There are things that you have to face with divorce about which you never thought. I remember when I decided to stop wearing my wedding ring. I had worn that ring for twenty-one years. Every summer there was a white "tan line" on that finger. If you look at my ring finger, you will still see the indention from where the ring was. I remember when the ring was placed on my finger. The minister held up the ring and said, "The wedding ring is a circle unending, and so shall their love ever be."
I never thought that I would be taking that ring off my finger permanently. I kept it on for two months into the divorce process. But one day I realized that every time I looked down at my ring, I was reminded of the circle unending. I grieved deeply for that love that I thought I would have until my dying day. But I just couldn't bring myself to take it off. I knew that when I took that ring off, I was officially saying that it was over, and I was not ready to do that.
When this journey started, I missed several days of school. I am never absent, so my students knew that something was not right. I heard one say, "Do you think there is trouble with her marriage?" The other one said, "I don't think so. She still has on her ring."
One day in the spring I was at a textbook adoption workshop. There were probably twenty other teachers in the room. I remember looking around during the break at everyone's ring finger. Every single person in the room was wearing a wedding ring. I could not believe it! I thought to myself that if I were truly honest with where I am in life, I would be the only person here without a ring.
Finally, I remember looking at that ring one day and thinking to myself, "It is time." The marriage was over. I had the papers that said, "This marriage is irrevocably broken." So the ring now represents something that no longer exists. I had originally thought that I would wear that ring forever. But I realized that this was not healthy in my process of moving on. I went to the girls and said, "I need to quit wearing my wedding ring. Every time that I look at it, I am reminded of what is no more. It is not healthy to keep focusing on that." They understood, and I took off the ring.
There is no great wisdom to offer in this blog. (Of course, if there ever is great wisdom, it is not coming from me, but through the ONE who is working through me.) This blog speaks to three different groups.
1. First, there are those who are traveling the same journey I am. Just know that there are others who understand what you are going through. But life goes on, and we will get through this.
2. Secondly, there are those who are still wearing rings and are still so committed to the promises that are represented by those rings. I am so thankful for you guys. I have so many friends that are in great marriages. I thank God for you all. I told a sweet friend last night that she and her husband give me hope that "happily ever after" still exists. If you are reading this today, go to your partners just as soon as you can and tell them how thankful you are for them. Tell them that you love them and are so honored to wear this ring that represents your vows to one another.
3. There are those who are still wearing the rings, but thinking, "Do I really want to be in this relationship anymore?" PLEASE, for those of you who know me well, DO NOT let my story cause you to doubt your marriage. If you are struggling in your marriage, please don't use my journey and the fact that we did not "make it" as a reason to get out. Thank God for your marriage. Go home today and recommit to Him and one another.
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8
Footnote: Please know that I am not encouraging anyone to stay in an abusive marriage. There are times when it is very damaging to one's self and the children involved to stay in a marriage. If that is you, please seek help from someone who is trained and equipped to help you through this desperate time.