Thursday, January 17, 2013

Celebrating Four Years

 (Today is my fourth wedding anniversary. Last year I shared why our third anniversary meant so much to me. In honor of of another year of marriage I decided to re-post last year's reflection as a reminder of how much I have to be thankful to God for.)

"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5
On January 17th of this year my husband and I celebrated three years of marriage. If you’ve been married any length of time this may not seem like much to you. But to me this is huge.

You see I was married before. Just over 34 months to be exact. Just shy of three years. My first husband was a cop/worship minister and a Godly man. On the afternoon of February 29, 2008, he went for a motorcycle ride with a fellow deputy. Darryl would say that he never got to ride his bike enough so I’m very glad that this was the last great experience he had before he left this earth. On his way home, less than a mile from our house, Darryl was in an accident with another vehicle in which he sustained a serious head injury. He was rushed to the hospital where one of our friends met him and got to exchange the last conversation Darryl would ever have on this earth.

Meanwhile Darryl’s Sergeant knocked on our door and gave me the news every spouse fears. Initially we thought Darryl just had a broken leg. So I while I rode to the hospital in the passenger seat of a police cruiser I made the customary calls to friends and family. Shortly after my arrival at the hospital we learned of Darryl’s head injury and made the decision to do the only procedure that may save his life. 

Over the next three weeks while Darryl was in a coma one more procedure was done but Darryl never woke up and the swelling in his brain never went down significantly. After three weeks of being in a coma in a Lakeland, FL hospital Darryl went home to be with Jesus peacefully with me by his side in the trauma ward. 

What I will never forget about that period of my life was the amazing support I had from Darryl’s family and mine, my pastors and church family, the Polk County Sherriff’s Office, and the community. (For more on Darryl's story visit here.)

Now four years have passed and it’s still impossible to believe. As this most recent wedding anniversary loomed on the horizon last fall, I wondered if I would ever get to the three year marriage mark with my current husband. I did the math and realized that is if by God’s design history would repeat itself again November of 2011 would have been the end of my time with Jason. So in the two months leading up to my first ever three year anniversary I tried to love and appreciate my husband with a fresh realization that every day could be the last. 

Here I am today over a month past the three year mark and beginning for the first time a fourth year of marriage. After all this time I am convinced that life by definition is incredibly hard but God is more faithful than we can ever imagine. Thank you for your prayer as the days leading up to March 22 (the anniversary of Darryl’s passing) are always difficult for me and all those who loved Darryl.

This post was originally published on February 29, 2012.


  1. I'm so glad you shared this, Joy. I know it may sound cliche, but I agree with the words of Tennyson, "Better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all." And God is so good to allow both of us to love twice. Happy Anniversary! Love you friend!

    1. Thanks for your encouragement, friend.

  2. Jacqui's quote is one I was going to share on your Jean Carlos post, but decided against it. But that is what I felt - not that you lost - rather, the love you gave and received with him is such a gain even though it feels like a loss. If you hadn't loved, you wouldn't have felt the loss, but hopefully that is all gain :-)

    1. Thanks for that good perspective, Brian.