Clip from Marriage Unveiled: A Journey of Love, Trust, and Faith with Marshall and Julie Belcher
Have you ever wondered what it takes to sustain a marriage through thick and thin, through financial struggles, identity crises, and communication breakdowns? Well, wonder no more, because our guests today, Marshall and Julie Belcher from REVHOP, a couple who have been married for 26 years, lay it all bare. They share their inspiring journey of love, trust, and faith, recounting how they learned to shift from a "me" mentality to an "us" mentality, and how they overcame their poverty mindset to build a stronger bond.

Now, picture this, you are living a comfortable life in Florida, and then all of a sudden, you feel a divine nudge to pack up and move to California. Sounds daunting, right? The Belchers experienced this and more. Their faith in God was their guiding compass, helping them surrender their comfort zones and rely on God instead of earthly substitutes. They let us in on their struggles with communication, their focus on repentance and deliverance, and how they learned to partner with God in navigating their journey.

As we wrap up, they delve into their exploration of beliefs and how seeking guidance played a critical role in their journey. They share their experiences on embracing change and vulnerability in relationships, stopping the fighting in relationships, and how fear and shame can hinder growth.

And guess what, they also touch on how they had to redefine their identities outside their corporate jobs and how they navigated their financial struggles. With their wisdom and insights, you'll leave with valuable lessons on overcoming challenges in marriage, trusting in God and each other, and embracing change and vulnerability. It's raw, it's real, and it's riveting. So grab your headphones and get ready to be inspired.
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Marriage Unveiled: A Journey of Love, Trust, and Faith with Marshall and Julie Belcher


Thomas: Well, ladies and gentlemen, we're gathered here today with Marshall and Julie Belcher. Marshall is a field engineer at Google, and Julie is a Bay Area real estate professional. Welcome to Seats for Your Marriage.

Thomas: We're so glad to have you here. Glad to be here. Glad to be here. Yeah. So as you know, we, we, in this podcast, we share a lot of testimonies and we want to really build, encourage, and lift up marriages because I think as we get into your story, marriage is fun. It's a pleasure, it's a blessing, but there can also be challenges at the same time.

Thomas: And so maybe just to kick things off, share a little bit about, Your background, how long you've been married, and just a little bit about your family and anything else that you wanna share that you think the audience would like to know.

Julie: No, I'm married 26 years. That's saying something, right?

Trisha: That's awesome.

Trisha: Yeah, us too. I didn't realize it was [00:01:00] about month. No. What? May,

Julie: may, may, may. So we're 25. We'll be 26. Okay. You'll be, we'll

Trisha: be 26 in a week. Wait, what? 24th.

Julie: Oh. Or May 18th. See, that's a maybe. Oh, wow. It'll be 26 years too. It'll be 20. Wow. He beat us by, but no. Yep. I mean, we're college, high school sweethearts that broke up twice before finally getting bed together.

Julie: In college. In college in, wow. Yeah. So we learned how to fight and break up, and then we learned how to get married and have an argument and stay married and learned how to fight.

Marshall: Right. Fight more. Yeah. And, and fight to

Julie: win. And what's really funny is we both have negotiated a lot for our careers, so we also use it in marriage.

Julie: Just Greg or not. Or not,

Marshall: but

Julie: we've learned a lot. We're learning, we learned how. Yeah. And still we do two boys soon to be 17 and 20. Okay. So one's out at, at university and one is still home.

Thomas: Nice. And where is home for you? You're here in the Bay Area obviously.

Julie: We are in Moraga. Okay. And we're from Florida, Jacksonville.

Julie: That's quite

Thomas: a move.

Julie: Yeah. 10 years ago we came here.

Thomas: Okay. So you've [00:02:00] adjusted with the cost of living increases.

Julie: We have that. I think that was the little interesting part because when we moved here, we moved to Redding, California. Yeah. So the cost of living was a little more, but not as much more as moving to the bay.

Julie: Mm-hmm. So that was a huge adjustment and the bigger adjustment I think was coming here. I was. Still working as was he in a corporate job. Mm-hmm. And three years into that, I stopped working. And that's when I think things became more interesting for, for us in our marriage due around finances. Mm-hmm.

Julie: Because historically when you have two people working and the, you know, corporate world, if you have an issue, you throw money at it. And when you don't have that extra income, you start to think long and hard about the cleaning lady landscaper and all the other things that you used to do. Right?

Trisha: Yeah, absolutely.

Trisha: And then you also are involved in ministry, especially you Marshall. So could you wanna say a little bit about that?

Marshall: Yeah. So we've, we've both grown up in the church. Mm-hmm. Right? Taken actually similar paths because. [00:03:00] You know, was when we were kids, right? We were always in the church. I volunteered, I was always, you know, doing something.

Marshall: Then kind of during the college years, I think we didn't, you know, go to church as much. We still tried to practice our faith, right? Mm-hmm. But you know, it was when our first child was born that something just hit. It was like, wow, we gotta get serious with God again. Yeah. And then through that we ended up being part of planting a church and that's when I feel like I really, I.

Marshall: Got activated in ministry and really desired to go after that. Mm-hmm. It was about 15 years ago. And so we had experience planting two churches and then felt called out to California. And then at that point, I, I had become the Director of Fire Starters and the Associate Director of Healing Rooms at Bethel Church in Reding, California.

Marshall: Had a great time there. But then we knew God wanted to release revival in the Bay Area. So now we have a ministry called Rev Hop Revival Houses of Prayer. And really that the whole idea behind that is, You know, just create a furnace of, of prayer, [00:04:00] revival, the presence of God. And then, you know, have people come into that and, you know, activate 'em in who they are.

Marshall: Mm-hmm. And release the Kingdom of God all over the Bay Area.

Trisha: That's awesome. I love that. Yeah. I mean, in our marriage we were part of. IHOP Atlanta we were going through a tough season in our marriage. We probably have been married maybe 14 years, 13 years, something like that. Yeah. And there was just a revival going through that small little church at the time, and it just completely changed.

Trisha: It helped us become real with ourselves and also each other and become, you know, vulnerable to each other and also to God. So it was, yeah, really, really powerful.

