This past weekend my friend and fellow bridesmaid and I made the trek (okay, it’s really not an arduous drive) from Eastern Washington to Western Washington for our mutual, good friend’s bridal shower in Lake Stevens, WA. My friend, who was driving, married her husband 2 years ago in a Western Washington Catholic wedding. She and her husband celebrated the Sacrament of Marriage in her childhood church followed by a reception at a Community Center in Mulkiteo overlooking the breathtaking, gorgeous waters of the Puget Sound. Our mutual friend that prompted the trip is getting married October 1st on the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux in Eastern WA.
On Saturday, upon arriving at the bridal shower, a basket full of fake diamond engagement rings greeted us with a card explaining “Put a Ring on It.” The rules of the game involved avoiding saying “bride” or” wedding” and if the forbidden words were uttered, you could claim the offenders ring. The person with the most confiscated rings won.It’s a silly game; thankfully, much more innocent than most bridal shower games.
Starring at the shiny, faux diamond ring that poorly fit any of my fingers, I solemnly processed the symbolic meaning of an engagement ring – an outer sign of a deeper reality and impending commitment to another. A simple ring that, hopefully, represents a future lifetime together. Not all engagements end in marriage nor should. Not all relationships end in an engagement nor should.
For me, years ago as a Freshman in college, my Senior boyfriend graduated, moved to Arizona for graduate school, and asked me to remain in an open relationship. I chose not to “wait around” for him. I knew he wasn’t the one whom my soul loved. I chose a clean break-up. Three years later before I graduated from college, he contacted me. Asked me to take him back. Desired marriage. etc. If I really had been bound and determined to marry for the sake of marrying, I could have easily married him. He was convenient. In many ways, he was a”desirable” and an “appropriate” person to marry, but I knew differently. I knew the real him. I advised him to make better, more loving decisions. And I walked away.
I didn’t put a ring on it 5 years ago. And I thank God everyday, I did not. Instead, I pray for my future husband each night. During the day, I worked on myself and my relationship with God. If and when I do “Put a Ring On It” it will be a moment of celebration with my beloved as we commit ourselves to preparing for lifetime of drawing each other closer to heaven.