Fifteen years of undeserved life + breath. Fifteen years, a gift. We all know that each day we are alive is truly a gift, each new morning another day He has chosen to give us. But I remember laying in the freezing dark cold of that snow, wet and shivering, being fully aware that this might be my last day. We talked about it, my sister and I, as we clung to each other and to any semblance of warmth in that makeshift snowcave. We knew God would be good even if He chose to end our lives in this way, on this mountain, at the ages of 16 and 20 years old. He could have, but He didn’t. In the swirl of emotions following our rescue, the way it felt to see a helicopter with men smiling and waving over us, the way it felt to be helped onto that helicopter, flown to a hospital, exiting to microphones from multiple news agencies in our faces; the way it felt to see our parents for the first time, and our siblings; to be interviewed on the Today Show. I remember in the wake of all of that publicity returning back to my high school, walking the halls and being FULLY alive. I could hardly handle the way it pierced me, I wanted to jump up and down and shake people and scream at everyone, “We are ALIVE, you guys!?! This is insane. Don’t you get it? We all have been given ANOTHER DAY.” We all sort of know that each day is a gift, but I can’t tell you what it felt like to know that God wanted us alive. He chose to let us have another day, another embrace with our family, another breath. Here we are, fifteen years later. My sister and I both graduated high school, college, got married, have had three children each. Life has gone on, God has granted us more time, and our hearts are mindful of the miracle that this is. When we forget, our little “snowcave anniversary” comes up, year after year on February 12th, and we remember.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
A little video my sister put together years ago: