Yesterday was a full day. I had errands to do, my kids went fishing with their grandpa, we had dinner at my parents, and we ended the day helping a friend at her sheep farm. On my way into town we heard a story on the radio about a woman who accidentally threw her wedding ring away in New York City and the city sanitation workers miraculously found it. The kids and I were amazed as I glanced down at my hand and thought about what I would do if that were me.
Late that night, as I was about to settle into bed, I grabbed my left hand and felt a bare ring finger. Cue immediate panic. I summoned the kids and we started a mass search. My rings have been loose lately as I’ve lost a little weight, but not any more weight than I’d lost before (I had to get my rings sized up after having kids, so that tells you I’ve not yet reached a pre-pregnancy weight!). I went to all the places I’d been since being home for the night…feeding sheep, feeding chicks, the car, exercise downstairs, the bathroom. I called Fred Meyer because I’d been to the fitting room and thought maybe it fell off then. I was scouring my brain trying to think of when I last noticed it on. I wasn’t sure, but I had a strong feeling it was at my friend’s farm.
I prayed, asked my husband to pray, asked my parents to pray, asked Facebook to pray. I was sure that God would lead me to it somehow. I truly was sure. God led me to a lost ring one time when I was young, and that was one of my first memories of God answering a prayer that I had prayed. However, even though I knew that God could take care of this, the peace wouldn’t come. Then, a gift! God brought me a memory of sitting at my mom’s kitchen table playing with my rings before dinner. Phew! Thank you, Jesus! It was then that I knew it was either at my house or at the farm, and not at one of the public places I visited earlier in the day. It was enough peace to help me drift off to sleep.
This morning I woke to a text from Jackie (she’s my friend with the farm). She was headed over to the barn to start looking and suggested I hunt down a metal detector. Thanks to facebook, I was able to find one and after some calling and coordinating both the metal detector (my parents were bringing it from the other end of town) and I headed towards the farm an hour later.
My other friend, Beth, and her son were already there helping with farm chores. Within minutes, Beth found my rings!!! The metal detector hadn’t arrived with my parents yet, so I called them and they returned it to its owner. I was crying tears of joy…I was so overwhelmed. God had kept my rings safe and led us right to them!
I wish that was where the story ended.
Because we were there, we went ahead and started helping Jackie with more farm chores. I was constantly aware of my rings. I didn’t want to put them in my pocket for fear of losing them, so I put them back on my finger and tried my best to be constantly conscious of them. I didn’t really do much work while I was there. I mostly talked with Beth, watched the kids work, and responded to countless messages on my phone (so many wonderful people concerned about my rings!). I stayed in one general area and was constantly checking my hand to make sure my rings were still there. Then, I put my phone in my front pocket, pulled out my hand and realized my engagement ring was GONE! Seriously!?!?
I wasn’t too panicked because I hadn’t really gone anywhere. I figured I’d find it right away. We all started looking, and looking, and looking, and looking….and looking! I was dumbfounded and so embarrassed. I had just told Facebookland that my rings were found. We looked for at least 30 minutes before I finally text my parents to bring the metal detector. My mom came and we searched everywhere…MULTIPLE times. I was on my hands and knees in sheep poo! After everyone left, my mom and I and the kids all went to the giant poop pile in the field to search there as well. There was only a very slight chance it could have been in the poop pile that had just been shoveled out of the area I was standing in…but we couldn’t leave without searching. In total, we searched for at least 3 hours.
It didn’t make sense. I had never left that small (enclosed) area of the barn. In the time that I had it on my finger to the time that I realized it was missing was probably less than 5 minutes…but maybe I’m mistaken? I'd venture to say that it literally vanished.
I left the farm feeling quite defeated and sad, but strangely at peace.
I know where my ring is. It’s at a farm where my friend Jackie raises sheep. Jackie needs help because she very recently lost her husband to brain cancer and the farm chores during lambing season are too overwhelming for one person. Jackie lost her husband. I only lost my ring. And in the time that I was there, Jackie never ceased to encourage me and remind me of God’s power and His blessings. She is a blessing.
The verse that has been playing over and over in my head today…
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
I’m praying for the good. Maybe my ring has been hidden from me until God’s decides the time is right? You see, my God likes all the glory…and when my ring has been found, I’m gonna gladly give Him what He wants.
To be continued…