Several years ago my wife and I attended the Life Enrichment Boot Camp to help us with our marriage. The seminar made a major change in our lives, but it didn’t resolve all of our problems. We still had our up and down periods, but we continued the work through the problems and move ahead and continued to learn.
I had intended to buy Karen a 25th wedding anniversary ring on our 25th anniversary, but at the time I didn’t have enough money to make the purchase. I began to set money back here and there so by Valentine’s Day I had the money to buy the ring. The way I intended to present the ring to her was to set up a candle light dinner in the living room and prepare a meal for us and when she got home that evening I wanted to surprise her. I was excited about this and all the plans I had made until…
A few days before the event she had gotten upset with me. I don’t remember what for and it really isn’t important. The fact was…she was upset. She surprised me by coming by where I work on Valentine’s Day and left me a bag in the seat of my car. When I saw the bag I was somewhat intrigued, but that feeling left soon after I opened the bag. In the bag was a note and her wedding rings. The note said something to the effect that she was letting me go and I could do whatever I wanted.
Well of course this hurt and then the hurt turned to anger. At this time I had already purchased the ring and my first instinct was to blow the whole thing off and return the ring. I said, “Fine! If that’s the way she wants it!” However, something inside me said to go ahead with my plans. I really didn’t want to and I resisted at first, but eventually I went ahead with the plans.
The rest of the day was really difficult because I was still hurting and I was going against my nature. Somehow I still had the ability to follow through. That evening when Karen came home she saw the table set up in the living room, lights down, candle and soft music in the background. To say the least she showed no excitement or appreciation for my efforts. She put her things away and eventually came and sat down with me. We ate and had some casual conversation.
When we were through eating I first put her wedding rings back on her finger. Then I gave her the anniversary ring and explained that I had been planning on this for some time now. Somewhere around this time her heart melted right along with the candle.
Since that day I would say that our marriage has continued to grow and we have not had any major circumstances with each other since then. Of course we still have difficulties, but we work through them. I cannot help but wonder…What if I would have listened to my own anger and not listened to God. All I can say is that I am so grateful for God speaking to me and giving me the grace to complete the task because our life together keeps getting better and better.