An Ordinary Woman’s Extraordinary Tale of How She Saved Her Marriage and Family
by Lori Columbo Dunham
One of the more outstanding features of the close-knit families of America's melting pot is
continuity. Continuity, as described in traditional values or "just like my grandma did it" or "this is just how we always did it in my family" or "the old country". Being a traditionalist myself, observing this quality in others brings quiet satisfaction, in times of rejoicing with those who carry on this lifestyle. This kind of tradition is what Lori Columbo imagined, or even expected, as she visualized her story-book wedding...with the Church, and the priest and the flowers, bridesmaids - the whole enchilada (to mix ethnic metaphors).
Oh, how one little escapade can change the direction of an entire life! This true story of the young woman from Michigan who unexpectedly became pregnant in 2001 will make both make you sad, squirm and even shed a tear while praying this does not happen to anyone you know. It is a bit unusual for a man like me to be reading what some may term a book version of "a chick flick", but it is a gripping tale where even a hard-nosed preacher like me started wondering "well, how is this going to turn out"?
Reflections on the Ring took a lot of soul-searching, courage and yes, faith to write. It was encouraging to me to see how Lori never stepped away from her traditional faith and turned it into something proactive that will impact her family for decades to come. I will encourage the reader to grasp the conundrum she faced when transitioning from her dream wedding to the nightmarish, almost mind-altering experience of getting married in a South Florida courthouse in front of a Judge! Her emotional conflicts and anxiety come over in the book as she tries to come to terms with marrying a man who bought her a Cubic Zirconia wedding ring! Here she was, with her 110 year old heirloom wedding ring from her great- grandmother, having recently given up a 2.5 carat engagement ring from a man she discovered she did not love, just to marry Dave in a cold impersonal courtroom. Could this get any more mind-boggling?
To her credit and here is where the minister in me warmed up to Lori, the person - she turned to the only Place she could find comfort and even peace. Even when things were darkest.... Even when bills were tough to pay.... Even when Dave was tough to love, she kept the Faith. What I loved about this "page-turner" is the various Scripture references therein, which are placed strategically along the narrative to tie into what was occurring at the time in Lori's life! More impressive was her reliance on the writings from the wonderful prayer ministry of Stormie Omartian, with whom I am acquainted through my association (from 2006) with the Colorado-based National Day of Prayer Task Force. Stormie was once a speaker at one of our prayer summits up in the amazing Rocky Mountains, where praying to our Glorious God comes really easy (after one beholds the majestic mountains).
Stormie's books and instructions on prayer and coping with life in general and specific situations guided Lori through the rough first years of her marriage, which are always the crucial years - the foundation, if you will. You know, a lot of women marry men promising themselves they will change this or that trait or behavior. Some even promise themselves and their families they will convert a non-believing spouse to the Christian faith. That almost never works. But what is evident in this book is with the right heart, proper wisdom guided by Godly experience (Stormie Omartian), miracles do happen. Families do stick together. Miracles babies are born into loving homes. All of this brings hope. In a time of so much evil and darkness and anxiety, I recommend "REFLECTIONS ON THE RING" to you. It is a sincere recommendation because no matter what stage a relationship may be in, something can be learned, affirmed or just revealed from reading about another's walk through life.
Here is a passage from Lori Columbo-Dunham's book which I found very uplifting and beautiful. May it encourage you to pick it up and spend a couple hours reading it:
● When the unexpected happens, lead with your gut, follow your heart, trail with your head.
● Live by your conscience and take responsibility for your actions.
● Be conscious and respectful of his built-in psychological need to escape to his cave when warranted.
● Always be prepared for God’s destiny for you especially when it seems to contradict your own plans for your life.