Five years ago, October 17, 2012, to be exact, Jodi and I faced one of those milestone moments in our marriage that you’d never ask for, hardly plan for, but would take nothing for it. After a few tests related to some minor but nagging health questions, I found myself relying on a surgeon’s training while trusting in a sovereign God as I underwent open heart surgery.

Just hours before, Jodi and I sat in the “cath lab” and got the news that I had a 95% blockage in the lower anterior artery to my heart. My cardiologist was prepared to put in a stint but the artery would not allow it. So, a 42-year-old man would not leave the hospital until meeting the surgeon.

Crisis points give you an opportunity that you may not consider otherwise, an opportunity to examine your faith, assess your life, and choose to walk together into the unknown…which is what faith actually is.

James 1:2 tells us to not look at our difficulties as punitive or destructive, but to think of them as God’s work at perfecting us. We believe that. So, together, we prayed, talked, prepared, and walked forward. God helped us with peace. He helped us with friends and church family who served us and prayed for us. He helped us with families that cared and served us. Mostly, God helped us by forcing us to walk through the difficulties.

Today, we have a stronger and more dynamic relationship with each other and with the Lord than we could ever have had otherwise. This was not our first test and will not likely be the last time our faith is challenged. But our faith is stronger, our testimony is broader and our peace is deeper than we could ever imagine.

Why tell you all this…today? Simply stated, days after the 2012 surgery, we asked a friend, Janey Frost, to shoot some pics for us to remember the season by.

A couple of weeks ago, we asked Janey to update those…five years later.

The pictures show the joy that we experience as a couple together…but they represent more than that for us. To Jodi and I, these pictures are like memorial stones erected beyond our Jordan to remind us of the unmerited faithfulness and goodness of God.

Thanks Janey for helping us stack stones.

Thank you @jodiaiken for walking through the fire with me. You make me better. You make me happy. You make me smile. I love you.

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