My husband and I are on a ministry tour to Europe. During this tour, we were able to spend a few days in Paris with some family members. We have been planning this trip for some time now. This past Christmas, my brother-in-law gave us this great book by Rick Steves describing in great detail all the travel must-sees, great tips, and important information to know while you're in Paris. Unfortunately, we were so busy working, getting ready to leave on this trip, that we did not make the time to read it. Our bad.
I had, however, already heard of the Love Lock Bridge there in Paris. It's famous because couples from all over the world go there and put a lock on the bridge, lock it, and then make a wish. After they make a wish, they throw the key into the water.
The book--we were supposed to read--gave websites where you could actually order personalized, engraved locks. We didn't know to do that--because we didn't read the book. But, my plan was just to buy a lock and key at Home Depot. BUT...., again, because we were so busy, time got away from us; and before we knew it, we were on the way to the airport with no lock and key.
After we finished our ministry time in Germany, we rented a car and drove from Bonn, Germany to Antwerpen, Belgium. While traveling there, we made an emergency bathroom stop (for me) at a place off the side of the highway. It JUST SO HAPPENED to be a Home Depot-type store! Before leaving, I told my husband, "We should just get our lock here! What are the chances of us just running into a Home Depot or Lowes in Germany?!" to which he responded, "Naw, we'll just get one when we get there."
When we got to Paris, we tried to look for a lock, but couldn't find one--anywhere--in such a short time. The second night we were there, we were all going to go to the Love Lock Bridge and put our locks on the bridge. Everyone else had read the book and knew to order their personalized, engraved locks--and they looked lovely and so romantic! I became irritated that we were in Paris and were without a special lock. But, I was determined to make the best out of a bad situation, so I thought of a backup plan. I had a Sharpie marker in my bag and thought I would take it and just write our initials somewhere there on the bridge.
Thankfully, our nephew said, "Hey, I have an extra lock you can have if you want it." I was thrilled at least to have one, but when he brought it to us it was a combination lock instead of a lock with a key. You know, like the ones you would put on a gym or school locker. Now, I wasn't only mad, but I was a little embarrassed because everyone else's was incredible and well...
But, again, I knew I had to make the best out of a bad situation and use it. So, instead of our name being beautifully engraved on it, ours was written with a Sharpie marker--yes, that same one in my bag. And, instead of us having a key to throw into the river, I spontaneously decided to just throw the Sharpie marker over the bridge. :) It wasn't glamorous, but we made it work! :)
I can't tell you how many couples we know who have had huge engagement parties, Cinderella-type weddings, and dream-like honeymoons whose marriages ended up in divorce a few years later. It's was great to find out on this trip that the couple we went there with, who took us all there to celebrate their anniversary, had a normal church wedding and then went to a small town a few hours away to spend the night at a hotel for their honeymoon--and there we were with them and their three grown children and spouses, celebrating 40 years of marriage together.
You know, it's not the glamorous $35,000 wedding you have or the luxurious fairy-tale honeymoon you have that makes a marriage last; it's having a love that's real, learning to be flexible, and making the best out of bad situations. Simply, it's about just making it work!
I love life. I love people. I love helping people love life.