Original post on Live 58 can be seen here.
Sometimes you dream of a special moment in the future with a loved one. Sometimes your view of that moment can change quickly and drastically for the better.
I’m not talking about a hypothetical situation; I’m talking about a very specific moment I was excited to experience in the future.
When I was 15 my parents bought me a beautiful aquamarine ring for my birthday. It was during a time in my life when I was struggling with a number of things (being adopted and knowing I was loved was at the top of the list), so this small ring represented a daily, physical reminder of my deepest emotional needs at the time. It made me feel loved, wanted and beautiful. I wore that ring with pride for a number of years.
Fast-forward 18 years. It had been a long time since I’d worn my aquamarine ring; instead it had been safely tucked away in my jewelry box, waiting. Waiting for my daughter, Hannah. Her birthday is also a blue-stone month birthday. I had been thinking about the special day in the future (she is only three) when I would give her this ring, talk to her about all of the love it represents and have it signify a covenant between us.
I had pictured her face when I would pull out this special ring and give it to her to wear and keep as her very own. What a special bonding moment for mother and daughter, the start of a new family tradition.
But now that isn't going to happen, at least not in the way I had originally thought. Together, Hannah and I have chosen a different moment to cherish: the moment we gave our ring to give another little girl fresh water.
In Nov. 2012, I first learned about a ministry called With This Ring. The ministry began when Ali Eastburn felt God call her to sell her wedding ring and to donate the money toward drilling a well in Africa. My heart was immediately gripped.
I began volunteering with WTR in December and began praying over how I could support the ministry without giving my engagement ring (which I was and still am unable to do at this point in time). Over and over, I felt my mind being drawn back to this aquamarine ring. But its emotional significance and my desire to pass it on to my child did not make for a quick and easy decision. I felt like this ring was a part of my heart.
But when I pictured a mother holding her crying child—or worse, her dying child—because they didn’t have clean water, I realized I had the ability to do something about it.
However, I didn’t feel like this ring was mine to give alone.
So I sat Hannah down and showed her the ring. I put it in her hand. She put it on her thumb and ring finger. Sheooh’d and ahh’d over it. We talked about how pretty it was, and she said she liked it very much.
Then I told her there was a person that could use this ring to help others. She could sell it and give clean water to someone that didn't have anything safe to drink.
Hannah listened intently. Then she looked at me and, with maturity far beyond her years, said, "We should give it to them.” I held out my hand and she placed the ring in it. Later that day we went to the post office and put it in the mail.
This decision wasn't made quickly or lightly. After wrestling with the thoughts of giving this ring away versus keeping it for my daughter I realized there was a more important gift I could give Hannah than a beautiful ring to wear.
Instead, I could give her the gift of modeling and teaching her what it means to truly love someone. What it means to love Jesus and what it means to love our neighbor.
I know she is only three and doesn't fully understand what we did, but I have to believe that a seed was planted deep inside that will bloom in His time.
I want Hannah to know that Jesus is a treasure so great that He is worth giving everything we have. I didn't want this beautiful ring to sit in a jewelry box for another 10 years when children just like mine are dying from a lack of clean water everyday. This ring, along with other gifts sent to the ministry, was able to make a life-saving difference for a village in India.
I am still looking forward to the day when Hannah is older, and together we will choose a ring for her to wear as a physical reminder that she is called to live a life that glorifies God with her heart, soul, mind and body.
Now I am also excited that in those special moments I can show her pictures of her perfect little hands holding this ring and tell her the story of giving it to Jesus together.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”