Friday, March 23, 2018

Lost And Found

When my husband Jeremy and I got married on May 18, 2006, we could not afford rings. Although we were rich in the love department, we were pretty bankrupt in finances. Our wedding consisted of me wearing a $20 off-white, chiffon-like dress from Cato, Jeremy in his one good suit, six of his family members, our oldest son, and one of my friends. There was no music, no flowers and d├ęcor, no wedding party, no one to give me away, and no rings to exchange. It certainly wasn’t a grand occasion, but it was the best day of our young-and-in-love lives.

A ring didn’t matter to me. I was marrying the man that my heart adored and that was enough for me. I remember a short time after we got married, I purchased a $10 silver ring with a fake diamond from the flea market, and placed it on my ring finger. I always tell my husband that he is a lucky guy, because I am one of the least materialistic women on earth. Things don’t flatter me; substance is what makes my heart go pitter-patter.

I happily wore that ring for a good seven years. The only reason I stopped wearing it is because on Christmas day in 2013, Jeremy surprised me with a real wedding ring. Since he and I don’t typically exchange gifts for Christmas, I totally was not expecting it. When I opened the small box, tears quickly filled my eyes. I recall screaming something like, “Oh my God! You’re kidding me! Is this mine?!” Of course, it was mine, and I could tell he was so proud that he had finally gotten me a ring. That beautiful gold ring with a diamond in the center instantly became one of my most prized material possessions. It was special to me and I treasured it.

I valued it so much that I didn’t sleep in it, clean while wearing it, or wore it much around the house. Every day I took it off and placed it in the same spot, inside the top drawer of the nightstand next to my side of the bed. Its keeping place never changed.

Imagine my shock when, back in November, I went to get my ring and it wasn’t in the spot I’d always kept it. At first, I thought that in my hurry to make it out of the house on time I had overlooked it. I’ll find it when I get back home, I thought to myself, still puzzled at why it was not where I know I’d put it. Long story short, I all but ripped my nightstand apart and have searched every corner in my home, and I could not find my ring. I had no idea where it could be or how it got away from me, and it made me so sad. I was real-deal heartbroken about this, and every time I looked at my left hand, I wanted to cry.

I was so broken over this!

Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but I was seriously hurt over my lost ring. And I’m sure Jeremy was probably tired of hearing me say, “Bae, I’m so sorry I can’t find my ring.” I never stopped looking for it, though. I still had faith that it would show up somewhere.

My search for my ring made me think about how God searches for us when we are lost. I likened it to this time when my family was vacationing in Orlando, Florida and visiting Animal Kingdom. If you’ve ever been, then you know there’s always a large crowd of people. Somewhere in transitioning from one attraction to another, our middle son, who was about six years old at the time, let go of his dad’s hand and got away from us. We realized it once we were standing in line doing a head count for the next activity. While my mommy-heart panicked at the thought of my baby being lost among thousands of people, his father went into immediate search mode. He told me, “Don’t worry, I will find him.” I stayed back with the rest of the children, but I could hear him screaming, “Jaxon! Jaxon, where are you? Come to your daddy!”

After what felt like an eternity, Jeremy and Jaxon came walking hand-in-hand. His father had found him. Jaxon told us that he was so scared not being able to find his way back to us, but was happy his dad searched for him and found him.

How much more does Abba Father search for us when we lose our way and get lost in the twists and turns of life? Although He has countless other children, He searches for us as if we are His only child. Much like the story found in Luke 15:8-9 – “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.”

God, our Father, shines the light of His love on us until we find ourselves back in His arms. He sends a prophetic word that speaks directly to your heart; He puts someone in your path that has the answer to your specific need; He provides a way for you when you didn’t think one existed; you read something that’s only missing Dear You as a salutation; He shows you things in dreams that you know could only come from Him. All of these things are God’s ways of saying, “Hey, I’m searching for you. Come to your daddy.” And when you find your way back to Him, all of heaven rejoices.

On New Year’s Eve, while sitting in church waiting for service to begin, I reached into a pocket inside my purse, searching for a hair pin. I pulled out a bracelet. It happened to be the bracelet that I always wear along with my ring, and I always keep them together. So, I knew that if I’d found the bracelet, my ring had to be close. Sure enough, there it was right where I had put it weeks prior. I had looked in that purse several times and never saw it. I guess even finding my lost ring had its perfect timing. Now, it’s reunited with my left ring finger, and all is well with my world.

Just as I found my lost ring, God can and will certainly find you. No matter how lost you may feel, you are never outside of God’s radar. He never, ever loses sight of you and His love continually searches for you. You are special to Him, a treasure, and it is not His will that you should perish.

The Father has His eye on you. He sees you, and He will find you. Don’t worry, you won’t stay lost for long.

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