Renewing Hope for Couples Navigating the World of Disability

By |Published On: September 14, 2022|Categories: Marriage Getaway|
Close up photo of Chris and Julie smiling at the camera at Marriage Getaway. Chris is bald and has a beard while Julie has a baseball cap atop her curly hair and long, dangly turquoise earrings on.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

Psalm 34:8

Chris and Julie have been married for 19 years and have four children: 15-year-old Ryan who has autism and is nonverbal, and three daughters aged 16-year-old Brinn, 14-year-old Tia, and 12-year-old Justine. With Ryan’s caregiving needs, Chris and Julie rarely have time to be together as a couple.

A close up of Chris and Julie being prayed over by another older-looking couple.

Too often the pressures of disability break marriages apart.

And for spouses working hard to maintain healthy marriages, like Chris and Julie, Joni and Friends created Marriage Getaway, providing encouragement, spiritual refreshment, and fellowship for couples navigating the disability of a spouse or child.

Before attending Marriage Getaway, Julie felt burdened by doubts, confusion, and anger. She shared that living with disability in the family had taken a toll on her and Chris’s marriage.

“We have decision fatigue, caregiver burnout, financial challenges, and pure physical exhaustion… all of which, for me, easily turned into a spiritual drought.”


At Marriage Getaway, Julie and Chris tasted God’s provision through the meals prepared for them, joy and laughter with other couples who understand disability, and time to simply be together.

Chris and Julie sitting at a table as they write on pieces of paper, Chris is smiling at the camera and Julie is smiling down at her paper.

“Chris and I had an afternoon of holding hands and exploring. I can’t remember the last time we had dinner with just the two of us, let alone with a group of friends.”


Through Joni and Friends, Julie and Chris found refreshment in Christ and renewal in their relationship.

In a letter to the Joni and Friends staff and you—the supporters who make Marriage Getaways possible—Julie shared a message of gratitude:

“You have allowed me to come to Jesus as I am. I have a renewed heart to experience God’s presence, de-scaled eyes to see his provision, and new friends to walk this journey with.

Thank you for allowing us to attend a Marriage Getaway. It did wonders for our hearts and our marriage. We have ‘tasted and seen that the Lord is good.’”

Joni and Friends Ohio serves families living with disability throughout our region. We also share practical help and the Gospel around the world by delivering wheelchairs, Bibles, and practical care to people with disabilities.

With your support we can reach more families for Christ, working toward the Joni and Friends vision: a world where every person with a disability finds hope, dignity, and their place in the body of Christ.

A young woman who appears to have a disability smiling off into the distance.

Support Joni and Friends Ohio

Your gift today will bring the tangible love of Jesus to families living with disability.

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