Saturday, February 14, 2009

With This Ring...

Yesterday was a day filled with surprises, emotions, tears, humbleness & thankfulness. It was a day that I am sure I will not forget.

My dear friend sent me an update to her blog, the title read "Would you give your wedding ring away to save a life". The minute I saw the title, I did something very Godly, I shut it off!!! I wasn't not going to read that, I didn't want to be convicted nor did I feel like my wedding ring needed to be a part of this equation. I have already given SO much Lord!

Later I was burdened to read the post and returned to the screen once again, against my better judgement. It read something like this:

This picture at left that was featured in Monday’s post on is real. The girls are real. It’s not posed or photo-shopped. It was taken a few weeks ago in Uganda by friends of ours. The girls are real, and they are eternal.

The picture of this diamond ring is also real. But it is not eternal. It can be lost, stolen, or lose its value, and will definitely be left behind when we leave planet earth.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is
unseen is eternal. 2 Cor 4:18

This is where the surprise comes in. I was not expecting what came next. My friend featured a ministry called "With This Ring". A lady was challenged with the question "What can you do to change the world". The only thing she could think of was to sell her wedding ring. She had a worlds of wealth on her finger. She did just that, then she donated her money to a ministry who was digging wells in Africa, to save the lives of the villagers.
After I looked at her web site carefully, I was convicted beyond conviction. This is what the Lord showed me.
"Andrea, you have challenged all your friends and some strangers to give like they have never given before, are you willing to give what I ask you to"? I felt like he was saying "Andrea, I am going to bless you, but first I want you to be obedient".
Now in all honesty, please hear me, this HURT. I love my rings, they are priceless to me. They symbolize so much. I love my husband, he gave me these rings! I DID NOT WANT to give my rings away. Then this question was posed "would I give them if I knew my own children were starving, or in need of water or in need of...."? Of course I would!! All of Gods people are eternal, not just mine.
I began to cry. I knew that the Lord was calling me to something that was going to cost. I believe he calls us all to something that costs, we are just not used to hearing that part of his voice. Cost, HURTS! Sure I have been giving of my "first fruits", I had given my grandmothers diamond solitaire. I had gathered lots of gold, that I didn't wear and that I could part with, BUT this was different.
I called Bryan and asked him what he thought and again, Honestly his first reaction was "you are not selling your rings". See, to Bryan they are VERY important, for the same reasons but even more so. He had to get off the phone and told me he would call me back later. I prayed. Once he called me back, I told him the whole story and his response was wonderful. "Andrea, we must be obedient, that is what we are called to do, we will not tell God no"! He asked me how I felt and I told him that my flesh said NO, and my spirit said yes. He said, "Well, then tell your flesh to SHUT UP"!!
Yesterday, I took both of our wedding rings (the very top picture) along with ALL my other priceless jewelry of my moms and grandma's to our jeweler. I thought that my rings would cause me the most grief, but I was wrong. I held so many memories in my mom's jewelry. I was wrestling with God, this was more then I wanted to give up. I sat with tears streaming down my face as I watched the jeweler look and access all of my precious jewelry. I felt foolish as I cried, but the tears were real, not fake. I was giving up so much of me and my mom.
My jeweler finally looked at me, as I am sure he was feeling uncomfortable, and I told him simply "I am selling my possessions, according to scripture, to give to the poor". I told him that I know it may sound crazy, but that is what I am doing. I told him, I am crying because it costs, and some of this was my moms. After awhile he offered me a price, not as much as I could get if I sold them all myself, but he promised me that they would not move on e-bay the way I would like them to. I accepted the price, THEN GOD happened!! He was speechless, he leaned back in his chair, put his head back and laughed a nervous laugh. He said " I can't believe you are doing this, What do I say to this"? I didn't know what he was talking about, because I didn't say anything. Then he said, "The Lord to me, I need to give you MORE", "How do your argue with God", he asked.
"MORE"? He did just that!! THEN I told him my story!! He loved it, he quoted some scripture to me about our treasures, and told me that none of this was worth anything in God's Kingdom!!
Okay, not to drag this on. But I gained a little perspective, I was mourning the loss of MY Possessions. Possessions, that if I had died in a car crash on the way to the jewelers, I would have left all behind. I WAS SELFISH, I WANTED MY STUFF MORE THEN I WANTED MY GOD AND OBEDIENCE. I can't believe it! I needed to ask for forgiveness. I am still married, the ring is only a symbol. I think it is far MORE romantic, especially on Valentines Day, that we have both given up our rings in the Name of Christ and have in invested in something that moth and rust will not destroy!! Also, my moms memories are in my heart, not in a piece of jewelry. My mom sits with JESUS, she was probably the biggest advocate of giving it away, because she sees with eternal eyes!!
In 1829, George Muller said, “A servant of God has but one Master. It ill becomes the servant to seek to be rich, and great, and honoured in that world where his Lord was poor, and mean (of humble origin), and despised.”

And this is how he lived it out.
November 1, 1834. “Today, our means being completely gone, we had them supplied in the following manner:–some time ago some silver spoons were given to us, which we never used, from the consideration that for servants of Christ, it was better, for the sake of example, to use cheaper ones. And for that reason we had sold our plate at Teignmouth. Yet up to this day those spoons remained unsold. But now, as we wanted money, we disposed of them, considering that the kind giver would not be displeased at our doing so to supply our need.”
Friends, WE HAVE the means, the tools and the money to supply those who are dying, who are diseased, who are hungry, who thirst, who are in prison, who are fatherless. God has GIVEN to us SO GRACIOUSLY. Lets not sit back and watch or talk about it LETS DO IT TOGETHER!! Will you ask God how he wants you to serve Him today to further His kingdom!!
Yesterday, I mourned the loss of earthly possessions,
Today I am "Ringless in Christ"


Sheryl said...

WOW! I don't know what to say. I have my own ring and my mom's set altogether. I carry a "piece" of my mom and dad with me everywhere I go. It helps me remember them and to feel connected. What you have done is such a selfless act of love. I don't know that I could do it Andrea.

Erica said...

Beautiful friend. I remember in our adoption journey another mom did this same thing. She posted about it and people were shocked and left their feelings on her blog. I remember thinking how hard it would be and how much courage that took but what a beautiful picture of Christ. He gave Himself for us. Giving up our possessions for the cause of Christ is absolutely beautiful. His name will be glorified in your lives and the lives of your precious children. It will be worth it all!! Love you friend. Love your heart. Love your family.

God's Girl said...

Your love for Jesus and your obedience to Him blesses me beyond words. It constantly inspires me and challenges me.

I can't wait to watch the Lord pour out His blessings on you and your family in big ways because of your sacrifice and devotion to Jesus.

Thanks for articulating your story in such a beautiful way. I sure love you Drea! You are one of those true-blue friends that God sends into my life as a rare a precious jewel. I thank God for you in my life!!!

LisaShaw said...

This says it all about our GREAT GOD!

"He said " I can't believe you are doing this, What do I say to this"? I didn't know what he was talking about, because I didn't say anything. Then he said, "The Lord to me, I need to give you MORE", "How do your argue with God", he asked.
"MORE"? He did just that!! THEN I told him my story!! He loved it, he quoted some scripture to me about our treasures, and told me that none of this was worth anything in God's Kingdom!!"

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