November is a special time of celebration and thanksgiving. Obviously, it is the month when we, as Americans, set aside a day for national thanksgiving for God’s great blessings on our republic. But, for me, November is special for more personal reasons. Each November I am blessed to celebrate, not only my dear wife’s birthday, but also the anniversary of our pledge to share our lives, “…through sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer…until death do us part.” It was twenty eight Novembers ago that we made that pledge; flushed with the exhilaration of youth but thoroughly inexperienced and unrealistic about our expectations for the future. After all, who could have envisioned the countless events and circumstances that would serve to shape and mold our lives into something neither of us could have expected; the failed ambitions and unanticipated blessings; the missed opportunities and unforeseen windfalls; the bewildering tragedies and hard-won triumphs; all working together to guide the rivers of our existence into the twisting channels, thunderous rapids, and sluggish backwaters that come to define us. Faced alone, this forbidding and unexplored flood could easily have cast us adrift – solitary, uninspired, and without purpose.
But when faced in partnership with a companion whose strength and courage give temper to your own, whose faith and compassion challenges and restores, and whose patience and respect heals and fortifies, this otherwise daunting and tiresome journey becomes a new and thrilling adventure – an adventure not to be feared and endured, but enjoyed – to be experienced in all of its glorious disorder and uncertainty. Who could hold back from the prospect of such a journey – where perils still threaten but wonder, acceptance, and discovery are assured? Such has been my life these twenty eight Novembers. An exhilarating voyage of breathless exploration and startling surprises. Where trust was strong, it is now absolute. Where admiration was plentiful, it now abounds. Where love was passionate, it is now abiding. Who could have known? Solomon, whose reputation for wisdom is well founded, tells us in Proverbs:
“House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.”
Therefore, I thank God for my amazing wife. And I thank her for my amazing life. Happy birthday, my darling, and happy anniversary. I love you and I am looking forward with great anticipation to many exciting Novembers to come.