On this week’s episode of This is the Gospel, Host KaRyn Lay shares the stories of three guests who discuss themes of heritage and inheritance. One of these storytellers, Jessie, received her inheritance early: her mom’s wedding ring. Designed by her dad, this ring helped Jessie keep a small reminder of her parents with her always—until she misplaced it.
So about five years ago, I inherited my mom's wedding ring early.
I was cleaning the church with my husband and my family. And I ended up looking down and realized that my diamond had somehow, in the cleaning of the church, been vacuumed up or disappeared. It just wasn't there.
And so I was talking to my mom about it. And she said, “I happen to have my mom's wedding ring and if you want, you can have the one that your dad gave me.” And so—graciously and excitedly—I took that ring and it became my own. Which was, timing wise, really sweet because later that year my dad was diagnosed with vascular dementia, which quickly started spiraling to Alzheimer's.
The ring was designed for my mom by my dad and so I loved it. It was beautiful and it was a piece of both of them with me all the time. And since I was across the country from them, I really appreciated having a little bit of my family with me all the time.
I clean offices for a little extra money on the side and I often have a habit of tucking my ring inside my pocket when I clean, just to keep it protected, and also because sometimes the chemicals can irritate my hands. I misplaced the ring a few times, but I usually find it pretty quickly in a pocket or on the washing machine.
However, there was one time about a year and a half ago that I could not find it. Off and on, I would pray for the ring. I would look in all the normal spots, check pockets, look in drawers and cabinets. I would even get a wild hair and check all the pockets in all my drawers and in all my coats, but no ring. I would wait a bit and pray again and then start the whole process over again.
As time went on, I began looking in less likely places like the car or the windowsills, in extra drawers around lamps, like anywhere I could think of I would look for this ring, but still no ring.
By this time, I was traveling a few times a year back home to help take care of my dad and spend time with my parents and give my mom a well-deserved caregiver’s break. I was also giving myself some much-needed time to make memories and say goodbye to my dad. At one point I had a deep conversation with God. I realized that it was possible that maybe I had really lost the ring. I had donated some pants that wouldn't ever fit again to Goodwill and I thought that possibly the ring was gone—that I had accidentally donated it.
Fast forward about six months—my mom had called and said that Dad was really sick. She asked us to pray that he would make it to Christmas because we were all planning on spending Christmas with my parents as a last hurrah with my dad on this side of the veil. Again, I took to my knees and asked for help to find the ring. I wanted to give it back to my mom, so she could have her ring when Dad passed. I thought, you know, “If anyone knows where the ring is, my Heavenly Father does, and God can help me find it.” I believed that He could send angels that would help bring it home.
And so I put that prayer out there and then kind of forgot about it. Let it be for a while. Prayers were answered and we were able to spend a wonderful holiday with my family. We made lots of memories and lit my mom's home up with laughter and noise. Little did we know that while we were in Idaho, a little mouse was on the job.
Upon our arrival home, my oldest daughter found a hole in her stuffed animal. It was one of those diffuser animals that you heat up and it diffuses essential oils. Well anyway, that tiny creature had spread flax from one end of our house to another. We had opened so many drawers to put away laundry and every time we would find a little corner full of flaxseed. I was bound and determined to clear out the flax and took a day to clean every nook and cranny.
About a week before my dad passed, I was cleaning out the bathroom closet and found yet another stash of flax. Armed with cleaners and a trash bag, I began throwing away boxes of stuff we haven't used in years. I felt like I should look in that last box one more time to see if there wasn't anything in the box that I might not want to throw away. And the right-hand corner, closest to me, tucked under the flap was my ring.
I think it's beautiful that Heavenly Father used that little mouse to help me find the ring. I know that He is a God of miracles and that sometimes those miracles take time. And sometimes they don't look the way we think they should look. And I know that we inherit more than rings and things. I'm grateful for the inheritance of faith. For my mom and dad teaching me to ask God for the desires of my heart, and to believe that with God all things are possible. Even finding your ring.
That was Jessie. Jessie shared her story with us on the pitch line. And though I have never met her, she is clearly my soul sister. Losing something important feels really, really, real to me, and I can just feel her pain and that longing to find that ring again so she can honor her parents. And I think what I'm going to take from this story is the reminder that while like Jessie said, the real inheritance isn't a thing, I think our Father in Heaven does use these earthly things to teach us about the Eternal One sometimes. The things we receive, the things we lose, the things we find, and the things we give back, become our spiritual preparation for the things that we will inherit forever.