I APPLIED MY HEART TO WHAT I OBSERVED….Proverbs 24:32a
The first time I recall learning to apply my heart to what I observed was in 1982. Sitting alone, I stared down at the fairly new wedding ring on my left hand. Two individual rings, a shiny gold band and engagement solitaire diamond beside it. We hadn’t yet had them soldered together.
As I gazed at the rings I thought how indicative it was of my married life. Two individuals joined together in marriage but living separate lives. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I was supposed to be living the fairy tale life. My tall handsome prince had arrived and put a ring on my finger but nothing else. He went to work, I went to work. He went to party, I went to church. We were living under the same roof, but worlds apart.
I distinctly remember hearing God that day. It was the first experience of God talking to me through a picture story. He told me although there are two rings now; I want to make you one. Just like soldering the two rings together to make them one ring, I want to do that with you and Don.
Much like the Pharisees were arguing with Jesus in Mark 10, I began questioning marriage also. I didn’t know if I even wanted to be married anymore. Maybe a divorce would be better.
I was stopped in my downward spiral thinking as I ironically read our wedding invitation. Printed on the front were verses from Mark 10. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Although I couldn’t argue with God’s word, I didn’t LIKE IT!
· I thought I was supposed to be happy.
· I thought I was supposed to be fulfilled.
· I thought I was supposed to be treated like a princess.
But I chose to hold God to his Word. It wasn’t easy and I had to learn to trust Him. Most of the time, I learned while kicking and screaming. Sadly, there were times I gave up and lost hope. I didn’t want to do it anymore.
Two year went by when my diamond solitaire ring was stolen. I had never had them soldered together and I then regretted it. But even more so, I considered this new scenario more apt description of my marriage.
Two halves separated……. without any bling.
Now what, God? Two kids later with a house full of division, hopelessness and distress was divorce now imminent? Hanging by a thread, praying for something to change, I waited. Quite impatiently I might add. Nose to nose with God on issues I didn’t want to hear.
· HE has to change!
· HE has to get it together!
· HE is the one who is wrong!
There were many times that I wished I had NOT applied it to my heart. God knew in his omniscient power what I was prone to do when he gave me that first picture story. Therefore he handed me a bucket of glue to apply to that “truth” wallpaper to my mind, instead of the self-sticking wallpaper you just dip in water. He knew it was going to have to stick strongly! “Oh, Lord you have searched me and know me….you perceive my thoughts from afar…..you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely Lord.” (Psalm 139:1-4).
How often I regretted having used glue! I wanted to rip it to shreds, or wallpaper right over with my negative thoughts, or quite possibly another husband!
AND I LEARNED A LESSON FROM WHAT I OBSERVED…….. Proverbs 24:32b
Thirty years has passed since that time. Yesterday, while sitting in a meeting with Don I glanced down at my wedding ring. I recalled that first picture story. Although God has spoken to me numerous times through the years of picture stories, I will never forget that first one. Why?
Because God was faithful and did what he said he would do. Our marriage endured and we certainly became one. Although not easy, it took hard work as we endured the storms. Most of them were ignorantly, self-inflicted storms that we had created. Regardless, God never failed us or left us.
I asked Don to take a picture of my wedding ring. Don just grinned, knowing to not question the logic behind the request. In my mind, this blog story was already forming…….
My wedding ring is a perfect picture of our marriage. It’s a simple band with rows of diamond chips. There is nothing protruding that could get caught on something. It is not showy or flamboyant. It has lots of bling contained all in one ring.
That afternoon while having lunch in a seaside restaurant in Maui, I was compelled to count the diamond chips in my wedding ring. I had to do it twice. Because I thought I must have been wrong the first time. I wasn’t’ wrong!
There were 33 diamond chips in my ring. This year we are celebrating 33 years of marriage…
That my friends, is the heart of God! Who loves me and Don, and cares about our marriage…..