My dad was a jeweler and owned his own store. This came in handy when my husband was picking out a ring in order to propose. It was beautiful! I felt like the luckiest girl with it on my finger. As we approached our 20 year mark of marriage, however, the 1980’s setting was well-past due for an “upgrade.” So, again, we sent it back to my dad to work his magic. Shortly after, my dad informed us that the center stone was cracked and it would be risky to reset it. What? I thought diamonds were the hardest rock there was. Was I that hard on it? Was it flawed from the beginning? We had a decision to make. Not having that kind of money to buy an “upgrade” and also feeling some nostalgia with wanting my original diamond, I stalled with the decision. Meanwhile, I got myself a beautiful $100 fake “upgrade.” I ended up wearing this for three years. I am not typically an indecisive person, but this one had me stuck. During my stall, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. The span of time from his diagnosis to death was only three months. It was devastating. After the dust settled, I retrieved my ring from the jewelry safe and proudly put it back on my finger. The setting was just right, another layer of sentimentality knowing that my dad had made it. My decision had been made. I had the most beautiful 1980’s, yellow gold imperfectly perfect wedding set. Life went on.

One Sunday afternoon, after a very long weekend of heavy labor moving furniture at my office, I discovered the center stone missing from my wedding ring. I was so grieved. I guess I am really hard on it. A few pounds heavier than when I married prevented me from easily removing it so I never did. Did it finally break? I looked everywhere in that two-story building. I called the cleaners and told them not to vacuum. I emailed my staff with a reward incentive if they would keep their eyes open. And, I prayed. A selfish prayer albeit. “Lord, please let me find my diamond.” I went in the office with a flashlight at night, hoping the diamond would catch the light. Nothing. Again, the dilemma of what to do. I waited and prayed. A few days later, while making my bed, there it was!! My diamond, fully intact, but a slight crack on the end. Unbelievable! A miracle! I convinced my husband that it was a sign. Since I had to have it reset anyway, it was finally time for my “upgrade.”

In many ways, this story is eerily similar to my marriage. I married my high school sweetheart. We were even voted “cutest couple” in our senior superlatives. I know, I can hear you say, “Ahhh…” We had dated off and on for five years before we married. It was a large church wedding. He was going into the ministry and I was going to graduate school. What a sweet story of happily ever after, right? No. It was a bumpy road at times. Sometimes we had to be fake. At least, “fake it until we made it.” Many years, we were stuck. Many times I felt, and he did as well, lost. With him being a pastor and me a Christian counselor, we fortunately had an extra layer or two of accountability to make it work. We finally reached out for help. And I prayed. Yes, sometimes albeit a selfish prayer, “Lord, change HIM.” I’m sure he whispered up a few of his own about me. We searched for new ways to live, learn and love one another. And we found it! God directed our path to something better than what we started with. Although still not perfect, we have our own version of happily ever after. I love that man today more than I ever have. If we are together any day at 11:55 a.m., his phone alarm goes off and I smile, knowing he is praying for me and us.

Today I have my upgrade. I decided to use the center stone, chip and all. I just put it into a new setting. I look at it all the time. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I can see the flaw. If you saw it, you wouldn’t be able to notice it. You might if you looked real close and I pointed it out. I know it is there, though. It brings a peace to me. I am amazed and grateful how God has worked it out. It has weathered many of storms and made it through still sparkling equally as beautiful, as my marriage, imperfectly perfect.

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” I John 3:18- 20