This past Wednesday (May 15th), my wife and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. It had been a few years since our last big trip, so we decided it was time to pack our bags and hit the road. Our adventure started off last Thursday afternoon with a two-hour drive north to Flagstaff, AZ. We roughed it out a bit in a rustic cabin, that night, and readied ourselves for a ride to the Grand Canyon the following day. Believe it or not, this was our first time seeing this natural wonder. Not knowing what to expect we started off on the South Rim and finished with a drive to check out the watch tower at the East Rim. The watch tower surprisingly greeted us with snowflakes and sunshine all-in-one. Being from the Phoenix-Metro area, we rarely get to see snow. This was quite a treat for us. After spending the morning exploring the Canyon we got back on the road and headed to Pagosa Springs, Colorado.
Pagosa Springs is a special place for my wife and I. Shortly after we were married, I told my wife to jump in the car for a ride. At the time we were living in Las Cruces, New Mexico. After a quick pit-stop in Santa Fe, and at the recommendation of my friend, we got back in the car and I drove her to Pagosa. Needless to say, we fell in love with the place. Since then, it has been one of our favorite destination to get away. However, this visit brought us something unexpected. Once again we found ourselves face-to-face with an abundance of showers. Our usual visit, to the springs, involves us taking time from the pools to bake in the sun. That was not an option this time. Instead, we jumped from pool to pool, escaping the cold, from our moment of arrival, until we closed the place down.
The following day we took a drive down to New Mexico to jump in the warm waters of Ojo Caliente. This place is especially meaningful to us, because I took my wife there during our honeymoon. While Pagosa Springs is on the edge of the riverbed, Ojo Caliente is set in the high desert, right below a cliff. It is a place where people go to experience silence and relaxation. We soaked there for several hours, then headed to Santa Fe, NM to eat at the Famous Plaza Café where treated ourselves to a New Mexico favorite, chile con carne. Inevitably, it seemed as if snow was following us, because we encountered it there as well.
The following day, I took my wife for a 45-minute ride down South to hike at Tent Rock National Park. Although hiking is one of our favorite activities, we haven’t hiked much since moving to the Phoenix Metro area. Honestly, we just don’t enjoy being out in the heat. This was not the case for us on this day. Although it wasn’t snowing, we enjoyed a cool breeze and some rain drops as we explored the beauty found at this canyon.
As we traveled back home, I couldn’t help but be grateful. A few years back, I wouldn’t have imagined that we would have made it to see our 15th anniversary. We both were broken, hurting, discouraged, and drifting apart. Nevertheless, Jesus had other plans for us. Through a series of what can only be described as God-encounters, He came in and put back every broken piece together again. Not only did He heal our marriage, but He gave us purpose and meaning once again. To say that we are humbled, honored, and grateful are both accurate and an understatement.
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