This is a day of remembrance, a day we refer to as Ricky’s “second birthday.” Five years ago on this day, our worlds were turned upside down. God never brings you through fire in vain. He works all things together for good for those who love Him, even if the good is different than what we expect. (Romans 8:28)
It was on this day God spared Ricky’s life. We won’t know on this side of heaven why He spares some, and allows others to leave us, but the reality is, we are all leaving one day. When I remember this, it helps me remember to make the most of every opportunity I am blessed with.
It was on this day he had a major cardiac event and almost left us. Genetics may be the root cause, but his intention to take care of himself all the years prior helped him walk away from it with a “runner’s heart.”
It was on this day I realized I am not in control, and neither is anyone else. It is so easy to feel like all aspects of our health are within our control. On this day, I was reminded they are not. What does this mean for us? 1) Taking care of ourselves is important and looks different for everyone. 2) Stressing about our health is counterproductive. Pursuing health is not meant to control us—what we try to control eventually controls us. We are called to live free. The reason I bring this up is because I see both extremes when it comes to health—I see people who obsess about it, and I see people who don’t care at all. There is a beautiful place somewhere in the middle where we can take care of ourselves—nourishing our body (not depriving it), moving to feel good (not for punishment), allowing rest, managing stress, etc.—yet be free and at peace with what we cannot control. I want to live in the middle.
Speaking of control, it was on this day I had to learn to surrender Ricky’s life to God. In the first few years of our relationship, up until his event, I had this horrible fear of loss that tormented me day after day. I found myself wanting to control all the dangers I sensed around him. I wasn’t living free—I was living in anxiety. I can look back and see how God used this to prompt me to pray over him, hard, all the time. I used to wake up in the middle of the night and pray over him, even putting my hand over his heart. When he had his cardiac event, and we didn’t know how it would turn out, I remember just sitting on the floor in the ER, knowing there was nothing I could do but pray over him. All I had was faith in that moment. When the anxiety creeps up again—and it does—I remember that moment. Surrendering my perceived control helps me live free, and trust God with his life. It also helps me in other aspects of my life where I struggle with control.
As I mentioned, we don’t go through fire in vain. This gives me peace as we walk through other fires in our lives. I feel like I’ve been given a gift. Almost losing Ricky makes me even more grateful God blessed me as his wife. It helps me not take him for granted.
I don’t want us to have to experience almost losing our loved ones in order to appreciate them. Hug your loved ones. Let them know you love them. Tell them how you feel. Don’t let petty disagreements get in the way. Remember what is most important in this life.
Happy 5th “second birthday” Ricky! ❤️