Marshall: Yeah. And that's, I mean, that's really been the catalyst of when you look at everything in our marriage, everything around finances. Mm-hmm.

Marshall: Revival was the catalyst for us to, you know, point back to. God's way of doing things. Oh yeah. Mm-hmm.

Julie: Like when we first think about 12 years ago before we ever decided to move out here, before I fought tooth and nail to not [00:05:00] move out here we, he drug me out here to a conference to see Heidi Baker. And I came on the pretense that I would get to stay at a nice hotel in California and shop.

Julie: So that was my whole reason for coming and just to get a vacay. Yeah. So going to a conference was like, this is what I have to do to get, and at the time, I mean I've always loved the Lord, but I was very focused on career and my kids and I really didn't feel like I had time for much else. And we go and we see Heidi, she stops ministry, like stops preaching and just does ministry time and comes up to both of us and puts our arms around our shoulders.

Julie: And says, God wants to know how much you are willing to surrender. And I remember thinking not much. No thanks. I mean, seriously. And, and then I went back to the hotel room that night and I saw a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge and I was like, God, no, no. Don't wanna move there. Just no way. There are no, and God's funny, I, I'm now live here, but but I think he does that.

Julie: Like he wants our surrender. He wants our yes. Mm-hmm. Even though that's, Kind of hard to sometimes give him. Yeah, yeah, totally.

Thomas: Mm-hmm. Yeah. That story reminds me of the, [00:06:00] where you get the five day, four night stay, but you have to go see the timeshare. Exactly, exactly

Julie: right. Yeah. And we did do the timeshare and that actually, that actually did change my, or that changed the whole trajectory of our lives.

Julie: I think it did, because. Yeah, God started to really show me how my my faith and my strength and all of my comfort was in finances. Because growing up my family went bankrupt when I was 12. So I watched my mom lose her home and lose what I think she felt most comfortable in. That was really her rock.

Julie: Mm-hmm. And I realized I was doing the same thing. So I feel like God was basically saying, Hey, I'm asking you to give up your comfort and you know, what you look at as your stability and follow me. And that was all hard. Ask at the time, I really, we had just moved into a new home, loved it, had redecorated, it did not wanna leave.

Julie: Loved my corporate job, my corner office, and God's like, I want you just to move to this little town called Redding, California. And I just did not want to do that. So it took years before I said yes. Honestly.

Marshall: Yeah, I mean that. We, we were [00:07:00] completely on opposite ends of the spectrum at that point, right?

Marshall: Mm-hmm. I was just ready to sell it all and go wherever God said go. And you know, he would spend

Julie: hours at night praying. That's, that's

Marshall: the only thing that moved

Julie: us a room in dark, in the dark and pray and ask God to change my heart. And I would know he was up there doing that. I was like, okay, have fun.

Julie: I'm, I'm tired, I'm working. Go pray for God, didn't I? My heart? Oh, I knew what you were doing, but

Marshall: she knew. Yeah. Plus I just needed it just to survive. Right? I, I'll never forget coming back from a, a ministry trip. I went on and I knew God said to move. Mm. And when I landed back in Jacksonville, I didn't feel like I was at home anymore.

Marshall: Mm-hmm. And then I was like, okay, I know this is God, right? Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And so finally when I worked up the, you know, The heart to tell her she reacted the way I thought, no way. Mm-hmm. No. You know, and yeah, we had the, the perfect two-story house. It's like 10 minutes from the beach. Mm-hmm. It's like seven minutes from all the best shopping.

Marshall: I [00:08:00] mean, Louis Vuitton, I had decorated it, you know, loved it. All the nicest, you know, shopping. There is best restaurants. So it was just the ideal place. It was close to like one of the best schools that there was. Mm-hmm. And so it was like leaving kind of the ideal environment. But all I knew to do was I got, I gotta just, I just gotta go pray.

Marshall: I just gotta go be with the Lord. So I would spend every free moment I had upstairs in my man cave. And just mm-hmm. And just pray. And she didn't tell me when I first told her that she knew that we were supposed to do it. I really thought her heart was totally, you know, like no way. And her heart was, but she

Julie: knew, right?

Julie: Yeah. I knew we were supposed to go. I just. My heart needed some work first so that I remember we were in worship at the church we were going to at the time, and I remember seeing a picture of my newly redecorated living room and God asking me, what do you love more? This or me? And at the time I had to admit to him, I'm like, you know what?

Julie: You're right. I think I do love that. Because somehow that just felt good. It was pretty and [00:09:00] I liked it and I felt like I'd worked hard for it. Mm-hmm. And, but he was really clear to show me, he's like, you can follow that path. But it's really not gonna lead you where you wanna go with me. He's like, this is temporal.

Julie: Mm-hmm. And it wasn't much longer later that the toilet above that living room flooded and a shower of water came down my beautiful chandelier and into that beautiful room. And I just remember thinking it really is temporary and it, and there was something about that shower of water from a toilet into my living room.

Julie: That made me realize my love is in the wrong place. And it's not that I didn't love God, but something tied to my worth was the money and the, the show of it. Mm-hmm. And the keeping up with the Joneses. And God was just like, I really don't want you to do that anymore. Like this is, it's not about money, but part of it was tied to a poverty mindset because my grandmother had been through the Great Depression and, and my mom had that same thing.

Julie: Mm-hmm. But God was working to break that off of my life

Julie: so that, My love was pure to him and that he would take care of my needs, but I didn't need to. It's not, it's not really, and in the [00:10:00] Bible even says it's not money that's bad. It's, it's the love of money. Yeah. Yeah. And that's what he was working to break in my heart so I could pursue him and all he had for me and us and my family.

Thomas: And so Julie, how, can you just talk a little bit about how much of that was a personal journey for you, and then how it actually went into the dynamic of your relationship? Mm-hmm. And is this something that created tension? That in between the two of you that you had to also walk through?

Julie: Yeah, I think so.

