Love has marked your soul the way the sun has marked your skin.

I hope the fact that I am in a wedding this Saturday will excuse all the ramblings I have had on marriage this week. Between my almost-married friend asking me for advice, my redecorations causing me to reminisce, and my parents’ anniversary, I have had weddings and marriage on the brain quite a lot.

Alisa’s post earlier this week also had me thinking . . . she was talking about how a married person “knows” that his or her spouse is “the one.” I would have said something similar to what Rich Mullins’ quote said: I simply knew that I didn’t want to live without Mike. I couldn’t conceive of a future without his involvement. I don’t remember a moment where I felt as if the world stopped and a beam of light shone down on Mike as the clouds rearranged themselves to spell out the words, “Kari, Mike is the one. Sincerely, God.” It wasn’t anything so plain (and when is it, really?) but the end result is the same. Whether I feel that it was spelled out in the clouds or I decry the idea of a soulmate altogether, I still must conciously choose every day to honor the vows that I have made. For me lately, that’s been choosing not to make sarcastic remarks and to keep my mouth shut when I’d much rather go in for the kill. It’s tempting to say deliberately hurtful things out of your own fears and pain, but I’ve been trying not to. Honestly, it’s left me feeling pretty defenseless, although I have to admit that’s not a bad thing (just scary).

I was thinking about these things today, because when Mike and I were reading on the couch the other night, I had already gotten ready for bed and taken off my rings. I don’t usually get very tan, but I have been out in the sun a little more than usual this year, and I could see the shadow of where my rings usually are. We are coming up on our fourth anniversary, but I haven’t had a ring tan before. For some reason, looking at it made me think of Song of Solomon:

Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.

I don’t claim to be an expert on marriage, but I do know that I am being refined.

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