Anniversaries. What comes to mind when I say that word? Most of the time anniversaries are associated with happy memories and events – like a wedding anniversary. But an anniversary can also be more somber. You may remember the anniversary of a loved one’s death. An anniversary is marked by any occasion you may not want to forget.
I “celebrated” an anniversary last week, one I’d rather wish I didn’t have to celebrate. It was the one-year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. I spent the day reflecting on this last year and all I had to walk through to make it to this anniversary.
And no matter what happens, I will probably always remember this day. It’s not an anniversary I chose, and yet it is now a part of me. Because that’s the thing about anniversaries – they get written on your heart.
Reflecting on anniversaries reminded me of Joshua leading the Israelites to the Promised Land after Moses had died. He led them to the Jordan where God commanded the people to follow the priests carrying the ark of the covenant. When they did so, the waters parted, and the Israelites were able to pass through on dry land.
On the other side, each tribe took a stone from the Jordan and placed it on top of each other as a memorial of the miracle: “This may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord … So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever” (Joshua 4:6-7).
We may not build physical reminders of our anniversaries as the Israelites did, but they should still become a part of who we are, something we tell our children about, especially our spiritual anniversaries.
While my cancer diagnosis is an anniversary of a physical ailment, it’s also the anniversary of how I’ve seen God work in my life in the last year. I’m still fighting and still praying for a miracle, but I can see the good around me. So when I reflected on that anniversary, I also took time to share and thank God for working in my life.
What spiritual blessings and teachings can be anniversaries you tie to your heart? Which anniversaries need to be remembered and shared with future generations? Take time to remember those milestones and set up memorials in your heart so you never forget the way God is working in your life.
“Then you shall let your children know … so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” –Joshua 4:22, 24