Julie: I think when I was first married, I had that poverty mindset going really strongly. Mm-hmm. I mean, we, I was the one who said, no, we have to save every dime. We can't spend money. We, I saved it all. And I think there, and then he was the spender. So there was this balance and I think we, we kinda always struggled a little bit with that cuz he's always was wanting to spend, I mean he was smart, he did 401K and things like that, but mm-hmm.

Julie: And he was always the one that said, it's time to sell this house and buy the next one. And I never wanted to do that and I really should have listened because there are risks we didn't take cost us take. Mm-hmm. That cost us over time. I've [00:11:00] since learned to always listen to him and move when he says, but cuz he's paying attention.

Julie: And, and now I obviously do too with real estate. But I think the reality of it was, is that was. It was learning to trust God and money and not look to money because I kept realizing the more I looked to money, it just did nothing. I was miserable and I didn't even realize it until God. One morning. I mean, and, and I think it was true, it's hard.

Julie: We, we fought on this because he wanted it some point to then give up everything and move, and I was still holding onto everything. Yeah, totally. 180. Yeah. Mm-hmm. But it wasn't until I had the flood of my living room and God was really asking me, what do you love more? That just really got convicted and there were a lot of things that happened to help me realize.

Julie: I can either trust him or trust money. Mm-hmm. And then I think when he got me out of the corporate world is when it really started to mess with me. Because that's an identity thing. Because when you've done nearly 20 years in that environment, yeah. Mm-hmm. Your work is not what you do. It's what, who you are.

Julie: And when God basically was showing me you're not a human doing, you're a human being and what you do does not find who you are cuz it does come down to our [00:12:00] identity. And I think he was trying to show me that my identity is in him, not in what I do, not how much money I have or what I have and what I don't have.

Julie: Mm-hmm. And I think Marshall was already further along in that journey. He's never really cared so much about it. He's happy with much and he's happy with little more than anybody ever met. It's been a journey though. It's been a journey for you. Yeah,

Marshall: I mean, it's been an extreme journey around that because we, we grew up similarly, right?

Marshall: Mm-hmm. We're in kind of middle class families. You know, my, my family, my father provided wall for us, and so did my mom, right? But, you know, all the like, extravagant luxury things, you know, that that didn't happen, right? Mm-hmm. And I think growing up, you know, like as an eighties kid, Mm-hmm. Like, that was the, that was the, you know, time of excess in my mind.

Marshall: Right. And I feel like that really got infused in us and really just made it easy to connect with the spirit of mammon. So when that happens, then like, we're looking for satisfaction out of that. Like, we would, you know mm-hmm. We would literally have a fight and be like, okay, well what, what do you want?

Marshall: [00:13:00] Like, you know, let's go to Louis Vuitton and buy you purse, and then I wanna watch. Mm-hmm. So we'll go buy a watch, like, let's just, Let's just medicate ourselves out of this problem. We didn't know we were doing that, but that's literally what we would do. Mm-hmm. It was, it was an addiction really, to it.

Marshall: It was an addiction like, like any other drug. I mean, you get a hit from going shopping. Mm-hmm. Like, it's, it's no different than any other type of drug, whether it's alcohol or anything else. Right? Mm-hmm. And I didn't realize that until, you know, we were, we were in a, you know, church where this Holy Spirit was really moving and there was a lot of deliverance, and we were getting greater and greater degrees of freedom.

Marshall: But we were still fighting. Right. Because we'd grown up in kind of the, the age of that and like society was pushing that on us. Mm-hmm. And then we needed it to keep our marriage. You know, stable because that was kind of the one thing that we'd both kind of both agree on to kind of medicate

Julie: ourselves, right?

Julie: Because we were both so exhausted. I mean, we were working up in six. Yeah, we, a lot hours a week. We had babies. I mean, it was, we were surviving. I mean, we loved each other, but we were surviving and that was a way to kind of blow off [00:14:00] steam, was to go buy stuff. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Marshall: But I'll never forget one weekend we, we'd been really involved in this church, you know, as it was growing and being planted, and then, There was there was a conference going on on that weekend, but we were so just exhausted from work.

Marshall: It had been like a crazy time. We're like, you know what, no, we're just, we're just gonna go to the Ritz Carlton for a weekend. Mm-hmm. We're just gonna go live it up. Right. We kind of fell immediately back into our. Our pattern, right? So we go up there and I remember the whole time going, this isn't doing the same thing for me.

Marshall: And I mean, we're in the nicest restaurant, like it's a, it's a, you know, five star restaurant. We even went on a shopping spree in the, in the stores there, and I could feel the struggle. And then we ended up going to like the last service that Sunday on our way back. You know, from the weekend, and we get in the service.

Marshall: And what do they talk about? They're talking about, you know, mammon. Mm-hmm. Lust for things. And it was like we both got so convicted. We looked at each other and we're like, oh my gosh, I can't believe we did this again. You know? Mm-hmm. And then that's when I realized, yeah, we, we have a, we [00:15:00] have a hard issue.

Marshall: God's working on it, but we're gonna have to partner with God. I think a lot of times we just want God to just, ah, just take this away. Fix me. Right. Totally. Well, you gotta participate with them, right? Mm-hmm. You gotta be willing to do it. And I think the realization in that moment is what really started helping me kind of come out from under that.

Marshall: Because, like Julie said, in, in our neighborhood that we lived in, I feel like even in the, in the city, Like, a lot of it was about, you know, image and, and keeping up with the Joneses. Mm-hmm. That sort of drove something. Right. So, I mean, everybody was doing that. Mm-hmm. It's, it's even a stark contrast to here, which surprises me.

Marshall: Mm-hmm. Right. I mean, there's more wealth here in the Bay area. Mm-hmm. But a, a lot less flash I feel like. Right than, than we saw in Florida, which is, which is kind of interesting. But that was when we kind of knew, or I knew that like, okay, we, we need to kind of readjust

Thomas: this. Is this a conversation that you had with each other?

Thomas: I'm just curious how. Like you got a, a conviction in [00:16:00] your heart and you had felt the same thing, the communication between the two of you. And just a little bit about that dynamic of there was tension, we had disagreement. I was ready to lay it all down. I was holding on.

Julie: Just, oh, there was a lot of tension in that because, yeah.

