After my mom went to heaven in May 2019, I kept having this reoccurring thought about a ring, and it would show up in my thoughts randomly like a gentle nudge.
Like a mother’s ring, this one would have five gemstones, including mine, my daughters, grandma, and mom’s. None of us have the same color, and it would represent four generations of women. I kept thinking about it but not acting on it.
June became July, and I tried to help my dad adjust to assisted living while cleaning out their house.
During that time, my daughter had to take her computer in for a repair, and I went with her to see if it was salvageable.
We left it in the hands of those who could potentially help, and I started to drive.
“Wait! They are having a sale!”
She pointed to a jewelry store nearby, and I hadn’t realized we were near one.
“You should go in there. Don’t you want to design a ring?”
“I don’t know. I’m tired, and I don’t feel like it.”
“I think you should go in there.”
So I did.
The manager was very helpful as I told him what I wanted. He took an anniversary band out of the case with five diamonds in the setting.
“We could remove all of these and put in the stones you want.”
He took colored markers and made it look like what the finished product would be. When it was on my finger, I knew I would have a hard time saying no.
“What do you think?”
“It’s perfect, but you have to tell me how much.”
“The stones being removed will be an extra charge as a repair. And if you want the insurance, that will be a bit extra as well.
He wrote down everything as he tapped away on the calculator.
I was undecided when he presented me with a number.
I looked over at my daughter, who sent me a nonverbal message that I better say yes.
I took it off and handed it back.
“I don’t know.”
“We can hold this for you if you want to put some money down, and then take your time deciding that way..”
He stopped talking mid-sentence as he looked at the price tag.
“Wait a minute. I think this is on sale, so the price I quoted you isn’t right. I have to go look at something.”
I know a sales tactic when I see one, but he looked genuinely shocked. I began to feel it was supposed to be mine, and I was trying to find a reason why I shouldn’t get it.
When he returned, papers were shuffled around, and he said,
“Okay, this has a pink tag on it, so that means it’s going to be discontinued. We can still make it into what you want it to be but at a lot cheaper cost.”
That should have catapulted me into action, but it didn’t. I knew that I was supposed to say yes, but I said,
“I’m still not sure.”
My daughter looked at me like I should be put away.
I left without making the purchase, and I decided to think about it. And that’s all I did for 24 hours; I knew it belonged to me.
I bought it and had to wait two weeks, but I had it on my hand just in time for my birthday. The minute I put it on, my connection to heaven became even more potent.
When I went back to have it cleaned, one of the managers said,
“I show everyone who comes in here a picture of your ring, and we have had other people do the same thing once they see yours.”
It’s always nice to know that something I have done for myself goes on to inspire others.
This past August, I started to feel a pull to look at rings online. I typed in a description of what I wanted. Instantly, a certain one appeared on the screen. I glanced at the price but decided this time not to care. I didn’t look any further as I knew this was what I wanted.
I began to pretend I already had bought it. When I would remove my real ring, I would take my invisible one off as well. I would walk by my daughter, show her my hand and say,
“Isn’t my new ring great?”
I did this for about three weeks. Over Labor Day weekend, I had my finger sized. That particular location did not have it, but the salesperson told me it was on clearance. When we got home, we found a store that had one.
The next day, I drove to the mall, hoping to at least see it in person.
“It says that we have one here, but I can’t find it,” said the salesperson.
She searched drawers and display cases. Another associate came over to help.
“We don’t have it. But there is one about an hour away.”
An hour? Another drive? It was losing its appeal.
I called to be sure it was there.
“Yes. We have only one, and I will put it aside for you.”
When I hung up, I said to my daughter,
“I don’t know if I want to drive an hour to get a ring,”
It was the same look she had given me in 2019.
“Okay, fine. I will go get gas and decide if I want to go that far.”
She said nothing.
On the way to the gas station, I heard in my mind,
“Chris, you have asked me to be the man of your life. You have looked at this ring, and if you don’t buy it, then that’s all your fault. I need you to take the money I have given you and get it.”
The voice was loud and firm, reverberating throughout me.
I filled my tank and started the hour trek. As each mile went by, I was more confident that I did want it. I didn’t fully know what the price was going to be, but I was willing to follow the lead of heaven and get it.
“If I am driving all the way there, I’m probably going to buy it.”
“I knew that an hour ago in the parking lot,” she said nonpulsed.
I went into the store, and the person I spoke to took it out of the case so I could slide it on my finger for less than three seconds; I told her I wanted it.
With the sizing, warranty, and clearance, it was less than half of the original listing. Once again, I was shown that God would open a door for me to walk through when I let myself believe in something.
My daughter gave me a placeholder ring for that finger while I had to wait the long two weeks to get it, and I no longer had to pretend.
Some people buy material things to fill a void, and once the novelty wears off, the next purchase is made to achieve another high. That could go on forever, and sometimes it does.
In James 1:17 it says:
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (NIV)
When you are the recipient of something directly from the One who created everything, the search is over. You can enjoy what has been given, and peaceful fulfillment takes over your heart. Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?