A simple gold band. We had set the date and now we were looking for wedding bands. I liked gold. Terry preferred silver. I liked the sparkle of diamonds. He didn’t care for that. We decided on yellow gold bands with white gold overlays.
A shiny wedding ring. On October 17, 1987, I place that shiny new ring on Terry’s finger. Of course, it was on the wrong hand, but that was soon remedied. He wore that ring every day. I used to tease him that there was no way he could ever get away with taking it off. The white imprint of the wedding band on his ring finger was too obvious. Thru the years, my band was replaced with a diamond band, but Terry’s remained the same.
A well worn ring. No longer perfectly round, the white gold overlays faded after 18 years of constant wear. But there is nothing quite as precious to me as that ring that was returned to me in the hospital corridor five years ago. I wear it proudly as reminder of the love that we shared.
Terry, I miss you so much!
I’m a math nerd. I admit it. I like the way numbers are consistent and tell the same story every time. Two plus Two will ALWAYS equal Four. I liked Algebra formulas. When it came to Geometry, not so much. While some people loved the graphing and seeing the little boxes appear, I often couldn’t see them. I knew they were there, but you never knew where they would be or what shape and I struggled to find them. But, give me a proof to write and I was in heaven! I fell in love with the logical order of proofs. Because that’s what they were: LOGIC. It was just writing down how I solved a problem, step by step.
Unfortunately, there are few things in life that are as consistent or logical as a geometry proof. I know there have been many times when I took all the right steps, but the result didn’t add up. Two plus two seemed to equal Five in my life. Yet, I still plan. I still over-think. I still set my expectations. And, usually that’s the problem: MY expectations. I recently read this passage from “Bittersweet” by Shauna Niequist: “I believe that faith is less like following a GPS through a precise grid of city blocks, and more like being out at sea: a tricky journey, nonlinear and winding.” I don’t know about you, but I truly prefer the GPS option.
Psalm 27:14 says “Wait for the Lord; Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:11 states “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Proverb 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Great verses. So, why do I feel so undirected at times? Why do I need a proof? Is my faith too small? Does it really matter? Maybe, I’m just not ready to give up control.
The reality is that “stuff” happens all the time. Not everything will go the way that I want it to go. Even if I do everything to set it up the way I want it, things happen that are out of my control. I have to be able to roll with the seemingly unfair circumstances that sometimes are a part of my life. I don’t have a map to tell me what’s in my future. But, I do believe that God is firmly in control.
Two plus two will always equal four. But for me, it may look more like this:
I tease my siblings that I was quite happy as an only child for 2 years. I liked being alone. It was special.
In college, being alone was rare. Even when I lived in my Own apartment, people came and went at all hours.
As a single adult, life was busy and exciting. Alone time had to be scheduled. There was so much to do that once a month I might get an evening to myself.
My first apartment as a new bride was a small one bedroom. As much as I loved my new husband, I looked forward to Thursday nights when he had to work. I got the whole apartment all to myself and time alone.
Alone time with toddlers was truly a challenge. On more than one occasion, I locked myself in the bathroom as the kids stood outside knocking and begging to get inside. I just needed to be alone.
When my kids hit their teens, my husband and I talked about what we could do with all the time we would have alone. The possibilities were endless.
Being alone terrified me as a new widow. How would I make it? I held tightly to my kids and dreaded the day they too left me. I didn’t want to be alone.
As I look toward the future, being alone is changing still. I will never be completely alone. I trust that God will continue to fill my life with new goals and adventures. My kids and family weave in and out of my daily life. Friends, old and new, come and go and dot the landscape of my life. In the dark of night loneliness still creeps into the room. But, it’s not as scary as it was.
I may even learn to treasure alone time again. Someday.