Chris & Dana! You two! The blessing of meeting you and learning your story is that you are more proof tragedy does not have to hold you down or push you back, but it can be the catalyst to amazing strength. Your strong love is fueled by a defining trial and the beauty it is revealing is captivating to behold.
I know you surround the people in your life with great joy through your smiles for each other. Keep laughing out loud and pushing away all obstacles that keep you from each other. I really hope I get to be a part of a future vow renewal here on Maui. Hint hint....I hope you make it a Maui a tradition!
As I asked these two to stand amongst the crashing waves and lava rocks on the beach I noticed a tenderness to the way that Chris walked and a special attention that Dana took to him as he navigated. My inquiry about that gentleness turned into a revealing story of months and months of recovering from very serious injuries incurred from what could have been a very tragic car accident. They confessed they thought there was no way they were going to make it on this anniversary trip, but they pushed themselves at physical therapy so they could be on this beautiful beach celebrating. My heart welled up with awe and the sincere vow renewal I had just witnessed took on so much more meaning.
"We are a testament of God's miracles. We want our story to inspire others to live genuinely in the moment, to tell your loved ones you love them, and to ensure that the precious things in life are not taken for granted.
You marry and say for better or worse, in sickness and in health. This time showed me her heart in "for worse and in sickness." These are the things a young couple never thinks about. I was so touched that my wife would stand by my side and fully, wholeheartedly support me in my darkest time. I had never imagined myself not being able to feed, cloth, bathe, and fend for myself.
My message in all this is to encourage others to be kind to one another. You never know what the other is going through, always be human. Tell your family you love them and cherish the time you can share. God is good, all the time. Miracles happen everyday; I'm a miracle!"
Just a snippet of Chris' overflowing words of wisdom and gratefulness born through this great trial. I hope it causes you to squeeze loved ones tighter this Thanksgiving and thank God moment by moment for the breath in your lungs.