Material things are not at all important to me. I couldn’t care less about the latest technologies or newest toys. I do, however, cherish gifts because of the thought and care put into them by the giver. I’ll just go ahead and admit it. I’m incredibly sentimental. A card often means more to me than the actual gift because of the words spoken by the giver to my heart. I’ve been known to keep cards, print out emails or other messages so I can look back on the love and care shown to me. For our first anniversary I printed out all of our messages and texts and put them in a book I titled “Our Story”. I know, gag. But I really cannot emphasize enough what sentiments mean to me. Knowing that someone cares enough about me to show kindness in the form of words, gifts, or prayers touches me deeply, humbles me, and makes my heart smile. Their tokens of love serve as reminders of their presence in my life every time I look at them. Very, very sentimental!
Now that we’ve established that I get all heart-fluttery over sentiments, allow me to tell you a couple stories. My grandma Kate passed away when I was 12 years old. I’ve mentioned before how close I was to her. After she died, my grandpa gave me one of her rings. I would occasionally open the box and look at it, remembering her and the unique style that I loved. Once I got a little older, we had the ring sized so I could wear it. And I’ve worn it every day since then. However, there was this one time…
Our family was out perusing car lots as my dad loves to do. While riding in the car I decided to put lotion on my hands so I took off my ring and placed it in my lap to put back on when I was finished. I bet you can guess where this is going. I still cannot believe I did not remember to put it back on. We got home and went about the rest of our day. It wasn’t until evening that I suddenly realized my finger was empty. I tore the house apart trying to find it. I tried to play it cool but I was dying inside. Pure panic! This was the ‘thing’ that meant most to me in this world and I had lost it! I said many, many prayers, begging God to help me find it.
Finally, my dad drove me back to the car lot to see if it happened to be there. Fat chance! This was FIVE hours after we had been there, walking all around the car lot. And it was now dark. There was no way we were going to find it. I was heartbroken. But we made one last-ditch effort. We pulled in the lot and got out of the car. I promise you within 15 seconds I laid eyes on my ring, in the middle of the parking lot, on the ground, in the dark. No one had picked it up. No one had run it over…in five hours. I immediately put it back on my finger, shed some inside tears, hugged my dad and we went home. I later wrote a prayer of thanks to God for helping me find it, even after I had done something so irresponsible. I cannot describe the relief I felt, and still feel every time I look at my finger!
Fast forward to the present. One of the few gadgets I have is a Kindle Fire that my parents gave me for Christmas last year. I didn’t even ask for it, so it was a total surprise. I had just found out I was leaving my job so this Kindle has provided much mind-relief for me, in the form or books and music. It had more value to me because it was a gift than it would have had if I had bought it myself.
The other day I knocked the Kindle into the bathtub…as in, dunked the whole thing in water. Just for one second, but that’s all it took. It still worked at first, all except the sound, but it quit altogether shortly thereafter. Once again, I felt so irresponsible and heartbroken. I hadn’t even had it for a year! I spent most of yesterday on the phone, chat, and email with Amazon customer service. I talked to four different people, who all came to the conclusion that it couldn’t be fixed and all they could do was offer me a discount on a new one.
Believe it or not, I will eventually get to the point of this jumbled post, but before I do that you need to understand that I’ve been going through an extra-rough patch for what seems like a long time. I’ve been even more sick than usual for quite some time now. I can sometimes handle things alright if I know there is some kind of treatment coming up that ‘might’ give me at least a small amount of relief. Looking forward to treatments or next steps is what keeps me from losing my sanity. I had a treatment of what I call my ‘detox juice’ two Fridays ago and I just have not been able to recover from it. Each day I go to bed thinking tomorrow has to be the day I finally get some relief from the physical suffering. And each day I am disappointed. It takes a massive toll on my mind and emotions.
So when I killed my Kindle, it was just the icing on my very own cake-wreck. I was somewhat irrationally upset about it, but really it was the combination of everything that sent me down the depression hole.
I complained to the Facebook world, I complained to my sister, I agonized about how I was going to tell my parents, I beat myself up, I cried to my husband, I pleaded with Amazon and I came up empty. Finally, I was smacked in the head with the thought… I have not prayed about this. Prayed? God, you really want me to pray about a Kindle? So, I did. I prayed and then the Kindle teased me for awhile, turning on and then turning right back off. I thought that was sort of cruel.
Right about that time, my self-proclaimed ‘meddling husband’ entered the room. He told me he had messaged my mom and she had called Amazon herself. They offered to replace the Kindle free of charge. Oh. My. Goodness. Relief, joy, thankfulness rushed over me. Praise God!
I think there are two morals to these stories. The first is that, believe it or not, God does care about the little things. They may seem silly or insignificant to mention to an all-powerful God, but he wants to know how we feel. He knows absolutely every detail of our lives and he wants to talk to us about them. How amazing is that?
The second is that God can work with our irresponsibility. And he can turn it around and/or use it for his glory. He can use us even when we mess up! I find such relief and comfort in knowing that! We are not powerful enough to ruin God’s plan just by making mistakes. That’s so amazing to me!
So, dear ones, if you’re sweating the small stuff and it feels silly to talk to God about it, I guarantee he wants you to tell him anyway. If you’re worried about messing up his plan by making mistakes, please know that God can use your mistakes to bring him glory!
Yes, these ‘things’ of mine have some monetary value, but what matters far more to me is their sentimental value. Did you know that we have sentimental value to God? He created us in his image (Genesis 1:27), we are worth more than rubies (Proverbs 31:10), we are worth more than many sparrows (Matthew 10:31), if we get lost he will come searching for us (Matthew 18:12)! God values us so much that he will come looking for us if we are lost, even if it’s because we’ve done something dumb. Amazing! It’s as if we are the ring on his finger, the one he looks at and his heart flutters with how much he loves us. He smiles at the memories we have together and looks forward to the ones to come.