November 4, 2002 – Call from doctor – biopsy shows I have cancer.
November 14, 2002 – Surgeon tells me after surgery that the cancer was very advanced and I will definitely need chemo and radiation.
November 27, 2002 – Doctor tells me the odds are not in my favor. He says chances are slim I will still be alive in ten years.
No, I’m only 54 years old. It’s eight more years until I can retire. That means if I even live to reach early retirement, I will only have two years to enjoy with my husband. For most of my marriage my husband has been an evangelist, missionary or pastor. I have worked right alongside him, providing music for services, training Sunday School and youth leaders, teaching Bible classes and overseeing ministries for women. Being a pastor is a 24/7 job (at least for those like my husband who have a shepherd’s heart). I cannot count the times our own plans have been put on hold because someone in the church had a need. My own job required us to be at home Monday through Friday – and weekends were filled with church obligations so vacation times were few and far between. I was so looking forward to the day we could retire and have some time for just the two of us.
Lord, please let me live to retire and give me two years – just two years of retirement with Paul.
April 8, 2010 – I turn 62 today. I had thought I would take early retirement now. If I did, that would give me those two years with Paul in retirement. However, looking at our finances I realize it would be better both now and in the future if I work until I’m 65. My doctor has now told me it appears I have beat old man cancer and may very well live much longer than first expected. Still, that clock is ticking. If I wait to retire at 65 I will be past the ten years. How many years of retirement will I have?
Lord, let me make it until 2013 and then give me two years in retirement with my husband.
January 4, 2013 – retirement is here! I have retired about three months before 65 but it’s close enough and I’m ready to begin a new life. I have reached that ten-year survival mark.
Lord, please give me two years of retirement to enjoy with my husband.
January 4, 2018 – God has not only allowed me to reach retirement age, not only given me those two years of retirement I prayed for – but today I begin my sixth year of retirement.
Thank you Lord for every day, every week, every month, every year you give me to enjoy time with my husband.