All that’s left is a band of Gold

It’s been a roller caster lately. Itsn’t there a saying about things happening in threes? I generally tread lightly when it comes to the topic of the man I married. His condition is a sensitive subject to him and it’s all a sensitive subject to me. On the other hand it’s one of those things we can’t hide from even if we try. And really if you know me well enough you already know the details and IF you know him enough to know who I’m talking about then you’re already aware of all this too, so it’s not really an over share.

Have you ever met a hero? Not just “oh I think this person is great”, but a real hero; someone where other people can say “I’m alive because of them” or someone who can regale stories that make you shiver at the thought, but swell with the pride of selfless actions. But those are his stories to tell and this is mine. I didn’t just meet a hero I fell in love with one and built my life with one and then the very same things that have found him decorated in bronze stars and purple hearts broke him to the core. “Destroyed my life”, his words, not mine. “Trapped” his words, not mine. But knowing that somewhere hidden inside a shell is the hero is the biggest part of the answer to why?

My wedding band has garnered a lot of attention lately for some reason. Some are surprised I still wear it. New people comment on how pretty it is. Then for some it elicits a questioning gaze, but most know not to ask or know enough to know the answer. But the basics are yes, I still wear my a wedding ring.

I know you’re probably thinking “wow, this chick is pathetic! How long has she been divorced?!” It doesn’t come from that place though. Sure I’d love to see my family restored. I had a friend recently remind me that God is in the restoration business and it made me smile. But I’m not living my life waiting for a dozen roses with a single white one signifying our love. I know sometimes some people become so damaged they must wait for heaven to be healed.

We had the kind of marriage everyone wanted. Even the neighbor girl had to have it for herself. We never fought until the day he said he was leaving. Did we disagree? Of course, but mature conflict resolution with respect to each other is how we handled it. That was only a small part of a Godly covenant we committed to when we swore forever. I’ve listened to the tape dozens of times and no where in there did we promise just until battle wounds ripped us apart. We live in a world where we swear to anything and vows of any kind mean next to nothing. For me “till death” means just that. By living accordingly I get to teach my children the value of marriage, the importance of commitment, and that it doesn’t end just because someone thinks it got hard.

When I found myself suddenly alone I hit my knees hard and then I found the answers I needed in God’s word. Several years of reading and I’ve nearly memorized every verse on marriage, love, forgiveness, and the expectations of a spouse. That is why I still wear my band. It reminds me now just as it did then that I made a promise sanctified by God. It symbolizes to the world that I’m not available because I have chosen to love another. It’s not lust or infatuation it’s a daily decision to accept someone the way they are, to forgive them their struggles, and to wake up each morning no matter how angry or hurt you may feel and make the choice all over again. It’s this choice to love that means I listen to complaints of unhappiness, accept half sincere apologizes, and never give up.

My band is a reminder that I am someone’s helpmeet. I was hand picked by God to complete someone else and it’s my responsibilty to live my life as a Proverbs 31 woman. In some ways I struggled with submissiveness as a young wife and when things fell apart I took bad advice from wolves in sheep clothing. I’m not proud of the way I sometimes handled the hurt, but now I find it’s so much easier to be the pillar of strength my family needs because I’ve rooted myself in mine.

Maybe it’s old fashioned, but there is a peace and satisfaction that comes from living my life to honor the man I married. He may not walk through the door at 6 o’clock, but if he did he would find dinner ready. He may not leave whisker shavings in my sink, but if he did they would be cleaned in the daily wipe down. He may not pile his dirty socks under the eastern end of the bed, but if he did they would be picked up when I make the bed and start the laundry for the day. Before he got hurt he had this idea of the woman I could be, but I was busy and I had a plan. I’d grown a lot, but nothing like what I’ve experienced the past year and I wish I had known that I had it in me to be the wife he believed I was capable of being. God knew and he molded me and I’ve seen how the bar has been set and that no matter how one looks no one will ever fill my shoes. My ring reminds me that in a covenent with God our potential in infinite.

I put my ring on and I remember that I am someone’s bride. I won’t remarry as I could never ask someone to sin just to ease the loneliness I sometimes feel. I dress modestly and do my best to reflect well when in the world. First, I want God’s light to shine through me. Second, I want people who meet me to think well of the man I married because of my actions and poise. I’ve never considered myself to be a head turner, but I know men have always envied what my husband had.

Sounds like I’m a doormat right? I’ll admit there are moments when I feel like maybe I am. He swears I’m not, but he says a lot of things that don’t always fit. But I had a friend say the most amazing thing to me this week. “Queens hear the complaints of the common people, and even respond with grace and compassion while at the same time being secure in their position & worth. That’s what you are doing!” Aside from being the sweetest hing I’ve heard in a while it really gave me some perspective. I am the daughter of the King, I am royalty and I honor Him by desiring His will and depending on him to still my tongue, speak through me, and grant me strength. I find His grace and peace by living in accordance to His will and though I may not be winning the man I married over I have a peace in my life that I wouldn’t know otherwise. Living God’s way has garnered me more than anything I have ever done my own way. And that is why I wear my ring.

“After all this time?

“Always”, said Snape.

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