Celebrating a Second Chance at Life Together


My husband and I celebrate two anniversaries every year–not because we married twice, but because God gave us a second chance at life together.

We have celebrated December 29 for the past 44 years as the day two starry-eyed twenty-somethings said “I do” without realizing, of course, what they really were going to have to do. All we knew for certain was that we were confident we could serve God better together than either of us could alone.

And for the past 28 years we have celebrated July 2 as the day two teary-eyed young parents said “please, God!” without realizing, of course whether or not their prayers would really be answered they way they hoped. All we knew for certain was the surgeon was confident he could remove the cancerous tumor that day.

And the next year as that summer date rolled around again, and I still was recovering from my difficult six months of weekly chemo, my mind started reliving the nightmare of the year before. Because I didn’t want the date to be a painful reminder, I told my husband  I wanted to celebrate July 2 as the first anniversary of God’s healing touch on me. We still didn’t know if I would live or die (odds were about 40-percent that I would make it), but we were confident it was a good thing the cancer had been found and the tumor removed. And I wanted to celebrate every extra A.C. (After Cancer) year we were given to share life together.


My husband normally gives me flowers for this “cancer-versary,” but I was sure he wouldn’t remember this year and that was okay.  After all, he was in a nursing rehab hooked up to I.V. antibiotics in his picc line 4.5 hours a day and still popping Oxycodone for knee pain. He was scheduled to come home Monday, July 2 and that was the only present I needed.

But on Saturday there was my youngest daughter, who lives near us, walking toward me with a bouquet of fresh flowers and her outstretched iPhone on FaceTime. 

“These are from Dad!” she happily announced as I saw his smiling face through cyberspace.

“You remember what Monday is, don’t you?” he asked.

As if I ever could forget.


If you, like me, have been given a second chance at life, you know just what I mean.  Maybe it was a physical healing or perhaps you survived an accident. Maybe it was your marriage that was repaired or your relationship with one of your kids or grandkids. Maybe you conquered an addiction or you surmounted an abusive childhood. Maybe you have persisted in spite of poverty or pain. Whatever God has brought you and your family through, you have a second chance.

Make up your own “anniversary” to celebrate coming through the hurt as you trust God for whatever kind of healing He has in store for you–body, mind or spirit. I can’t promise you 28 “extra” years like my husband and I have been given, but I am confident that God loves you deeply and will be faithful no matter how unfair life has been. Celebrate each “extra” year, month, week, and day. Life is a gift, so we all are really on “borrowed” time here on earth.

My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises!–Psalm 57:7

As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.–Micah 7:7

They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.–Psalm 112:7

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.–Romans 12:12

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