Julie: Yeah. I mean, he would always bring up moving and he always would bring up us going. And I just remember thinking, I don't think I remember just saying, no, it's not gonna work because I can't do my job with my clients all the way in California. And he kept saying, I feel like we're supposed to go. And then the Lord kept showing me pictures of things like I knew we were supposed to go, but I didn't want to.

Julie: And finally after just, and I don't know if it was fighting as much as it was just, He wasn't satisfied anymore. Like he, he was willing to sell his car. I mean, the things I knew, something was up because of his heart change. Mm-hmm. And I actually really liked this new Marshall that didn't care about stuff anymore.

Julie: And it was really good. And I realized God was starting to work on my heart at the same time. Right. What do you love more? The money or me? And so I think we were starting to come together. God was actually working [00:17:00] on our hearts individually and as a couple, and we were talking about it more and more, and I just, Kept saying, I don't see how this is going to work.

Julie: I don't wanna move my kids. And finally I just got to the point where I knew we were supposed to go, but I didn't know how it would work. And I remember talking to God one day and I just threw a fleece out. I said, look, God, if this is really you and you really want us to go, and I think it is. Yes. All right.

Julie: I'll make you a deal if you get my husband the same job he has now, or let, let him work at the same company or same level out there, which I, I thought I was safe cuz there was no way that was gonna work. And if you let me keep my job at the same company. If you do that, if you make both these hap those things happen.

Julie: We'll go, I'll go and within 24 hours he calls me and tells me he has a job. Wow. And within that same 24 hours, I asked my boss if I could keep the clients in move and she said yes. So I remember hanging up the phone with him thinking, I guess we're moving. Mm-hmm. And, and that's when it really started to shift.

Julie: And it wasn't an easy, so fast moving it, it happened quickly. But I think the stress was the years, over the [00:18:00] years of him saying, we're going and me saying, no way. And God working on both of our hearts to get us there. He was ahead of me. Mm-hmm. And that did cause friction. We did talk about it though we are very type A chatters, like there is no lack of communication between us ever.

Julie: Mm-hmm.

Thomas: I feel there's. Something that is meant to be released right now around the transparency, but also allowing God to work on your heart. Mm-hmm. Because some people can resist that. They can fight it. Oh yeah. They can ignore it. They can, you know, suppress it. Just if, is there anything you can share about the, the process or the journey that you walk through where you're just like, okay, I'm going to let God be the potter and I'm gonna be the.

Thomas: Clay.

Julie: I mean, I think the biggest thing for me on surrender is no, we never want to do it. We never feel like doing it because somehow we feel like that exchange is gonna be met with lack. But the reality is when the surrender is actually made, and you really mean it he helps. I, I used to think that the surrender was [00:19:00] all in my strength.

Julie: But I have learned that if I say, Hey, look, God, I know I need to surrender this to you. I don't know how to do that. I need your help in doing that. He partners with you to get you where you're going. Cuz I, I, I think I struggled thinking I could let go of everything by myself, but he needed me to surrender and say, yes, I need help.

Julie: I'm willing to, but will you help me? And I found that to be the case with anything that we've ever dealt with is, I have to say yes to God, but then I get to partner with God because I can't do it in my own strength. Mm-hmm. It's just the, yes, he only needs your yes and, and please help me Jesus. And he will help.

Marshall: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I came at it a similar but different angle, which was I just had just this radical encounter mm-hmm. With the presence of God. And then it was like, wow, nothing else matters. Mm-hmm. This, this is the bliss I've never experienced. This is so deep. All I wanna do is just be in the presence of God like this [00:20:00] forever.

Marshall: And what, whether I have something or not, I don't care. So like, Lord, do what you want to do. And I know there's other things you wanna do, so. Mm-hmm. So let's go, right? Mm-hmm. But that didn't happen until I encountered God. Right? Yeah. I mean, we'd been in kind of more religious environments where it was just more about following rules and I was like, okay, well we're doing the right thing.

Marshall: We're getting the checkbox. Mm-hmm. You know, we came to church that day. Right. But it wasn't a relationship. Yeah. But it really shifted, you know, when we were able to encounter God and we were encountering God. In that church, which was a big difference. Right. And, and there was a, that was the other thing though, I think was huge at that time, that people underestimate, there was a focus in that environment on repentance and on deliverance and even learning how to, you know, partner with God in the deliverance.

Marshall: Mm-hmm. And even in, even in things you don't think you need deliverance for. So here's what I mean. One whole week was dedicated to. [00:21:00] Substitutes for the Holy Spirit. Wow. One week was dedicated substitutes for God. Mm-hmm. One week was dedicated substitutes for Jesus. Mm-hmm. Right. So each role that Father son, holy Spirit play.

Marshall: Mm-hmm. There's earthly, whoa. There's, I feel the presence of God. Mm-hmm. There's earthly substitutes for mm-hmm. And so you can easily think, oh, I'm, I'm good in this area. But you don't realize you're partnering and you're, you're consuming an earthly substitute to that thing. Mm-hmm. And you're not putting Father first, son first or Holy Spirit first.

Marshall: Mm-hmm. That's good. And so there was an intentional focus there that I really value, which was on, let's look at the areas of life where, You know, you're displacing Holy Spirit. Mm-hmm. And for us it was, you know, the love of things, the love of, you know, the personal image and, you know, accomplishment and all these different things.

Marshall: Those were the substitutes that we were putting in the, in place of Holy Spirit. Mm-hmm. And instead of going to Holy Spirit in time of need, we'd be like, Hey, let's go shopping. [00:22:00] Right? Yeah. And then we'll go to, we'll go to the, our favorite restaurant after, you know, that's right. Crazy priced. Yeah. Let's do it.

Marshall: It's, we're gonna feel great. Mm-hmm. Instead of going, Hey, holy Spirit, what's going on?

Julie: Like, what's my need right now? What's my need right now? Right. What do I need? Yeah.

Trisha: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yeah. I think that's so powerful for, for people to just understand and experience. An environment, whether it's a church environment or even a home group mm-hmm.

