a loss and love

by racheliliadis

(I wrote this awhile back and recently found it in my drafts. Today, I decided to make it live. May you be encouraged.)

At the risk of sounding entirely too dramatic and possibly TMI, I’m going to ask you that you read the follow story with a loving heart.

Yesterday I lost all my most valuable possessions. (Tangible ones, that is). Somehow between washing the dishes after dinner and cleaning my room Monday night, I had misplaced a ring my dad gave me when I was 13, two heirloom rings from my great-grandmom, and this precious Greek ring. You may be thinking, what’s the big deal? They are just rings.

But these were not “just rings.” They carried with them stories, memories, and heritage from generations ago. They were the only material possessions that I’d run into a burning building for. To say they are special is an understatement.

When I realized they were missing, I tried not to panic. But immediately the fear knocked the breath out of me. How in the world had I lost them? I’ve never lost them. So the search began.

I looked everywhere. For 11 hours. In the trash, under beds, behind stoves, beneath refrigerators, in the piping and the disposal. One thing was clear … they were gone. I wept. I cried Wednesday more than I have in years. I felt so heartbroken that I would have to tell my grandparents and parents that I had lost their precious rings in my irresponsibility.

When I thought all hope was lost, I called my dad to tell him of the loss. He comforted me with wise and profound words. He reminded me that God is a jealous God, and he doesn’t want anything to come between us and His love. And he told me that maybe the rings had become an idol.

It hit me. They had become an idol. Throughout the past few weeks/months/year, I have been more “aware” of rings, and more interested in them (that’s what happens to girls in serious relationships). After 11 hours of trying to do it my way and resort to anxiety and fear, I gave it to the Lord. I let go of them in my heart.

For an hour, I sat on my bed praying and worshipping. His love comforted my heart in its deepest places. And He told me to write Dimitri, my boyfriend, a letter. Let me backtrack for a second. Dimitri also spent about 5 hours digging through garbage, sticking his hand in garbage disposals, and trying his hardest to love and support me. I felt I owed him a very large thank you letter. I began to write.

I told him how grateful I was, how I was finally experiencing peace from the Lord, and how I had surrendered the loss of my rings to Him. I know he would take care of it.

The lights were off, and I was ready for bed. All of a sudden I heard a voice telling me to go look in my bathroom trash. My trash? Dimitri and I had both looked in the trash multiple times throughout the day. I didn’t want to get out of bed with the hopes of finding them only to have those hopes crushed. But again, I heard the voice telling me to go look in the trash.

Not wanting to get up, but obeying this voice, I went to the trash can, and started looking. There was a paper towel bunched up and sitting on the top of the trash. I gently unwrapped the trash, and as I did I felt 4 objects in the towel. My heart leaped. No way. No way. No way. I unfolded the paper towel, and to my utter amazement, there they were. Lying there untouched and more beautiful than ever. My rings.

Everything in me began to praise the Lord because I know it was HIs voice directing me to them. He wanted me to let them go, to free myself of the idol that they had become. And the moment my heart truly surrendered, it was his voice, his kind voice, that led me back to them.

Although it was through a trial, the Lord gave me a gift yesterday. A gift much greater than the rings. He gave me His love. And I’m so thankful that I have a Father whose love is so jealous for me, that he won’t let anything come between us.