This year our wedding anniversary is on 11/11/11 and for those who may not know...we were married a year exactly from the day I realized he was the one. That night I was sitting across from him at dinner and I remember vividly looking up at him and he was looking at me in a way that no one had ever looked at me before. I can only describe it as "the look of love" because in that moment, I felt his love for me and it was in that moment that I felt love for the first time. The date was 11/11/06. And on 11/11/07 we were married. Even before this monumental moment, I have had a special love for the number eleven that dates back to my elementary years. It has always been my favourite number and throughout my life has had special significance.
So the fact that our anniversary this year will be on 11/11/11 we wanted to do something extra special! Jared and I both agreed we wanted to go somewhere that neither of us have been before so we could experience somewhere new together. He mentioned the idea of Greece, so that is where our searching started. Because we met in the middle of the ocean - on a cruise ship - and with me being sentimental, I started looking for cruises to Greece close to our anniversary date. I found one that I instantly obsessed over - it was a cruise to Italy, Greece, Egypt, Turkey and Israel. I couldn't believe that one cruise would take me to all of my dream destinations!
Since 6th grade I have had a huge fascination with Egyptian culture...I've seen just about every documentary there is, and traveling to Egypt has been a lifelong dream of mine. I have also had a strong interest in Greek Mythology and would love to indulge in their culture. And where do I begin on the countless photo opportunities?! But what excited me most about this cruise was the chance to visit the Holy Land! To be able to walk where my Lord and Saviour walked would be the ultimate lifetime treasure! I weep at the thought of it.
So of course, I tell Jared about the details of the cruise with excitement only to have him tell me "I'm sorry, but we just can't budget this cruise." My heart sunk. Of course I was disappointed. This was my dream trip. I had already lived it out in my head! But my disappointment was quickly replaced with respect. Respect for my husband who as difficult as it must have been to tell his eager and excited wife "no", he did it out of love because he was thinking of our best interest, not just what sounded good at the time. This cruise was financially irresponsible. Deep down I knew that, but I wanted it anyway. And hearing him say "no" re-affirmed one of the many reasons why I married him. He takes care of me...and taking care of me doesn't mean giving me everything I want. Even though "no" was NOT what I wanted to hear...I love and respect him even more for telling me "no" because it was a sign of his love and protection. This was not the first time he has responded with a "no" to my requests, but this will probably stand out as the most memorable because of what happened next....
We soon began searching for an alternative plan together and as sure as God is good, we stumbled upon another cruise line with identical destinations as the previous one except this one was literally HALF the price of the other one, including land excursions (tours) - so it was well within our budget and the port to board the cruise is only a train ride in distance so we won't have to pay extra for airfare! It was a God send! This cruise was even better than the other one and this time I got a "YES!" :) I threw my arms around my husband and just wept with joy! I am overwhelmed by God's unbelievable blessings! He coordinated every detail to perfection and I couldn't be more excited and thankful!
So we will be celebrating our 11/11/11 anniversary on an 11 day cruise to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Israel! A dream come true shared with the man of my dreams! The cruise leaves on November 6th so on our actual anniversary we will be exactly where we first met....in the middle of the ocean. :)
God is in the details. God is good.