Trisha: Or some community of Christian believers Exactly. Where you experience Holy Spirit. Mm-hmm. Because it's in that, in that moment, it's in that environment. Where things just start falling off. Yes, absolutely. You know, and so I, I just have lots of conversations with different women who are married, and it's like both of them are living two separate lives and she's wanting more from her husband, but the way that she's going about it is like, well, he just needs to do this.

Trisha: He just needs to change. He just, you know, and it's just, Like, but what are you doing? Like if you start, you know, so true. Like they're [00:23:00] like, we just start talking, having conversations and she's realizing, well, I'm doing this because of how I was raised. And it's like, okay, well if, you know, you get to the root of like addressing the things that Holy Spirit is revealing and you, and getting healing from that as you, and then you're becoming.

Trisha: Like honest with your husband about where you're at and walking through that instead of trying to put up a shield or a wall and not allowing him to see you. Yeah. But being open and allowing him to see you and what you're walking through and communicating that to him, then it's gonna open him up to do the same thing.

Trisha: Totally. Yeah. And you'll, and you'll both will be encountering God individually and learn how to encounter him together

Thomas: and to do it without manipulation or control. Like see all the things I'm doing for me. Yeah. I'm working on me. Therefore, you. Aren't pulling your weight and that attitude, that posture actually creates more separation.

Thomas: Mm-hmm. It does. Yeah. Than it does good. Like to walk in that freedom and that peace,

Marshall: which is why for that we actually needed a referee. Oh yeah. You know? Yeah. In, in [00:24:00] the boxing ring, there's a referee there for reason things get outta hand. It's like, wait, wait. No, you, you, you did an illegal job there.

Marshall: Mm-hmm. No, no. Right? Yeah. Mm-hmm. So really what I think helped us finally get the biggest breakthrough was for communications. For, for communications, but also for. Kind of being honest in the communications. Mm-hmm. And switch the motives from me to us. Mm-hmm. That's good. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Because before the motive in the discussion was always me.

Marshall: I'm gonna get what I want. This is what you're not doing. Yeah. This is what you're not giving me. Yeah. Right. Right. And while that there may be some validity to that. Mm-hmm. That's not us. Right. Right. And so we needed somebody that would go, Hey, you know what, you're, you're being hardheaded, fell on the play.

Marshall: You know what you're, you need to listen more. Mm-hmm. Right? Mm-hmm. Now you need to make sure she understands that you understand. Right, right. All these different core things. Mm-hmm. Because we, we had started a, after all this time, it was [00:25:00] amazing to me. Something, just something shifted and our, our fights started escalating more and to the point where it became very personal.

Marshall: Yeah. Like, you know, on the edge of like, yeah, I think, I don't know, I, I don't know where this is gonna go. Mm-hmm. Right. And it did, it didn't feel good, but, Yeah. And it

Julie: was interesting cause it was a time where we were trying to figure out what the, our purpose in life was. You know? Yeah. When you hit that middle aged marker where you're thinking, I thought I'd be here by now, or doing this by now, it's, it's almost like all of our use of throw money at it.

Julie: Mm-hmm. Go shopping. It, it, it ran out too. Yeah. You know? Mm-hmm. And, and we were at a place where I had stopped working corporate, so now he's married to someone he doesn't know. Yeah, because I am not acting the same way I am. I have different needs now. I am more focused on other things than bringing in money.

Julie: And it was like he was married to a different person and then he was also pursuing ministry and, and not seeing the ability to break away from work yet. And there was a lot going on, A lot of tension. Tons of tension, good pressure cooker for, and then throw on the fact that he wanted us [00:26:00] to now move from Redding to San Francisco.

Julie: Yeah. Which I had already vehemently been against. And, and that's when we realized, you know, our old method of throwing money at things isn't solving our problems. How do we communicate better? So I took him to a marriage coach and she was gonna fix me. I was gonna, I was gonna make it all better fix.

Julie: There we go.

Thomas: That's

Julie: it. He had some work to do in communications. Get him, Lord. And I will never forget sitting there, realizing. Oh, you mean this is about me too. Like I just remember thinking, oh man, I have some work to do too. I had some lingering poverty mindset mentality. I had some I, I still wanted to somehow lead the marriage and I didn't realize that because I was a leader in corporate, I felt like I needed to have an equal say at the table and lead a marriage.

Julie: Well, that doesn't work well when you have two leaders in the marriage. Yeah. It's also not biblical. And so there was a lot of work I had to do in my heart to say, you know what? And also to trust him because deep down in my heart, my dad didn't provide right. So in my mind that I didn't provide, didn't realize was there was subconsciously, wow, [00:27:00] men don't provide, well, my mom used to always say, get the most degrees you can.

Julie: Get a good job and provide for yourself. Mm-hmm. So what did I do? I got my masters, I got a job I was determined to provide for myself, and if he did anything I didn't like mm-hmm. I was gonna tell him he was wrong. Right. Because I was told what to do and I was gonna do it, and God was just starting to break all that off through that, that coaching we were having was.

Julie: Yeah. And I'd say, but he's supposed to be my rock. And she said, no, he's not. He's your mate. God's your rock. Yeah. Stop calling him that and put your trust and faith in God. And then a lot of things are gonna improve. And, and they did. So

Thomas: there's wow. I just felt Holy Spirit all over that because you talked about, My dad didn't provide.

Thomas: Mm-hmm. And how that ended up manifesting into your marriage, right? Oh, yeah, totally. Oh yeah. Mm-hmm. And just that we bring our experiences with us into our relationship. Yeah, I totally do. Right. And the ability to recognize things that aren't serving us well in our, [00:28:00] in our union, and maybe even things that don't line up with.

Thomas: Our father. Right. Because our father is a great provider. Totally is. And probably even transferring the, cuz what we learn on this earthly world, it's mod like, I think about this a lot with my kids, which is the desire to not raise them in a way where they have to start undoing things, right? Yeah, exactly.

Thomas: So I guess that, that's just an insight that I just wanted to unpack cuz I think it's really important that people begin to dig into are there things that I'm believing or are there perspectives that I'm holding mm-hmm. That aren't lined up or things that I've learned that maybe I need to unlearn.

