January 11, 2017
PathwayConnect has blessed students’ lives all over the world. While some blessings are obvious—such as increased knowledge, low tuition, and spiritual growth — PathwayConnect can bring other unique blessings. PathwayConnect can help strengthen marriage relationships.
For Chad and Emily Johnson, PathwayConnect was a journey they embarked on together, and they have found their marriage strengthened because of it.
A Weekly Date
After hearing about the program in their ward, Chad and Emily realized PathwayConnect was exactly what they were waiting for. Distance and time constraints that once limited their possibilities for education were no longer an issue, and PathwayConnect allowed them to go back to school together.
Chad and Emily have been married for over 11 years and are parents to five children. They live in Dietrich, Idaho — an hour’s drive from their PathwayConnect gathering location in Burley. Every Thursday, they leave their children with a babysitter for three hours so they can participate in their gathering.
Rather than focusing on the inconvenience of a long drive to and from their PathwayConnect gatherings, Chad and Emily feel blessed for the opportunity to spend that time together.
“For years, we talked about doing a monthly date,” Chad said. “But now, we get a weekly date. We make it our get-away for the week.”
As a maintenance worker at a hydroelectric power plant, Chad’s chaotic work schedule makes it difficult for them to spend time together. Because of this, the moments they get to spend with each other and with their kids are very important.
Now, we get a weekly date. We make it our get-away for the week.
“When we have that time to drive, we have time to talk,” Chad said. The time they have together on Thursdays has helped them enhance their relationship.
“It has strengthened the communication between us,” Emily said.
Continuing After PathwayConnect
As parents of five young children, Chad and Emily don’t always have time to discuss family matters alone. Privacy can be hard to come by. So, those Thursday journeys have become the time to discuss family issues and plans together.
“It’s our time to discuss family matters without our kids,” Emily said. “We can figure out what’s needed for our family.”
This time has been so special to them, they have decided to continue the tradition even when PathwayConnect is over.
“Emily and I are planning on keeping the weekly time that we have spent going to class,” Chad says. “Once class is done, we are going to start going to the temple each week. Since the closest temple is about 45 minutes away from our home, we will have about the same amount of time together for a date each week.”
PathwayConnect not only has given them time to talk, but it has also given them new opportunities outside their home. They have been able to obtain side jobs and new maintenance and remodel opportunities that help bring in additional income.
“Going through PathwayConnect has opened up a lot of doors for us — both at work and in the community,” Chad said.
The Johnsons have also created meaningful relationships with other PathwayConnect students.
“We’ve enjoyed the meetings every week. It’s a small group. There’s only eight of us, so we really get to know everyone well,” Emily said.
Along with gaining meaningful relationships with each other and other students, Chad and Emily have felt the program benefit their children as well. Seeing their parents do PathwayConnect has helped the Johnson children see more value in their own education.
“Because Chad and I do homework, our kids are more willing to do their homework,” Emily shared.
Because Chad and I do homework, our kids are more willing to do their homework.
PathwayConnect Blesses Families
PathwayConnect has been a great opportunity for Chad and Emily to strengthen their marriage and family. Even with the time commitments and balancing busy schedules, PathwayConnect has given the Johnsons the opportunity to spend time together without distractions. PathwayConnect has also helped them prioritize their time and responsibilities.
“With PathwayConnect, we can keep our lives on the right path. We have the opportunity to work on it together,” Emily said.
“It’s given us a long-term perspective,” Chad shared. “We’re more focused on the future.”
PathwayConnect can bless lives in numerous ways. Chad and Emily chose to make the most of their PathwayConnect experience, and their marriage and family life has strengthened because of their commitment to becoming better. The couple completed PathwayConnect in July 2015.