Celebrate the Scars

This last week a friend of ours celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary.  I say “He” because his wife died a few years ago of an undiagnosed brain tumor just weeks after her retiring. It still breaks our hearts to think about it.  Many of you out there can identify with such a tragedy and know exactly what I mean.

I know I just keep saying this, but God has been SO good to us. One of the Bible studies that we lead has been looking at God’s idea of “Blessing”, and we’ve been amazed at all the references the Bible has to show us (there are many).

As our group studies together, over and over we keep coming back to that wonderful truth, that we’ve all been blessed.  Now I know, there’s a tendency among lots of churches these days to avoid that phrase, because when you say it, the unfinished thought that often communicates to others is, “…and you haven’t been.” We all agree that we would never want to make someone feel bad because of our happiness, but what are we to say?

Our 50th celebration last year meant the world to us and we’re happy to say it was a great success. I had really looked forward to that day for about, hmm……..49 years??  We’ve laughed at ourselves when we celebrate birthdays, and those are special times, to be sure. But when you compare the two milestones, you can’t help but think, “Okay, I’ve been alive for this many years, and that’s saying something. But when I can say, “I’ve stayed married for this many years, that calls for a real celebration!”

I won’t lie, this has been an ‘interesting’ year for all of us, especially with Tony’s surprise bout with cancer (we’ll get the final results in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned), and because a marriage is a living organism, there have naturally been times of distress and fatigue along with all the good stuff!!

I remember years ago when we lived in Colorado, our church had a “Jeep Club” made up of everyone with a four-wheel drive and a passion for testing their grit on some of the most challenging trails in the Rockies. It was on such a trip that I first fell in love with Tony, but that’s another story!

One of our church members bought a brand new Jeep Wagoneer and was anxious to join us for our next trip over the infamous Websters Pass. It’s an old miners track from the 1800s that hasn’t been maintained since the gold played out. At one point, the road leans so steeply to the left that we had to make the crossing one by one, with a half dozen or so people riding on the right side of the vehicle so it won’t roll into the valley. As the new owner lined up for the Saturday morning convoy, several folks came by to admire the vehicle, but mumbled to each other, “Umm, not a hash mark on it. Obviously he’ll be in for some surprises.”

As is often the case with our bodies as well, these folks treated the scratches and scrapes on their rigs with a mixture of pride and shame, with no lack of stories to go along with them.

I was recalling some of those “hash marks” in our marriage with a younger girl commenting about our anniversary (earlier in the week) and saying, “Oh, it’s just 51, no big deal”, to which she retorted, “It IS a big deal.  EVERY year, every minute IS a big deal!”

And she’s right.  So to celebrate this very big deal, Tony and I went up to Brisbane and grabbed a cheap hotel deal for the night.  When I say “Cheap Hotel”, it wasn’t like the ones we were limited to budget wise, when we were first married.  I remember one on our honeymoon stops where the room was only $3, but the love and excitement made up for it.  NOW, a ‘cheap hotel’ means that with Covid everyone’s trying to keep in business so the 5-Star, best of Brisbane, was going for a song. At our age, we NEED the spa, the down comforters, all that…….. When they figured out it was our anniversary, they even sent Champagne to the room.  We’ll have to figure out if we can use it as hand sanitizer!   It’s still winter here and it’s still Covid Crazy, but we figure that things may very well get worse before they get better, so we’d better live for the days we have.

I guess that’s a good way to look at everything, don’t you think? Enjoy the blessings. Be proud of your scars and the things they taught you. Praise God for both, and especially for the ones you can share with someone who has been a part of them with you.

Bless ya bunches,

Marsha

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