Thomas: Mm-hmm. And learn some new things.

Marshall: Yeah. And research shows, right. Most of those ideals are formed in our childhood. Mm-hmm. And most of those programs. Right. So I'm sure there's many things manifesting in marriages today. I. That are a result of programming your childhood, but Absolutely. Yeah. But it's being open to Holy Spirit to figure out, okay, what, what are those?[00:29:00]

Marshall: And mm-hmm. The other thing I just wanna say, because I, I've talked to a lot of couples that, you know, were close to divorce. Mm-hmm. And the one thing they wouldn't do, Would go to, would be go to counseling. Yeah. Right. It's so important. And it blew my mind. Yeah. There was, there's so much shame mm-hmm.

Marshall: Around, around counseling as if Oh, you failed. Right. No. You know, if you don't have a person that you can go to that's, that's a mentor or, or a friend Yeah. That you know, is not gonna take sides. Right. There is no shame in going to somebody who's, you know, independent, who can look at the situation objectively.

Marshall: Mm-hmm. And see the areas in both people that need work. Mm-hmm. Right. And that's what they're good at. If you find a good one, I, I would say we were blessed to go to, you know, a good Christian counselor. So she had a very solid biblical foundation and you know, she listened to the Holy Spirit. Mm-hmm. So that, I think, really accelerated the times that [00:30:00] we were with her.

Marshall: Yeah. Because it was amazing how she could just go to and. Oh, well this, oh that. And you're like, wow, okay. Yeah, that was there. She,

Julie: she would say, I mean I know like for your, your style is you, if we had a conflict, you would wanna re resolve it right away. And I wouldn't wanna resolve it right away. I would wanna step away and have a minute to think about it and come back.

Julie: Which is interesting cuz that is not my style with friends or anybody else. But it is my style with him. And he doesn't like that because it makes him feel like I'm not gonna return. Mm-hmm. So I learned, he just needs to hear, I'm gonna come back in 10 minutes. Mm-hmm. And, and I'll resolve it. And as long as he heard that he could stop talking, let me have my minute to figure out how I feel, make sure I'm super rational, and there's, there are no hormones at play in the conversation and come back and my, you know, and he didn't like the fact that I would disappear and I didn't like the fact that he kept chasing me down to resolve when I wasn't in a place to resolve yet.

Julie: Mm-hmm. Huge. So we've now learned how that works and. And we're, we're both type A and I mean, I'm a redhead and he has a red beard, so we're both redhead and we can, I mean, we [00:31:00] are very open and honest with each other. Mm-hmm. And I think it's one of the biggest blessings of our marriage, but it can also be a more challenging aspect of our marriage as well.

Julie: Yeah. I mean, we literally have had to use a pen as a talking stick and say it's my turn to talk. Mm-hmm. When I have the pen and then it can be yours.

Trisha: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah. That's really good.

Thomas: You have a question? No,

Trisha: you have no questions. Come on, Trish. Well, no, I'm just thinking about just when you're even, even just going back to y working with a Christian counselor.

Trisha: I mean, yeah, a counselor is good, but I think a Christian counselor is even better, I found. Absolutely. Because we've seen Totally, we've seen both, and I think they really helped. Get to the source of a lot of different things they do. And, and kind of help reveal maybe lies that you're believing that maybe, like you said, that you learned as a child.

Trisha: Yeah. I think in our financial life as you know, been as we're been married, and one of the things that he, a lie that he learned from his dad, I mean, you can talk about it, was just his [00:32:00] dad would always say, well, you have to rob Peter to pay Paul. That's how you, like, that's how he would manage his finances.

Trisha: Oh man. Yeah. Like there wasn't enough to go around. You would just. You know, move money wherever, and you would just take money from this person, give it to that person, and then eventually you could have the money to pay that person back.

Thomas: And it was only within the last month that I, that I had a financial soso with Steven DeSilva.

Thomas: Mm-hmm. Yeah. And Guy was like, you don't have to rob anybody. Yeah, that's so good. Mm-hmm. Like there's, there's an abundance. There's more than enough in my kingdom. Mm-hmm. And so that mindset shift and just replacing and exchanging. You know, truth. Yeah. Or exchanging lies with truth. It's huge. It's huge.

Thomas: And yeah, I like the idea of the Christian too because our counselor, the one we went to her she's no longer with us, but Pastor Marsha Mcw, just bible thumping. It's all about the word of God. We worship him in spirit and in truth. Right. And she just brought it and she made us. Not made us, she gave us the [00:33:00] opportunity mm-hmm.

Thomas: To really look at ourselves, right. And examine ourselves

Julie: with holy spirit's. Right. I think a good Christian counselor just brings in this giant mirror and says, you know, have you like, because we, and even when we moved, we hadn't spoken with her for a while, but we called her up because we're like, oh my goodness, this move has been really stressful.

Julie: We feel like we're being five-year olds. And she just got on the call zoomed and then she said Hey, how are you guys using the tools? Mm-hmm. And we're both like, Nope, nope. Not using the tools.

Marshall: Got about all of those. Don't wanna use the tools. Oh, that stuff you tell us.

Julie: And she said, for sure this is gonna be a short discussion.

Julie: I want you to go pull out your tools and use them. Yeah. And, and that was what it took. And just a

Marshall: reminder, ouch. That was an expensive, that was a very expensive

Julie: chat, dollar chat, but worth every penny but

Marshall: worth it. Mm-hmm. Right. Yeah. And I think what you, what you mentioned, you know, about getting a financial soso.

Marshall: That's huge. I mean, there's multiple ways God can do that, right? Yeah. Just encountering him. Yeah. But I like how, you know, the focus of a financial soso is all around the aspects of finance. Mm-hmm. Where you be, where you may not be believing like God's a good provider. Right. Or there's never [00:34:00] enough, there's always lack.

Marshall: Mm-hmm. Something's always gonna happen to my finances. Right there. There's so many things around that. Mm-hmm. And I, I mean, I'll never forget going to. A very impoverished country for the first time. Mm-hmm. That was a soso for me. Yeah. You know, you, you really need to get outside of the abundance in the United States, and I get that there's still pockets of poverty.

