“Mom,” the quivering agony in my daughter’s voice on the phone threatened me with panic.
“What is it Kellie,” I asked too fast, unable to not imagine the worst.
“I’ve lost my ring.”
I closed my eyes and breathed, relieved that the problem wasn’t worse. “Kellie, it’s a ring. Don’t worry,” I tried to console her. But I was heart sick. It was Kellie’s engagement ring. The wedding was three weeks away. The diamond ring was a antique, and the wedding band had been custom-made to match the vintage filigree and curve of the now lost ring.
It was March 31, 2006, and Kellie and her fiancée, Mike, were driving ten hours from Pittsburgh, PA, where they attended college, to Mike’s home in Wisconsin, where his mother was hosting their bridal shower.
Kellie’s spirits lifted as we talked. Then she sounded strangely calm, assuring me, “I’m sure if we all pray, we’ll find it.”
I winced at her childish idealism. A tiny ring lay somewhere along a several hundred mile stretch of highway. Kellie remembered admiring the ring shortly after they left Pittsburgh. She notice it was gone sometime in Indiana, two states away. They had been in and out of the car several times during that time.
Her final semester and wedding planning had caused weight loss, even in her fingers. She thought she might have lost it after washing and drying her hands in one of several rest stops along the Pennsylvania/Ohio/Indiana Turnpikes. I cringed as I imagined my anxious daughter unwadding paper towels from trash cans and searching dark sidewalks, looking for the proverbial “needled in a haystack.” Their exhaustive search made them arrive in Wisconsin at 4:30 a.m. instead of midnight, as anticipated.
My heart dropped as I calculated the slim possibility of finding the ring she had so delighted in receiving nine months earlier. I went into “Mother” gear, trying to encourage, and give helpful advice, like submitting a report of loss to state Turnpike authorities. I emailed prayer requests to friends, including Mother who was the best of the best.
My prayer that night and throughout the weekend was, “Lord, Kellie has so much faith in You and the power of prayer. We don’t know where her ring is, but You do. It can be in the trash can, or in a parking lot, or in grass somewhere. It doesn’t matter where it is now. We know that You are capable of doing anything. Please get it to a place where she can find it. And if someone finds it, let them feel convicted to find the owner.” All the time I prayed, I also added, “And Lord, help my unbelief.”
Although they had no good news on Saturday, Kellie and Mike were still optimistic, trusting their prayers weren’t falling on a deaf God. But I had moved beyond prayer into “fixer” mode, contacting the jeweler with a ridiculous question about having another ring made to match the band they had just fashioned, and even searching the internet for a look-a-like.
On their return trip to Pittsburgh on Sunday, Kellie continued to sound calm and peaceful, the opposite of what I was expecting and personally experiencing. She said a peace had come over them about the ring. I was grateful for their peace, and reminded myself it was just a ring, no matter how special.
Back at school Tuesday afternoon, Kellie called me, giddy with laughter. Returning from work, she noticed the ring was on her bed! Her squeals brought her roommates running, and they joined in the delighted squeals. Kellie’s voice was still shaky from the shocking discovery.
I quickly called my mother. Her odd question surprised me, “What color is Kellie’s bedspread?” She said she kept getting an image of the ring on a blue square.
I quickly redialed Kellie, disappointed that her answer was green. I share her grandmother’s vision of blue, but didn’t mention the square. Kellie’s answer shocked me again, “My quilt under my bedspread has blue squares on it.”
“Was your bed made when you found the ring?” I asked. (I don’t know why I had visualized a sparkling ring prominently displayed in the middle of a perfectly made bed, as Angels sang.)
“No,” she answered.
So there was a blue square, and a ring, returned from only-God-knows-where, because of a childlike faith in the power of prayer. And a vision from a beloved grandmother to add to the miracle.
“See how much I love you?” was the unmistakable message we received from God, all because a young couple believed Jesus when He said in Matthew 21:22, “If you believe, you will receive what you ask in prayer.”
Today, Kellie and Mike have been married ten years and have five children, all of whom love the Lord.
Thanks be to God, the Author of our faith.
Debbie Barrow Michael lives in Mount Airy, Maryland, in the United States. She is an artist and writer. Her book, But the Greatest of These is Love, chronicles her unexpected journey with God into adoption. Her blog, Consider it All Joy, at debbiebarrowmichael.blogspot.com is filled with God Stories, even during a tragic period in her life. Her greatest desire is to know God better, and make Him “visible” to others.
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All book profits go to orphan care, including hosting expenses.