To those of you who graciously supported the scholarship recipient program for our August “Marriage and Faith Transition Workshop” — I wanted to let you know that we were able to fund (by my best count) 12 couples scholarships because of your donations.  Margi, Natasha, and I cannot thank you enough for your generosity.  Below are a few “thank you notes” to you, from some of our scholarship recipients.

Participant #1:

“To those who helped my wife and I attend this meeting thank you very much. My wife and I have struggled for many years with our concerns for a mixed faith relationship. This workshop has really helped us to see that there are others who are going through the exact same thing we are, and are living wonderful and happy lives. It also taught us to not try and convert each other. I know that for me, I have struggled with this concept. Every time the topic of religion came up I would try to convert my spouse to my beliefs, but because of this workshop I now understand how that is actually being received. I believe that my marriage will be strengthened and I will be OK with the choices my spouse makes, regardless of whether or not it makes sense to me. I will he OK with them because it makes her happy. Thank you again with providing us with this opportunity. Your donation has truly helped a struggling relationship.”

Participant #2:

“If I could know you personally, I would stop everything I’m doing to find you, hug you and tell you that your generosity and compassion toward me and my spouse, in providing a way for us to attend the workshop, brought me an amazing amount of peace and hope. We have talked for hours and hours since, just processing and internalizing everything we understood, and it has put us far ahead of where we would have been if we hadn’t had the chance to attend. We are both experiencing a faith transition (which has certainly brought us together, and are mostly on the same page regarding most issues), but the way in which we are experiencing our faith transitions is very, very different from the other–putting a lot of stress on our marriage and family life. We understand each other more deeply now through what we learned at the workshop and the time we took together to discuss and digest. Our lives are healthier and happier because of your help. Thank you. May you be blessed with light and love. Your kindness inspires many. We are committed to paying it forward and will do our part to provide love and support for others the way you have done for us. God bless.”

Participant #3:

“Thank you for making it possible for my wife and I to attend the workshop. It was a great for us to spend the day experiencing the workshop together. It was a value to our relationship.”

Participant #4:

“I’m very appreciative for the workshop experience and am so grateful for the financial help in being able to attend. My husband and I are generally in a happy healthy place in our marriage, but this workshop helped us see where each other is coming from better, and it helped us want to communicate better. I also learned how to deal with my spiritual void which has caused much anxiety in me esp. In this last year. Anyway I just really appreciate the opportunity and am grateful we were able yo go because of you!”

Participant #5:

“We received a partial scholarship and were so grateful for the opportunity to attend the workshop. We are a young family with another baby on the way and being able to be a part of this despite our lack of financial resources the past few years was amazing. We have been hoping to find a place where we could talk openly about our “crisis” and meet others experiencing the same things, and this was the perfect opportunity. We are so glad to have new tools and insights to help us in our faith transition, and we are already implementing some of the things we have learned within our own family. Thank you, thank you for making this possible for us as we learn to navigate life in a new way.”

Participant #6:

“I just wanted to let you know how grateful my wife and I are for your generous gift so that we could attend. This was our very first big step into our new life with a new direction. We were so hopeful to be able to meet people of like mindedness and make new friends which we did. We were also able to get answers to questions and a new perspective from the wonderful remarks of Natasha and the Dehlin family. Again, thank you so much. When we are able we plan on donating to the scholarship fund as well.”

Participant #7:

“Thank you for making it possible for my husband and myself to attend. We are lifted up by your generosity and contribution. I believe it brought us closer together and helped us to see what it is that we want, that we aren’t alone or crazy, and put us on a path of hope for our family.”

Participant #8:

 “Hi John, I wanted to thank you, your wife, Natasha,and your girls for your time and efforts for the workshop yesterday. It was an enlightening and emotional experience. I struggled to keep my emotions in check throughout the day. I wanted so much to shake your hand and tell you thank you, but knew I was about to burst and quickly left. I finally broke into sobs as soon as we got to our vehicle – the anxiety and emotions had reached maximum capacity.

This has been one of the most painful experiences of my life, and the only thing I have to compare it to is a slow and painful death and the mourning that goes along with it. It was strengthening to be in a room with actual people who are going through the same thing. It was important to hear about our commonalities as well as our differences we are all experiencing at varying levels.

We enjoyed visiting with the other couples at our table as well as a few others throughout the day. The topics discussed throughout the day were important and relevant to what we are experiencing, and though I know you struggled because there wasn’t time to do each topic proper justice, the most important parts were discussed and important ideas and strategies were shared to help many of us move forward.

I realize that this is a process that needs to be honored and I don’t have to rush through it. I gained understanding that it is okay to slow down and not try to fill in all of the holes at once – that it is okay not to have all of the answers, and it is okay to not “”know”” anything right now. This is huge for me as I am an impatient “”fixer”” by nature.

I also gained some important perspective from your wife and was finally able to finish a letter to my parents last night – I stole some of her ideas that helped me put words to this experience.

Please feel free to share this message with the donors who made it possible for us to attend this workshop. We couldn’t have made it work financially without their help, and I am deeply grateful for their contribution to our healing. Thank you does not cover how I feel.

Thank you SO much!”

Participant #9:

“Thank you so much for your generosity. It was a very edifying day for my husband and I. The workshop got us talking and opening up to each other more than we could have on our own. It was so helpful for us – thank you for helping us get there!”

Participant #10:

“I was not a scholarship recipient but I appreciate the kindness of those who made it possible for others to be strengthened. It was for me – an ideal spiritual experience where I think everyone single person in the room was positively touched at least once by something that was said or felt. Perhaps their charity and kindness will contribute to the salvation of a marriage.”