Marshall: Mm-hmm. We need to deal with it. I mean, I, I hate to see it, right? Mm-hmm. But you don't experience it in the same way. Mm-hmm. You know, I can remember going to a third world country and when I landed I was like, oh, I'm already uncomfortable. Like, there's no ac, everything's dirty. All the roads aren't paved.

Marshall: Mm-hmm. I, I don't know if the food's safe. I don't know if the water's safe. Mm-hmm. Oh, wow. There's, I don't see anybody, you know, with a Porsche, I don't see a really opulent house. Everything even looks, you know, impoverished. Mm-hmm. And then, but on that trip, we, we were encountering God a lot, but at the same time, I'll never forget, it was probably like the second day.[00:35:00]

Marshall: I, I had just this immediate revelation from God. It's like, You're enough. Mm. I can be here. Be com. In fact, I'm, I feel like I'm more happy right now. Mm-hmm. In this state of poverty. Not that that's what God wants for us, but mm-hmm. I feel like I'm more happy here than back with all my stuff in the States.

Marshall: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And something really shifted for me in that trip. Where I really felt divorced from all of, you know, the possessions. It was like, yeah, if I got it, great. Oh, that's awesome. I can really appreciate all these things. Mm-hmm. But it's very different than them owning you. Mm-hmm. You know, you can appreciate something nice.

Marshall: But it doesn't have you, it doesn't hold your heart. Right. And that, that was a big shift. Mm-hmm. It, it really did, I think, shift

Julie: things for me. Yeah. I think when you encounter his love and you, you feel that and you know it. And, and if you haven't ask him for it cuz he wants to shower you with that.

Julie: Yeah. All of a sudden nothing else matters. So what I mean in, in, you know, the Bible talks about in Paul, is it Paul [00:36:00] who talks about being happy and much? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I think that's where I think we finally have landed it. We're hap we appreciate nice things, but we also, I. Don't have to have them to be happy.

Julie: You know, if God ask us to move again, I mean, he may, and if he does, we'll go and I trust him because he will provide and it will be good. But I do know, like I, I've done the same thing. I've gone and spent time in other countries and, and people who actually live in dumps and that's their life and they are, it's not the happiest people Yeah.

Julie: I've ever met in my entire life. Yeah. It has rocked my world. Hungry and hungry people too. Hungry for him. For him. And I mean, their worship is some of the best worship, and it's worship in a little building, in a dump. It's blown, it blew me away. They don't even have bathrooms. I mean, it's that dirty and, but they're happy and they love the Lord.

Julie: And that just really gets you, cuz you realize you can be happy in that environment. So we don't have to have all of that to be happy now. I you can't do a lot with, without your needs being met. Right. That's very important. And I think having those conversations with your spouse around budget and Yeah, you know what you huge.

Julie: Where your money's [00:37:00] gonna go. And we look at budget as we're telling our money where it's gonna go and where we will spend it. And then we have a saving strategy, retirement strategy. And we've gotten really good at talking about those things where in the past we would argue about them. Yeah, exactly.

Julie: But now we have certain times where we set aside time to discuss. All of the things. So it's not a, an argument, it's a discussion and it's a, well, how do you wanna do this or that? But that communication's really important. But I think it's birthed out of knowing who's we are and who we are. And that happiness isn't around the dollar.

Julie: It's around him. And it's helped a lot. Absolutely. But yeah, if you, if you, if are struggling in a marriage, there is nothing wrong with a coach. And I have so many friends who, More friends than not who've worked with counselors. Yeah. And they think it's the best thing they've ever done. And also understanding the spouse's personality type and you know, what their needs are and how they communicate are all super important things too.

Thomas: Well, and I think it's really good just taking away, being, I'm gonna get real, like real talk, just like, yeah, let's go. [00:38:00] There are no excuses. Mm. Mm-hmm. Because there are tools, there are resources, there are, there are things available, and it all starts with the source. Yeah. Right. If we allow ourselves to hear from Father, son Holy Spirit, he'll guide us and direct us to the people, the resources that we need in order to deal with and overcome whatever may come our way.

Marshall: Yeah. Would you agree with that? I, I would totally agree in what surprises me so many times. Is those resources are there, marriage retreats are there. Mm-hmm. But there's, people will say, no, I'm not, I'm, I'm not gonna do that. They, they already know, they're not willing to open up. So I really mm-hmm. Feel right.

Marshall: Now one thing is, is if your spouse has offered that up and you've said No. Yeah, you should get alone with the Lord. Mm-hmm. And you should, you should say, God, why am I not open to this? What, what is it in my heart that is keeping my heart closed? Mm-hmm. From opening [00:39:00] up to change. Change isn't fun. It can be painful at times.

Marshall: Mm-hmm. But if you don't do it mm-hmm. The path you're on is not gonna take you where you want to go. Right. Yeah. So why would you not change? Yeah. I mean it's, yeah, I think, I think a lot

Julie: of it's vulnerability we have to, it is we have to open our hearts to say, This probably needs a little work. Right? And no one, and I don't say no.

Julie: I think it's hard to do that work because if we don't know whose we are, you know, if we don't know that we're loved by God, sometimes we can say, oh, if I'm vulnerable, if I allow someone access into my heart and someone sees me who I am, maybe they won't really like me anymore. Yeah. That maybe I won't like me.

Julie: Maybe I don't even like me. I won't like me. I probably won't. Maybe I will, I won't. I will feel shame. And I think the reality is, When you shine light on those things, all the shame goes away. Yeah. It's, I think there's this lie, especially in America, that if we don't let people see who we are, we're safe.

Julie: Mm-hmm. And I would say we're actually super unsafe and we're not as healthy because we're not willing to be authentic, real, and vulnerable with people who are safe. I'm not saying go in, share who you are with [00:40:00] everyone. Right. I'm saying. Find safe people. Yeah, that's really good. Get the help you need. Be authentic, be real.

Julie: I mean, with you guys, that's how we are. Like we, we share vulnerably about what works and how we can grow, and I love that. But if you, I think if people don't have that, yeah, you can feel very stuck. But the first step is being willing to open up and, and trust the process. Know that you're loved and God loves you no matter what you've been through.

