Thursday, October 9, 2008


I hardly even know how to begin this post. So many times, words fail me. Maybe that is why I have never considered myself a good writer. I have way too many feelings, and not nearly an adequate vocabulary to begin explaining my heart. So, how do I begin telling you a thing about the love of my life?

October 9, 1999

I want to share so many things...

How wonderful my husband is. How much we have been through together. How God picked him out just for me. How, if I had had my way, I would have messed this thing up a long time ago. How stunningly wise my sweet Matt is. How he is the single most amazing gift God has ever given to me on this earth. How, if I had all day, I could not begin to tell you how highly I think of this God-serving man. I could go on, and on, and on...

and words are failing me.

Instead, I will share a story that changed my life forever. It is the story of a time when God spoke to me, to my heart , clearly. I guess He knew I had better not let this one slip through my fingers...

AbaloneThis is the story of one moment. And of a lifetime.

In the early spring of 1997, my boyfriend Matt was in Indiana, finishing up his senior year at Rose-Hulman. I was back in New Jersey, because I had graduated a semester early. I had been wrestling with thoughts about where our relationship was headed, and I had no direction. Only confusion.

Looking back, my young view of love was quite messed up, like so many, ... so it was no wonder that I had tried to break up with Matt a few times, or tried to convince myself he wasn't the right one... mostly because he wouldn't fight with me! (did I mention my Italian background?).

So at the time this story begins, I was mixed up. I adored Matt, but for me, something was missing. The drama. The fire. The excitement. Matt was just so... so... nice.

I was on a break from work, and had to run an errand to hop over to the Bound Brook Library to return some books for my mom. It was a beautiful day, so I walked. And during my walk, I remember thinking about Matt, and smiling. He was a wonderful boyfriend. I hated to be so far away from him. And then, I remember that my mind buzzed off onto other things that fill up a busy day. My mind was full of a zillion thoughts as I entered that library...

With a pile of books in my arms, I approached the main desk. I leaned my bodyweight forward onto the counter and plopped the books down. The librarian behind the desk had her head down, but she raised it to smile at me, and take my books. She was a well-groomed, grey haired woman, probably in her 60's... but all I noticed as she lifted her gaze to mine was her deformity...

It was her left eye. It was so strangely damaged. Her iris was multi-colored, with no pupil, and it looked identical to an abalone shell.

I must have been very awkward as I darted my gaze away. Now, I am not a stranger to individuals who have challenges or handicaps. But, somehow, this eye was so hard to look at. It was, by all wordly explanation, grotesque.

So, terribly, I had quickened my glance away, and my view was now back down to the counter. I had to regain my composure from there. And when I looked down, my eyes fell on her hand, and to her simple gold wedding band.

Yes. This was the moment that God spoke to my heart. He filled my heart with understanding and then joy, as he revealed to me something He already knew:

Matt loved me.

And If I were ugly,




in depression,

in despair...

he would still love me. He would still put that ring on my finger.

...That was what Love was supposed to be all along.


Oh, my wonderful Matthew, my gift from God. Abalone changed everything. I love you. Happy Nine Year Anniversary.
"And he sent you along like a summer day,With a blue-sky smile on your funny face,And a bird flew by singing everything's gonna be OK, yeah,So we laughed all day with the man in the moon,And we thanked the good Lord for the afternoon,'Cause He showed me His love by sending me you,And it's OK now,Everything's OK." - Chris Rice

5 friends had a thing or two to say...:

Tessa said...

Happy Anniversary to you!

Holly said...

beautiful story. happy anniversary!

Flamingo Mama said...

You don't have a big vocabulary but use the word Abalone?! I have never even heard of the word abalone!!! Remember, I'm still struggling with the word clothe! I refuse to change!

Beautiful story and happy anniversary!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!

What a beautiful post.

Laura said...

Happy anniversary! What a powerful story. It is so amazing what God will use to direct us along the path He has for us! Abalone. Such a beautiful word. I have never heard it! But when I read your description, knew exactly what you were talking about.
so beautiful, Darlene!