My mom and step-dad celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary last week. As I was driving home today, I thought it worth a blog post to wish them a Happy Anniversary! Why is 25 years so significant? When they married in 1983, my mom was the age I am right now, and my step-dad was 64. Given that most everyone I had known and loved had died prior to getting to age 64 (I have more memories of funerals as a child than birthday parties!), I have to admit I did not have high expectations of a long marriage.
My step-dad was hospitalized a couple of years after they were married. He had one problem, and while that was going on, his appendix ruptured, and during that surgery, they discovered the early stages of colon cancer. I was convinced he was going to die. I remember sitting in the hospital room for hours during his recovery. I would beg God to let him live and let them have a good long marriage. It just didn’t seem right for my mom to be widowed twice.
As I reflected on this today, I see how kind God has been to them. Nearing 90, my step-dad is in great health, has a great mind, and is still strong and active. He has survived two bouts of colon cancer and a broken neck that put him in a neck halo for 8 weeks a few years ago after a car wreck. No one expected him to come through that the same, but why should we limit God?
During his second colon cancer a few years ago, my mom and I committed to pray nightly at 9 p.m. from our separate homes each night leading up to the surgery, instead of choosing to worry. We gave it to the Lord each night, and I was amazed at the things God showed us each day during that time. When the surgery day came, my mom said she had a peace unlike she had ever known, which was quite extraordinary given her propensity to fear things like that.
After surgery, I had to go back to my home 550 miles away while they were still staying at the hospital. One morning, I was with the kids going to Target. As we drove out there, a song by Steven Curtis Chapman was on called “This Day.” “This day, all your mercies are new, this day every promise is true, Father help me to believe, give me faith I need to know You, and trust You, this day.”
After it was over, I told my kids that this was taken from Lamentations 3:23, and I prayed it for my mom and step-dad. When I got home, I called mom and she shared how they had had a terrible morning, felt oppressed in the room, and it had been very upsetting. She said, “we quoted Scripture, and the one that meant so much to us was from Lamentations 3:23.” I know this was not an accident!
I was amazed at how God constantly wove our thoughts and prayers and minds as we were deliberate in seeking Him together for this, how He gave us the same prayers and verses and reassurances. And my step-dad survived and has done well since!
So as I considered some of these things today, I thought God has been really good to them, to us! And 25 years is a big milestone and something to celebrate! We don’t know how long their marriage will be, but the years they have been given together have been good and sweet! Praise You, Lord!