifts post, I shared that our church wedding did not include communion because my husband was not Catholic.

For almost 15 years I prayed that my husband would accept and enter the Catholic church. He’d attended Mass with me off and on for most of our marriage, yet there was a hardness in his heart whenever I invited him to consider RCIA.

And then our parish hosted a Lenten Ladies Retreat where our presenter, Lisa Hendey, spoke about her own husband’s conversion journey, telling us how her prayers for him changed over time. In my journal I wrote, “Stop praying for Bryan to desire the church. Start praying for ME to accept where he is.”

Know that the Lord works wonders for his faithful one.

Psalm 4:4

Within six months of beginning this prayer, my husband unexpectedly joined our parish men’s group, “That Man is You.” There he found fellowship with other men of faith—and someone other than his Catholic wife—to answer his questions and lead him into a new relationship with God.

Nine months later he attended an RCIA information session at our church. Now he came home each night excited to tell me what he’d learned. He began asking me questions about Scripture, praying with me, and leading family prayer. He was becoming the spiritual leader in our family that I’d prayed for.

Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, “We have seen incredible things today.”

Luke 5:26

As for me, I spent the RCIA season holding my breath, afraid that this bubble of happiness might burst if I said or did the wrong thing. Until finally, on April 20, at Easter Vigil our children gathered around us to watch their father present himself to be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation.

An overwhelming sense of Wonder and Awe at God’s goodness filled me as I went forward to receive the Eucharist and then turned to watch my husband receive his First Eucharist. On our 23rd wedding anniversary to the day, our wedding Mass was finally completed.

He did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief; rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God

Romans 4:20

And it was not because of anything I did. Rather, we actively invited and welcomed God to be present in our marriage. Our crazy imperfect marriage.

We receive the gift of Wonder and Awe through the Holy Spirit. Do you recognize it at work in your marriage? Do you see the Holy Spirit at work only in big, life-changing moments? Or do you tremble in Wonder at His presence in the still small workings?

God, you are so mighty and powerful. You know us and you can do all things for us. Come Holy Spirit. Reveal this beautiful gift at work in our marriage so that we might be caught up in wonder and awe of you always.

Today, I encourage you to spend time loving God for his own sake; acknowledging that everything comes from Him. With the fullness of hope, gladly offer praise, worship, and adoration to God alone.

Receiving a special marriage blessing on our 23rd wedding anniversary.


Shelly Henley Kelly