I remember the day we went to get our wedding rings engraved. It was 10 years ago now but I recall it still like it happened yesterday. We were young, broke and in “love.” I say “love” in quotes because we didn’t actually know real Love, yet.
The Jewelsmith behind the counter was a kindly old man and together with his wife, they reminded me of the elves from Lord of the Rings. We were poor, infatuated souls, still do-eyed and whimsical then, and having trouble deciding on a wise engraving for our rings. The jeweler offered us his well-worn bible to look through verses. I think back now on how quietly the Holy Spirit was moving about us on that day and neither one of us noticed Him. It’s a memory of Him I now cherish greatly, knowing He was with us even then. We mused over verses for 45 minutes, but nothing satisfied either of our souls. That’s when it happened.
Either out of pity or moved by wisdom, the Jewelsmith took his wife’s wedding band and there forever etched onto the metal was written the most beautiful words, “You and no other.”
He looked up at us grinning, “It’s from Braveheart. It’s my wife and I’s favorite movie and it’s the line from their wedding vows.”
My husband smiled immediately. “Done,” he exclaimed and then turned to me.
“So what did your wife choose for yours?” I asked with hopeful anticipation that my choice might be finished as quickly.
I chuckled a little inside as I noticed the elvin Jewelsmith turn the gold band of his own wedding ring, which resembled a certain “one ring to rule them all.” He twisted it gently off his worn finger and hand it to me to examine for myself. I must have crinkled my nose as I read the words, “My life is yours.”
“It’s from the scriptures.” He smiled back.
As I watched him place the ring lovingly back onto his finger, I was suddenly flooded with the totality of this one moment. Here we were, two star-crossed, completely blinded lovers, agreeing to give ourselves forever. I was mixed with emotion. I starred at my soon-to-be husband a little smug that his choice had come so easily. I did an I roll in my head thinking inwardly, “Oh how lovely, I’m gonna choose a scripture and he’s gonna give me some line from a movie to pledge his life on. Oh brother!”
I agreed to it all. Little did I know then just how much I would come to rely on those two pledges of our hearts to keep the foundation of our marriage in tact.
We had chosen November 11th as our wedding date. I was so convinced this date held such a special meaning in my life that I even gave up my dream of a fairytale church wedding for a wedding on the beach because the church we attended did not do ceremonies on Sundays, and 11/11/07 fell on a Sunday that year. I thought surely the blessings attached to our nuptials being said on 11/11 would somehow bless us on our journey. Like cultures who believe rain on your wedding day is good luck, I was determined to have this date to bless us each year at our anniversary. If you haven’t figured out yet what’s glaringly wrong with my doe-eyed justification of our wedding date, I’ll give you a clue: It focused on Good Luck instead of God’s Blessing. For a better glimpse into this BIG Over-site, I invite you to read our backstory in my appropriately titled post Why I Wouldn’t Have Married Me.
So, if you’re a military man or woman, you’re already laughing at the irony, because you know this date well. My husband is a Navy man, but he swears he didn’t think of the significance at the time. November 11th of each year is a special day of honor in the United States that we celebrate as Veterans Day. My Navy warrior-poet with a Braveheart pledge on the ring of his beloved would get to celebrate his anniversary each year along with the millions of men and woman who participated in the real-life version of Braveheart. My beloved date would soon be filled with exclamations of excitement at opportunities for my husband to have to pay only half as much for our anniversary meals because he would get his for free. What I always imagined to be a day about us, quickly proved to be a day to celebrate him and the service so many others gave for our country.
Fast forward now, ten years and two beautiful children later, you can imagine, we’ve celebrated many Veterans Days and fought many wars. And, I wouldn’t go back and change one thing.
You see I’ve come to see something quite beautiful in all those little things we did in such blind arrogance to Love. What we so pridefully dismissed as insignificant to us at the time, the Lord was already right there working to plant the seeds that he would use to bring redemption to that prideful form of “love.”
Those words from Braveheart, they aren’t just a foolish saying of silly men. They are a cry from the depths of a young warrior who promises his bride to live up to them by becoming everything he was born to be to protect his beauty and his word. A pledge that reminds my husband each day to live up to the virtue of his calling in Christ, as a man and as a husband.
And those words from scripture, they are the echo of the most wonderful fiat ever stated. A pledge from the heart of Mary to the Lord to do with her life whatever He wills because her life belongs to Him. A pledge I’ve learned is the calling of my own life to honor the promise of covenantal Love I entered into with my husband at the marital sacrament.
These two promises etched into our hearts for eternity that we are called to remind each other of every day are what God has used to give me Grace to share my marriage with so many others. Instead of spending our anniversary celebrating only us, I learned to celebrate what true Love was designed to do when united with another, multiply the blessing of life by honoring others who have truly sacrificed their life for freedom.
Like Braveheart and those who sacrificed their lives and dreams as Veterans for our country have showed us, to fight for freedom, to give honor, and to uphold the rights and dignities of others without regard for ourselves is of the highest calling and a pledge not entered into by the faint of heart. Marriage is its own field of battle. We must enter into it each day with our pledge written on our hearts and hands to remind us why we persevere in fighting the good fight. To use a quote from Braveheart:
The Almighty says this must be a fashionable fight. It’s drawn the finest people.
If you haven’t seen the movie in a while, it’s well worth the re-visit. Take a few minutes to read this wonderful insight from Christopher West celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the film and you’ll probably watch it like you’ve never seen it before. (Click here to read more)
May you have a joyful time celebrating this Veterans Day with a renewed perspective too!
And a special shout out to my wonderful husband as we celebrate our 10th year as “Battle Buddies”
William: I will love you my whole life. You and no other.
Murron: And I you. You and no other forever.
By Kim Engel
Founder of Sheerah Mi ries
Kim is mother of two children, Author, Speaker and lover of the Word. She has a heart for encouraging women to Awaken to their God-given gifts and callings and to see the Body of Christ come together in unity as it continues the mission of Jesus Christ to bring love to the world in the hope of salvation and by the power of the Holy Spirit. She is founder of Sheerah Ministries, a collaboration of women intent on sharing the good news and inspiration of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit through teachings, retreats, speaking engagements, writing, media and the arts. Follow Kim on her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/WakingEve and on Instagram and Twitter @WakingEve or contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. SUBSCRIBE to our blog to keep updated on Sheerah Ministries blogs by contributing partners, news and events.