You’ve heard the joke…”How do you make God laugh? Tell him what you are doing tomorrow.” I’ve always thought that was cute…now I really get it. Steve and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary today, and this year…the thirteenth…has been a real doozy. When I made my New Year’s resolutions for 2013, watching my husband go through open heart surgery and going “sort of vegan” were not on the short list.
I have spent years watching families go through difficult times, and often thought “I wonder how I would react if…” Now I know. You see, when it happens to you, there isn’t really time to react. You just do. I am thankful to know this, as I am certain that this will not be the last “bump in the road” for the Cook family. When I look back at everything we have been through in just shy of six months, it’s astounding…but it honestly never really felt that way. Yes there were tears, worry and fear. There were moments when I saw that exasperated “what else can possibly happen?” look on Steve’s face. My lowest point was sitting in a crumpled heap in an empty hospital corridor…listening to a friend’s voice pray in my ear and tell me we “could do this.” She was right. We could, and we did. We were held, supported and loved in a way that I never imagined.
In a recent message, our Pastor said he can always tell when people are growing in their faith, because their lives are “overflowing with thanksgiving.” God is laughing…and we are happy to entertain Him. He knew better. He always does. This whole experience, as awful and painful as it was, did not happen accidentally. The word “coincidence” has been stricken from my vocabulary. This awful, painful experience has made us better. It gave us a sense of purpose and a greater understanding of why we are here, why we are together and where we want our journey to take us. The thirteen years that are behind us were great, but the many years to come will be far more fulfilling. Because of that awful, painful experience we are learning to be better spouses, parents, neighbors and friends. We are overflowing with thanksgiving.
I am thankful to live in a house that is filled with joy (aside from the occasional brotherly spat). God is laughing…and we are too. Moments that seemed so serious a few short months ago, give us a smile now. Steve passed cardiac rehab with flying colors. In fact, he ran 9 miles on his fancy new arteries this Saturday…show off. We survived a summer sans ice cream, though we fought over the occasional “drippy edge” on the boys’ cones. I still sneak a little feta cheese on occasion, and probably always will. Oh, and I bet God got a kick out of my first couple attempts at cooking quinoa. (Rinse it first or it tastes like you bit into a sandcastle.)
Lucky thirteen! Looks like an early bedtime for 2 little boys tonight. We have a backyard date planned…homemade veggie fajita bowls and vegan brownies are on the menu. Happy Anniversary, babe. I love you and I am so thankful for you. You make me better.