Julie: Done. Or have experienced, and it's the best breakthrough when you're willing to share your heart with someone that's close to you.

Thomas: So I have a follow up. I, I wanna do the counter of what you just said, which I think your advice is good. So the, the person that said, no, I'm not going to the retreat. Yeah.

Thomas: Yes. Like, okay, just spend time with the Lord. What about the person that comes home and says, honey, we need to go to this retreat. And the spouse says no. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Because anger, anger, bitterness, resentment can start to creep in. Mm-hmm. Right? Because totally. I'm here, I'm doing my

Marshall: part. I'm doing my part.

Marshall: You're not, and I'm right. So like it moves into I'm right, you're wrong. I'm [00:41:00] more invested in this marriage. Mm-hmm. Than you are. Mm-hmm. And that's the worst thing you can do. And the, and the worst thing you can do is try to force your spouse to do

Julie: anything. Right. Yeah. That did not work

Marshall: Well, that never works for either of us.

Marshall: Right? Right. We,

Julie: it, I don't know how I took it actually, it actually pushed me away when I felt forced. Yeah, of course. But when he would just start going and doing all the things and I watched him change when he came home and wanted to sell his little sports car, I, I was like, God, what is that? That's weird.

Julie: Like something's going on. It got my attention. Yeah, and I think by him leading that's the other, it really got me, it, it really did start to change my heart to watch him change with God,

Marshall: right? So I think that's another key thing, right? Is if you're the yes person and your spouse is a no person. Start being the change in the marriage.

Marshall: You wanna see,

Julie: praise them. I'm sure a lot of your prayers involved. Change my heart. Change your heart, Lord. Change your heart.

Thomas: And the motive though is pure. The motive

Marshall: is the key, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm not trying to change you. Right. [00:42:00] I'm not trying to get more of my needs met. Mm-hmm. It's gotta be the outcome of the whole relationship.

Marshall: Right. The marriage is a unit. Right? Right. It's not, it's not two individual people, it's one person. Yeah. Together. It's two people made one. Right. So it's not your need or her need anymore. Or his need. Right, right. It's one person's need. The marriage's

Julie: need. You know what's interesting though, talking about manipulation?

Julie: I think it's when you stopped pushing me to move to California. Yeah, totally. That's when everything shifted because he, I, I didn't feel manipulated or controlled. Mm-hmm. He told me he felt like we were to go. He felt like God was in it. I didn't want to, but I, he's like, will you at least. Talk to God about it.

Julie: Mm-hmm. And then he just let it go. Yeah. And it was very soon after that that God just kept showing me pictures, giving me dreams, and finally I was like, I'm fine God. Right. Yeah. But it was because he had a pure motive. Yeah. He knew we were supposed to go and he just released me. He basically gave me to [00:43:00] God and said, you deal with her.

Julie: I finally gave her

Marshall: to God and that that was not easy because I came away from encountering God on that trip. Mm-hmm. To where I knew, like I knew that I knew. And then when I got back to Florida, I'll never forget, not just landing and feeling like I wasn't home, but then the first week back at work, I was in the conference room on a conference call and it just had this overwhelming sense of.

Marshall: I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Why the heck am I here? Mm-hmm. I'm, I'm already supposed to be in California. This is, yeah. This is a waste of time. Right? Yeah. So I started to really just get a stirring in me mm-hmm. To go do it. So then it was hard not to put that on her. Yeah. Right. Because it, it was active.

Marshall: It, it was. Really strong in the sense of like, I've gotta go take action now. Yeah. But she wasn't ready. Right. And so that was a good couple years of that, which was really tough. And then I think it was three or four years of that. Well, it was the third year, almost to the [00:44:00] day. Mm-hmm. Finally when you decided, okay, God, hey, if you do this and that, we'll go, wow, three years, took three years.

Marshall: I think that's funny how fast finally fast works. I finally, I finally let off the gas though I, it started to happen that third year, but it took two years for me to be like, okay, this isn't working. Even though I feel really strongly about it, it was actually

Julie: causing

Marshall: stress in the marriage. It was, it was causing stress and causing her to just say, no way, because I was putting too much pressure.

Marshall: You pushed The more I ran away from it. Yeah. The more push, the more you went the other direction. On the

Trisha: next episode of Seeds for Your Marriage.

Marshall: Couple years ago I was, I was out on a trip. I knew that we had no extra money at all. It just moved. Everything just moved to, it. All moved in. Everything was allocated for, we just moved, you know, to the Bay Area.

Marshall: Mm-hmm. New, you know, new house, all of that. There was nothing. Mm-hmm. And I really felt the Lord on giving at this particular you know, event that I was at. Mm-hmm. And I felt like I heard the Lord say, give a thousand dollars. Mm-hmm. [00:45:00] That day I gave the money, I sowed it in and I said, God, I thank you for this money multiplying a hundred fold.

Marshall: Yeah. I'm trusting you, I'm giving into the kingdom. Right? Mm-hmm. And then I was like, whew. Oh man. Okay. Well it's gonna be fun when I get home.

Julie: I think that's the thing too. And I think it's easy to look at other couples and be like, well, they never fight. They never this, they never that. Mm-hmm. Chances are they, they something, right?

Julie: I mean, I don't think you ever can be in a relationship with another human. And not have things you need to communicate about and grow in together. Like I feel like we absolutely, we get to grow up together. We're changing. I mean, we've probably been married to what, four different versions of each? Yeah.

Julie: Oh yeah, totally. And I think that growth is challenging, but also super fun, but is normal.

Marshall: The biggest thing is. Not having a fixed mindset, a fixed mindset says, I am who I am. This is how God made me. Yep. These, these deficiencies and bad habits I have. That's just who I am. I'll never be able to do X, y, and z.

Marshall: I, I put all these [00:46:00] limitations around finances or even my relationship and mm-hmm. That's just how I am. Well, we, we found out the brain is, is plastic. It changes. And so adopting a growth mindset that says, I can always grow and change into who God has made me to be who I need to be.
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