Eleven years ago today, J had open heart surgery to repair a defect in his aortic valve. His old valve was replaced with a new, titanium valve that made him sound like the crocodile from Peter Pan who ate the clock. I’ve always told him that… I’ve seen photos of J after surgery…it is not a picture of my husband I like to see. He just looks sick. It hurts my heart to know how much pain he was in, how sick he was. But, oh the joy I have when I think about how blessed I am that he is here with me-with our babies. You see, I didn’t know J at the time of his surgery. I wouldn’t meet him until 3 months later…and for any of you who know us and have heard our story, I didn’t like him very much when we met. As a matter of fact, he was probably the very last person I ever thought I would become friends with much less marry one day. Ha. God’s sense of humor is amazing. When I say my husbands life is gift, I truly mean it. It is never lost on me that my life could have looked very different…
One year ago today, I began telling people we were moving to the Rez. Angry and bitter, I began looking into the eyes of my best friends, telling them I was moving 2000 miles away. I only knew that we’d be living in teacher housing, that I’d have to drive a long way to buy groceries and that not one tiny part of me wanted to leave.
But, we did…and here we are.
I am so thankful we are. I am thankful and overwhelmed by the beauty that surrounds me each day. I am so glad that in His graciousness, my Father, knew exactly how to turn my hard heart from stone to clay…clay that can be molded into what He’d have me become. I’m overwhelmed when I think of how my eyes have begun to see the way He does, my ears have begun to hear the deeper meaning behind the pain and hurt of my family here. I’m thankful for this slow paced life we live. I look into the faces of my children and see a different childhood. A childhood that in the beginning I thought would be lacking because of where we were moving. Now I see, their childhood is lacking nothing because God sent us here and His word says that they will be lacking nothing. We are walking in His grace and mercy each day. Although every day is not sunshine and roses, although we still have hard, hard conversations regularly, we are assured that His plans for our family are good.
I am thankful today that the handsome cowboy in this picture is still around. I’m thankful that God, in his awesomeness, gave my husband another shot at life…an abundant one. I’m eternally grateful that even on the truly hard days or months, I’ve been blessed with a husband who works hard and truly wants to love others like Jesus.
I’m thankful that even when I can not see, He is working things out for my good. I’m thankful that even when I’m stubborn and bitter, He loves me anyway.
I’m thankful for this day eleven years ago…and every day in between-because even when I couldn’t see, He was holding every part and piece of my life in His hands.