When Pigs Fly

Yesterday’s post by Nancy Kennedy was actually written eight years ago. Today, after thirty-six years of marriage, read the rest of her story!

Sometimes when you’ve been praying for something or somebody for what seems like all your life, you tend to think God is off getting a sandwich or that He just hasn’t heard you somehow. You think He doesn’t care or that maybe you haven’t been good enough or all those other untruths you’re tempted to believe.

A neighbor used to tell me he believed my husband Barry would come to faith in Christ, that he had no doubts at all. I would answer, “Yeah, yeah—when pigs fly.” In other words, never. But God makes pigs fly.

It started about six years ago when we had been married thirty years. Actually, it started before the foundation of the world began, but my memory doesn’t go back that far. Christmas Eve 2004, Barry was working out of town. I didn’t expect him home until Christmas Day. That year was the first Christmas Eve I would not have at least one of my daughters at church with me—they had both moved away and weren’t coming home for the holiday. Instead of moping about being alone, I decided to volunteer as a greeter for all three Christmas Eve services at church.

At the start of the second service, as I was greeting people in the lobby, out of the corner of my eye I saw Barry walking toward me. He had never been to my church before and I did a double take. It was as if a pig was readying itself for take-off, flapping its wings, not quite flying, but almost. He had planned to surprise me—and he did! And he loved the service. He said he’d like to make church a regular thing. That didn’t happen, but he did come occasionally.

Then he went for a check-up at the doctor’s. Fast forward through a whole bunch of medical stuff, he ended up needing quadruple heart bypass surgery. His surgeon, a member of my church, talked to Barry about his physical heart and also about his spiritual heart. I still don’t know all the details—men can be so hush-hush about things—but I do know Barry and the doctor prayed together.

Days before his surgery, as we went over life insurance information and his will and all, I knew something had changed in my husband. I knew that if he died, he would be eternally safe with Jesus. We prayed together, and I read psalms to him.

The day of his surgery was horrible and wonderful, all at the same time. One of the most precious gifts I received during that time was realizing we hadn’t been married long enough. It was good to realize I truly did love my husband and that not one of our years being unequally yoked was wasted.

Here’s the rest of the story, which isn’t finished yet: Since then, Barry has gone through several more surgeries and procedures. His faith is often stronger than mine, yet we are still very different in how we live and express our faith.

He doesn’t love my church like I love it. He is still looking for one he likes. However, he does like listening to sermons. So, I attend church on Saturday nights and on Sundays we usually take a drive and listen to podcasts of sermons from a variety of preachers. Every once in a while we try out a church in town.

A long time ago I gave up the notion of a fairy tale ending, and I am perfectly fine with that. My husband is who he is, and God can and will change him as He sees fit. Life is rarely what we expect. However, God truly does make pigs fly.

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