I know, it sounds careless.
but wait until you hear my story(and the lessons that came with it)…
The husband and I went to a camping with our church family for a team-building activity during a June holiday. It was out of our plan to stay overnight but, since we needed to hear an important discussion very late that night and very early the next morning, we decided to stay and experienced for the first time sleeping inside a tent.
We did our usual evening ritual – wash, brush teeth etc..
Right after, I took off both of my engagement and wedding rings, placed them inside our toiletries pouch, gave the pouch to the husband and said “Please transfer the rings to a more safety pouch inside our backpack, inside the boys’ tent, where you placed yours”. He said “okay.”, so I rested my mind and headed to the girls’ tent.
I had my hearty laughters with the girls when we heard one of our friends shouted from the outside “Lost and Found.. Engagement Ring.” My heart skipped a beat and headed to check it. And there it was — my engagement ring. They found it inside the male’s comfort room.
I rushed to the boys’ tent to ask the husband if my wedding ring was with him. He hurriedly checked our toiletries pouch and truly, it wasn’t there. He asked apology right then and there. He must have turned the pouch upside down, forgetting about the rings inside which possibly fell while he was at the comfort room. Directly, he led a search mission with a few friends.
To make the long story short, my wedding ring wasn’t found.
The moment we concluded it can no longer be found, I pacified myself and thought of the learnings the incident ought to teach me(which usually is my default action during and after any troubling event):
- My husband is more important than my ring. I had an option to nag at my husband, or pinpoint how careless he was. But as I think about it, his self-esteem is more valuable to me than a gold carat. It is my duty to uplift him at any given time, in public or private. So instead of showing how angry I was, I told him “That’s okay, we can bake more cakes to buy another ring some time soon.”
- Asking(and accepting) apology irons out almost every conflict. I am always impressed with how my husband asks and accepts apology quickly. It’s something that he is so good at. He told me once during a major conflict, “All I needed is to hear you say sorry.” And since it’s something I am not so good at, I said sorry with rolling eyes and sarcastic tone. Hah! But now I am learning – slowly and surely. He immediately asked apology during that night. And for the record, I forgave him right away.
- Marriage is intangible. It goes beyond my wedding ring and marriage contract. I was tempted to succumb to the thought that since I am married, I should have a ring on my finger. But through that incident, I learned that being married is something you don’t wear on your finger. It’s something you wear on your heart and soul.
- We should be the masters of our emotions, not the other way around. My family and friends know me as emotional. When I feel sad, I feel sad all the way down to the pit. When I’m angry, I’m angry. When I’m pissed-off, I’m pissed-off. But ever since I got married, I am glad I am slowly learning to tame and be more aware of my emotions. I am now more sensitive to my husband’s emotions. I am more conscious when these times spike and so I know how to make my way through them without pissing off my partner. So instead of feeling pity because I lost my ring, I decided to focus on the good stuff during the whole camping experience: I lost my ring, but learned a lot.
As cliche as it looks, our marriage has its ups-and-downs. But still, I am thankful for every wave it brings – even if it took losing a wedding ring of sentimental value.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27: 17 NIV)
It’s been 9 months – too short of a time, but too deep of a wisdom.
Note: article was originally written on july 7, 2018.