for better or worse [but mostly better]

marriage is a funny thing... intimate, frustrating, comfortable, disappointing, wonderful. i've been thinking about marriage a lot lately. my marriage. marriage in general.

God has focused my mind on this topic lately. i've known for about two weeks i wanted to blog some about marriage... and as i thought about what picture i would use to accompany the blog, i considered some photos of jim and i together. nice, but not exactly what i had in mind. i took numerous pictures of my rings on my hand. it still wasn't right. Then i pulled my rings off, and took the picture you see above. there was purpose in my removing my rings... i noticed some things that i hadn't really thought about before.

the first thing i noticed was this little piece of fuzz hooked on one of the little prongs. hmmm... wonder how long that's been there? who knows, really. and marriage can be like that. you can get caught on something little, and it just hangs there, unspoken, unnoticed... yet detracting from the beauty of your relationship. i've done it. let something ridiculous hang there between us, not even realizing it's there, knowing that something's not right but making no effort to remove it.

then, as i pulled my rings from my finger i noticed that my engagement ring has actually molded to my finger... no longer the perfect circle jim placed on my finger ten years ago. i'd never noticed that before, but it too says a lot about a marriage. over years, the spoken can go unspoken. all the jokes are inside jokes. entire conversations can be had in glances. knowing there will be someone home when you get there. having a soft place to fall. comfort.

comfortable, yes, but not perfect. as i took this picture i was a little surprised to notice all the nicks and scrapes in the gold. ten years of daily wear evidenced all over both rings. ten years of the daily grind, evidenced in our marriage. a little scratch here when i took his dinner for granted. a little cut there as he spoke unkindly. without a little time to polish and care for it, a marriage can end up completely marred by these tiny hurts. [and now is the time to polish]

finally, i took note of the stone itself. not impressive in size. not the kind of ring that people comment on it's beauty. just a simple single-stone ring. but absolutely beautiful to me... for the stone in my ring is a diamond my dad bought for my mom. ahhh, and who do you learn marriage from if not from your mom and dad. now i realize that their marriage was not perfect [none of them are]... but it was as close as i have ever known. our life was not easy. money was tight. dad had to work as a truck driver- gone all week. but there was so much love. unconditional love. they fought, sometimes so loud they'd have to take it to the garage! but they always made up, and they always reassured my brother and i that while sometimes grown-ups don't get along... no matter what dad and mom loved each other. i remember a marriage of fun and laughter. a marriage of forgiveness. a marriage of joy. a marriage of compromise. a marriage of generosity.

their marriage is the foundation of ours. we were married on their anniversary, in fact. but sometimes i forget the example i have to go on. i get my feelings hurt and i hold a grudge. i get offended and fail to forgive. i take for granted and fail to appreciate. and i want to make it [his] fault... before i know it our life is marred with a bunch of tiny little scratches- so many of them that it becomes hard to see the amazing man that jim is. the person that God ordained for me. the man that God wrote into MY story.

but lately, God's been opening my eyes to how blessed i truly am. and as i slide my rings back onto my finger, i'm thankful that after all these years... it's still the perfect fit.


Lauren said...

good word, B. What a blessing to read.

and as a side note, I notice jewelry, and I have always thought your ring looked so perfect on your finger. No joke.

Nicole said...

What an amazing post. Thank you for being a wonderful example Becky.