If I didn’t live in a tropical, humid environment; if I drank more water and ingested less salt; and most importantly, if I wasn't six months pregnant, I probably wouldn’t be having this problem. But I am all of those things.
And I can’t get my wedding band off.
I’ve heard a number of stories during my time in this baby-making-season-of-life about women who forget to check their wedding bands. Who forget that pregnancy generally carries with it some unwanted swelling. And who subsequently find themselves in the ER having their wedding bands cut off before they cause the circulation to their fingers to be compromised. I always thought those women where so silly. Who would forget to check something like that?
Consciously or subconsciously, I forgot. Maybe I just didn’t want the day to arrive when I had to remove the wedding band again (as with other pregnancies). There is just so very, very little in my life that is permanent. Keeping my wedding band on – the symbol of the permanence of my marriage vows – is important to me.
We are in the military and so our lives are constantly changing. It seems our universe runs on a three-year clock. Every three years, everything – house, cars, schools, climate, county – can change. It’s both exciting and exhausting. And it makes me cling to the few bits of permanence in my life. Like my wedding band.
My wedding band marks me. It reminds me. It declares my status as this man’s wife.
In Old Testament times, there was a way a servant could also choose to be permanently marked. A Hebrew servant was to serve for six years, but in the seventh year (the Jubilee year) he would be freed. However, if the servant had been happy in his work – if he had made a home with this master, if he had come to see that living as a servant was better than struggling out on his own, then the law made the following provision: “But if the servant declares, 'I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,' then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life” (Exodus 21:5-6).
By piercing his ear, he was declaring the choice to serve this master for life. A physical and permanent reminder of his commitment.
I love my wedding band and what it means, but an even more important mark for me to receive is the one that my Good Master places on my heart and mind announcing my decision to serve Him forever.