Felicity has a variety of disabilities. She’s non-verbal and has a visual impairment, intellectual disability, and developmental delays. Stephanie, Felicity’s mother, remembers when Fefe (as Felicity’s parents lovingly call her), started having seizures as a baby.
“I was in shock. My husband, Justin, was distant, and I thought my baby was going to die.”
Fefe is eight years old now, but as Stephanie explains, “Our lives have never gotten back to normal.”
Last summer, Stephanie hit her breaking point.
She sought help wherever she could, and even took Fefe to the local Department of Mental Health office. Desperate, she asked the staff to take Fefe…permanently. The Department of Mental Health refused and turned Stephanie away without help.
“I felt alone and desperate. I called every place I could think of. I cried, I yelled, I begged. I even took her to the hospital begging for help. Everyone was ‘sorry,’ but no one had answers.”
Demoralized, Stephanie felt no support from her community or her husband.
She says, “My marriage was falling apart, and my other children were distant. I wanted to run away. I needed help.”
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
“At Marriage Getaway we enjoyed a time of worship that still gives me goosebumps and tears. Marriage Getaway started healing our marriage. Justin now has an amazing relationship with Felicity.
He helps me with her like never before. She loves him and has become a true Daddy’s girl. Justin now checks on me and makes sure that my heart is doing ok after a hard day. Our marriage has never been better!”
“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”
Marriage Getaway serves couples navigating the disability of a child or a spouse. At Marriage Getaway, couples experience rich community with others who understand the unique challenges they face. They also receive respite, and Christ-centered encouragement through biblical teaching, worship, dinners, activities, and optional marriage counseling.
Many couples like Stephanie and Justin still need to find their path to hope. Jesus can use you to work his miracles of love and healing for couples and families living with disability.
Joni and Friends Missouri is reaching people where they live, caring for them where they are, and connecting those with disabilities where God wants them to be – knowing him personally in a local Christ-honoring church.