It’s been a long time! I’ve missed you all :) Don’t worry, I’m back from a much needed break and I’ve got some incredible shows I can’t wait to share with you! I thought I could take this time to give you a little Alise life update! Sound good? Okay, here we go friends!
Well for those of you who don’t know me or have just found the show let me introduce myself! I’m Alise Marsh and I’m your host here. I’m a wife to Jeff Marsh, a mama, and I’ve got 2 amazing little people in my life named Monroe and Indiana. I’m a full time doula and childbirth educator and basically a super fan of women. I released my first podcast episode in September of 2017. I’m almost a year and a half in and I’m still loving this whole podcasting gig. Thank you for listening!
This podcast was born out of a season in my life when I was terribly broken and hurting. Up until that point in my life, nothing had devastated me and crushed me like that experience before. And I’ve felt crushed you guys… plenty of times before. And you know what I decided to do… the one thing that feels good when you’re hurting. Telling people how much Jesus loves them and encouraging others. Jeff played a big role in the birth of this podcast as well. I’ve always been a big podcast fan. I talked and dreamed about starting my own show for years before I actually did. Jeff looked me straight in the eyes one night and said I want you to sit down and record your first episode and don’t come back in the house until you’re done. I looked at him, like, “are you serious?”
We have this lawn shed. I’m sure all of you have heard about the lawn shed if you’ve listened to previous episodes. But, Jeff turned a lawn shed in our backyard into a cabin with a rustic mountain feel equipped with carpet, heat, and wifi. So I sat out their one night for hours…Yes, the perfectionist in me was a struggle bus in that moment. And the Perfectly, Wonderfully Made show was born!
I originally thought I’d just share birth stories, and you know what I came to realize?! That this show is so much more than birth. It’s motherhood. It’s life. It’s REAL life. And I’ve been a birth professional long enough to know that birth deeply affects your entrance into motherhood. It sets you on a trajectory to thrive or to struggle. Birth changes your brain, it changes how you see the world, and it most certainly affects your relationships. It has been such a joy to bring you stories of the lives of women that I pray have encouraged you and given you so much hope. Because we need it. We need to know there’s a God who’s bigger than our circumstances that loves us more than we could imagine, a God that is for us, and has designed us for a specific purpose.
Enter my need for a serious break from podcasting. More like a break from LIFE! You guys… this winter I didn’t know if I’d ever release another podcast episode again. I’ve always said, Lord, as long as you’ve given me this platform I’m going to encourage and equip all who will listen. But, whenever my season is done I’m okay. I’ll follow you and I trust you with this. If it was for 32 episodes or 10 or 100. However long you want me here I’m here.
My husband, Jeff has struggled his entire adult life with mental health challenges. There were seasons were my husband’s depression and PTSD crippled him to the point he was unable to work and he struggled to function in his everyday life. There were seasons, I thought we were going to lose our home at any moment, and certainly seasons where I wasn’t sure our marriage would survive. A year ago we started running toward anything we thought might help Jeff recover and heal from the dark depression he was living with. Jeff was seeing therapists, counselors, pastors, naturopaths, doctors, trying different medications, and you better believe we were praying our faces off. And I’d love to tell you that all of that worked. A year later, Jeff was getting worse. Our marriage was falling apart. Jeff couldn’t engage with me at all. We were just co -existing. There would be weeks were he would hardly speak to me. I lived in fear that Jeff would hurt himself and that his depression would take him from me.
The beginning of November this winter I fell on the floor one day sobbing and knew that I couldn’t live like this anymore. I had felt for weeks like the Lord was asking me to have Jeff move out. And I couldn’t understand. I didn’t get that. How could I ask him to leave if I wanted our marriage to heal? If I wanted Jeff to heal? But Jeff wasn’t going to get healthy living in our house. I was terrified. Could I do it? I was so scared you guys. But, I knew in my gut he needed to go. He was hurting me.. Our kids.. And he wasn’t getting any better. I wasn’t helping either. I was just making things worse for Jeff! This wasn’t working. Jeff needed healing and I couldn’t provide that for him. Only Jesus could.
And you know what you guys… I didn’t have to ask Jeff to leave our home for him to find healing. God created a way for him to leave and get healthy! How good is our God! Through our community and therapists we found a rehab center for Jeff. In November Jeff went to a depression treatment center. He spent a month there. You guys.. Hardest days of my life. My kids were devastated. Jeff wasn’t working a lot and was home so much with them. So for my kiddos this was a huge life altering experience. They sobbed for him for weeks. There were tantrums and a whole lot of tears. I cried right along with them most days.
