Category Archives: A Rediscovery of Life and Love

Getting thrown into a new life is the most uncomfortable thing I have ever had to do. In it, I am discovering new things in this journey in relation to life and love.

For Better Or For Worse

I remember those words 33 years ago (at the time of this writing). Standing there beside Joelle, I promised her that I would be there no matter what. She promised the same to me as well. Sure enough, our promises would be put to the test.

We’ve definitely had our share of great times, such as our kids being born, getting our first house and even our second, finding a great church. We’ve even spent the last 12 years working together on weekends as wedding photographers and we had a blast doing it. We got to see other couples exchange the same vows, celebrate with them, take lots of pictures, and eat lots of great food in various places. To Joelle and myself, it was almost like date night and it never felt like work. Of course, there are plenty more great times that I couldn’t name them all. And no matter what, we stuck together. I stood beside her and she stood beside me.

And we had bad times. When I suffered depression, she sold her piano to get me the Anthony Robbins Personal Power CDs. I would go crazy worrying about her when she got seriously ill, after Joshua was born. I can’t say that I had things figured out. In fact, I probably had nothing figured out. All I knew is that Joelle means almost everything to me and I would go crazy without her.

33 years after these vows were exchanged, nothing changed. When I fell and ripped the muscle off my knee, Joelle would get up in the middle of the night caring for me. I felt like a real burden to her because for those 8 weeks, I could not take care of myself in the simplest of ways. I was in tears because I felt like I was such a burden. Joelle would look at me and tell me “for better or for worse…”. Joelle also laughed and said “you owe me”. What we didn’t count on was what was to happen six weeks after I was finally back on my feet.

Joelle has been diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. Admittedly, I have been a mess for the past two weeks, knowing my best friend is in pain and has the battle of her life and all I can think is that she doesn’t deserve this. And in all that, all I can think of is for better or for worse. I will not leave her side. I want to be there to help her fight through all of this. It’s funny that she wondered if I should even be there for her chemotherapy. I wouldn’t even think of being anywhere else but right beside her. I’m not going to leave her side. I love her way too much.

To all of the brides and grooms that Joelle and I had the pleasure of serving for the past 25 years, Remember the vows you shared together. Nothing will ever show how much you love each other more than keeping those vows, not only when times are better, but when times are worse. Your marriage will be stronger because of it.

Making this Blind Man See

Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;

– Isaiah 38:4 – 6 via www.bible.com

It has been almost a month since my knee injury on the winter ice. That one heartbeat of a moment that robbed me of my independence, to which I now I have been fighting to get back. No, it’s not a battle against anyone and it certainly is not a lashing out towards God. I don’t have to ask why this happened to me because I know that everything always happens for a good reason. It isn’t like God said, “Take that and suffer with it…” or anything like that. It’s more like, “I have something to share with you and I need your attention”. I know that God is helping me clean up some of the sins in my life and sometimes the cure feels worse than the disease.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking, “How the heck can ripping the muscle off your knee be a cure for sin?”. Well, let’s start with the sin itself. It definitely goes deeper than this in levels one God could explain, but let’s just say that I haven’t been totally appreciative of the people that surround me in my everyday life. People like Joelle and Joshua, who are with me day in and day out. One could say that I have been taking their presence for granted and perhaps have not been treating them as a loving husband and father should be. In short, I was blind.

Enter the injury…

It’s amazing how one little… okay, not so little… muscle could leave me in a state of immobility and dependency. That muscle has disrupted the body. That muscle has interrupted a way of life. In fact, it not only interrupted a way of life for me, but it has also interrupted a way of life for Joelle and for Joshua. All of a sudden, their lives have been burdened with my injury. Heck, even Margot put her life on hold to fly out to help take care of me for the first couple of weeks of my injury. For our marriage, the “For Better and For Worse” wound up invoked.

So, where’s the cure?

It’s simple, really. Just as most things God does for us humans, He’s laid this one out right before my eyes as plain to see. God has made me realize just how strong Joelle’s and my marriage to each other is. When everyone else in life has left me wounded for dead, Joelle is the only person standing right by my side. She is taking care of me. She is feeding me. She’s helping me fight to regain my independence. She’s doing things for me that she never bargained for. She’s there for me throughout all of this. If that’s not love, then what is? Joshua has also been there and I know that it is hardest for him. He’s been helping to care of me and assist me with my physio exercises. Maybe God is preparing him as well.

Sometimes, it takes something like this to make your heart realize what love really is. Someone once told me that love is not a feeling, but an action. Love makes us do many things, and in many cases things we never wanted to do. And when things feel like they are at their worse, love brings out the best in those around them. And when you take your eyes off your injury, and affliction, you notice it and you really begin to appreciate it from that moment onward.

When you think about it, this injury is helping this blind man to see once again.