What God Spoke on Epiphany

What God Spoke on Epiphany








Every Epiphany I seem to get something that turns into a big part of my life.

It’s never really out of the blue and always an answer to prayer, usually a “what’s next?” sort of thing. For context:

2015: Decided to spend more time in Calgary

2016: Verbalized my desire to begin a Catholic women’s house in YYC

2017: Offered a job

2018: Landed on a wedding date


2017 was the first year I realized these things (with long, meandering, meaningful stories of their own) were happening on January 6, the solemnity of Epiphany, the celebration of Jesus revealed as Saviour to ALL people. A revealing of his identity, while still in his infancy. A taste of what was to come, just a little bit of the story shared to start.

It’s much like all these ideas I’ve been given every new year. They’ve all turned from seemingly little ideas into things bigger than I could’ve imagined.

And this year is probably no different. The message from Epiphany weekend has been long thought about, gets me fired up, and I’m not entirely sure of the next step but I know it includes other people. I’ve got some ideas and I think they’re leading somewhere interesting, but the whole thing is definitely still in its early stages.

The epiphany from Epiphany 2019? Two things. The first, a couple of seemingly simple words:

Marriage prep.



(The second thing from Epiphany? Well, I’ll be getting to that soon. Hang tight.)

Preparing to give yourself freely, totally, and faithfully to someone (with the intent of that love being fruitful in more ways than children) is such an important part of marriage. I believe it begins well before you meet your future spouse, intensifies while you’re dating, and really requires doubling down on your efforts while you’re engaged. Understanding God’s intention and plan for marriage as well as the practicals of living that out is so valuable to your relationship.

I put effort in before I met my husband to learn about these things because they’re all things that’ll help me get to heaven anyway. When I met Brandon I was ready enough to know I had (and have) lots to learn, but I was willing to put the effort in with him by my side to learn more. After we were engaged, I really looked forward to our official marriage prep program through our diocese, but to say I was disappointed with the course is putting it lightly. With all this emphasis on marriage prep, as well as being required to complete the course, that’s what we were given? That’s what we paid hundreds of dollars for?

If there was a similar program to become a priest, we’d have riots demanding for more formation of those men. I’m not arguing for 7 years of marriage prep with your fiance, but why was our marriage prep, the thing getting us ready for our Vocation, so lacklustre?

Now, I know my personal experience isn’t the only experience. Heck, people in the course with us may have found it to be okay. But for Brandon and I? It wasn’t helpful at all.

I know I can’t base everything off what my marriage prep experience was, so I’m compiling other couples’ personal experiences. I’m asking about organized marriage prep, whether that was through a diocese, parish, church program, mentor couple – whatever you did with your fiance/fiancee at the time, I’d love to hear about it. The good, the bad, the “we wish they would’ve talked about ____.”

I want to hear it all.

I’m creating a survey, but if you’ve got things to say before I get it done, please send me an email with your story to laura@laura-anne.ca with the subject line: Marriage Prep Experience. I can’t WAIT to hear from you.


Leave a comment, friend!

  1. Isabel Hay

    January 15th, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Laura, In 1991 my fiance and I went to “Engaged Encounter” weekend at Rosemary Heights. Derrick was not a Catholic and I was a practicing but rather “cradle Catholic” who told him we had to do this to be married at St Joseph’s parish in Langley ( the old one). We had no idea what to expect, he was afraid of being judged as a non Catholic and I worried it would be stressful but boy oh boy we were surprised.
    The weekend was a series of sessions with a long time married couple-funny I am now married longer than that couple was when we attended-, and a recently married couple and supported by a Priest.
    After each session we split up and wrote eachother private love letters in response to the session, then we discussed them as a couple. We kept those love letters and still have them to this day. We went on to have two children who are grown up now and just a few years ago Derrick (who committed to attend Mass with me and kids) joined RCIA and is now a full member of the Catholic Church. His decision to become Catholic was his alone, his journey and his re-birth. People commented on his Baptism day that I must have had been waiting for a long time for this to happen and to all of them I said the same thing. “Derrick chose and felt the call, it had nothing to do with me. I love him no matter what, and with everything in life we are on God’s time not our time”.
    This August we will celebrate 28 years of marriage and as we do every year we will get out the love letters and review them.

    Interesting note: My son is dating a lovely young woman whose Mom happened to be the co-writer of the Engaged Encounter curriculum.
    See? God’s time Laura always God’s time.