2 days before Jeff left for the center he went to a prayer night at a local church. He almost didn’t go. We only had a little family time left before he would be gone with limited contact for us for a month. But, he went and you guys. It was life changing. He sat in the back of the room, and heard from the Lord so clearly. The Lord told him to repent of his bitterness and doubt or he would never find healing. He left for the center 2 days later. And you guys… MIRACLES happened. I’d never even begin to fathom how my husband could find such deep, lasting healing in such a short time. After 3 days at the center Jeff had a new diagnosis, the correct medication, and the Lord slowly but surely started peeling off the layers of hurt that had piled up over years of trauma. He got to the heart of all of the pain. Jeff came back to me a new person. He wasn’t even the person he was when I first met him. He was a healed, more healthy version of his previous self. I want to encourage you right now to hit pause and go follow Jeff’s story of hope and healing on social media. You can find him @secretlifeofdad. He’s got a story to tell and it’s a good one my friends. We had some really high highs after Jeff came home from the Center. I’d love to tell you it’s been all cupcakes and rainbows and The Bachelor style date nights the last 3 months. We were hit unexpectedly with drama just weeks after Jeff came home, fraudulent charges on my business account, bronchitis from the pit of hell, stomach bugs, and so many challenges with insurance companies and pharmaceutical manufacturers trying to get Jeff the medication he needs. In the middle of all that we’ve had to call 911 for our little guy and we are currently working hard to build up his immune system, I’ve had friends and people close to me battle cancer and disease and friends loose babies. I’ve attended 9 births so far in 2019 while I’m recording this. The thing I know that heals my soul is serving others in the midst of your hardship. There’s something so powerful about showing up, expecting nothing from someone else, and serving your guts out. You take your eyes off your junk for a bit, and love others. It’s healing my friends. Try it. If nothing else it's a wonderful distraction.
Friends. It’s just life. We ALL have it. I know you have your fair share of it too. And yet, through all of this life stuff we’ve been facing I’ve never felt more unified in my marriage. We are 9 years into this marriage thing and I feel like we are starting over. We hit pause, and we’re starting again, and its so good. Its freaking hard you guys, but man if you can get through the fire-ery parts there’s such goodness on the other side.
When life feels big and scary and uncertain God seems so steady to me. I’ve had more twists and turns and disappointments in the last 3 months than I thought were possible. When something goes nutty 😆 in the Marsh household its ALMOST laughable these days.
And all I can think is Surely… God you’re up to something. SURELY. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what you have in store God, but it’s got to be big. Because the Devil really seems to be pulling out all the stops here, almost like he knows what’s coming. I suppose he does know what’s coming…
And the crazy part about all of it is I’ve never been more sure of my God. I’ve never been more sure that He’s with me. It feels like loss and suffering surround me. I can’t escape them. Cancer and death and sickness and loss and disappointment seem to get closer and closer to me with each passing day. And yet, my feet feel so firmly planted. I may be pretty dang wobbly from the knees up, but my feet are rooted in the ground.
There is this perfect dance between joy & suffering. You don’t get one without the other most of the time. They can co exist together in such a powerful way. That is the space where Jesus lives. In that secret place where joy & suffering co-exist. It is the most intimate of places.
I never knew I would understand this space in this season of my life. While I would never wish heartache on anyone, I can only pray that you’re able to experience an intimacy with the Lord in that secret place, like I’ve come to cherish.
I’ve never yearned for Heaven before like I have in the last year of my life. I long for the day when there is no more pain and no more tears. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing my friend! We were created for eternity! So here I am….moving, taking those steps, and waking up and believing that joy comes in the morning. And my friend, it really does. It really really does.
And you know what I’m back. Here in this podcasting space that I have come to love so much! I’ve got a new little studio space to record in, and I’m SO PUMPED about it. I’ve got some amazing episodes ahead for you all and I can’t wait to share them with you! I may slow down friends, but you know there’s not a lot that can stop this girl. Thank you for being here with me! You are a gift to me!
Before I go I want to tell you all about my new Patreon page and invite you to join me there! I’ve got some awesome content in store for my Patreon members and would love to invite dive into this community! With your support I’ll be able to continue to create content and resources just for you! My Patreon members will get freebies, discount codes, and a behind the scenes content! You can check it out and learn more at patreon.com/alisemarsh
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