Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In Which You'll Learn My True Nature

Years ago my husband gave me a jewelry box for my birthday. It was wooden with little frosted glass panes. I was livid. At the time my jewelry collection comprised of a watch, my engagement ring and my wedding ring. I very ungraciously received the gift, criticizing that it looked like something he would pick out for his mother, which I absolutely did not appreciate.

Jeremiah bore my rudeness with grace and then explained that although I didn't have much jewelry at the time, over the years I would probably collect more and he wanted me to have a safe place to keep it. I softened a bit at his thoughtfulness, but still returned the jewelry box and got a much smaller and, if I'm being totally honest, far less-practical jewelry box.

A few months later he gave me a diamond necklace for our anniversary. A necklace that is now lost.

Over the last couple of years I've decided that I like wearing earrings and sometimes you'll even catch me in a necklace. I have more than one watch and even a bracelet or two. In short, I have a jewelry collection. Although I have the cheap jewelry box that I bought as a replacement for the offending box, I haven't used it. My jewelry has found a home in a bathroom drawer.

The other day I was looking for the second of a pair of earrings. I was digging through the little container inside the drawer, pulling out tangled masses of necklaces with earring dangling from them, when I said to myself, "I need a jewelry box."

At those words a surge of guilt ran through my body. Jeremiah's forethought had come to fruition. And all I could think of was how childish and selfish I had behaved when he had given me that thoughtful gift several years ago. And then I remembered how kind he had been to me, even when I was behaving so poorly. How he bore the criticism with patience and didn't respond with anger. It made me think of this story:

A story contained in the family lore of Brigham Young’s descendants illustrates the submissive nature of humility. It recounts that in a public meeting the Prophet Joseph, possibly as a test, sternly rebuked Brigham Young for something he had done or something he was supposed to have done but hadn’t—the detail is unclear. When Joseph finished the rebuke, everyone in the room waited for Brigham Young’s response. This powerful man, later known as the Lion of the Lord, in a voice everyone could tell was sincere, said simply and humbly, “Joseph, what do you want me to do?” (Marlin K. Jensen, “‘To Walk Humbly with Thy God’,” Liahona, Jul 2001, 9–12)

I love my husband. I can honestly say that I knew from our first date that he was my eternal companion. I obviously don't deserve him sometimes, but I'm so thankful for him and his example. He makes me want to be a better person and is so understanding and uncritical of my imperfections. I pray, and hopefully live, so that in time I can prove to be as worthy a companion to him as he is to me.

I love you, Miah!

1 comment:

Katie said...

That is a fantastic post, Gwen. It's so hard to admit our own faults, much less publish them. You and Jeremiah balance each other so well. He is kind and forgiving and Christlike, and you're fun and witty and smart. You two are lucky to have each other.