I wasn’t crying before Johnnie handed me the gift. I was afterwards.
Johnnie and Nelson sat behind us at church in Texas. It was one of our last services there before embarking to France. We turned to hug them, to say goodbye, and Johnnie said, “Hold out your hand.” She twisted something off her finger. It glinted silver in the auditorium. “I want you to have this,” she said.
She placed a silver ring around my right index finger. The ring was composed of three separate but held-together rings. The outer two rings were hands clasping each other. She showed me how to separate the grasp of the hands into three rings, revealing the third ring which had the shape of heart upon it. “I want you to know that God will always hold your heart in His hands,” she said.
I’m looking at the ring today as I type this entry. I’m many miles from Texas, many miles from our dear church who loves us well, many miles from security and ease. And yet, because of Johnnie’s ring, I can remember that no matter where I find myself on this great big earth, God holds my heart in His hands.
Even when I’m scared.
Even when Aidan is teased at school.
Even when church planting doesn’t go the way I thought it would.
Even when I struggle in my relationships.
Even when I sin and act like an indifferent child.
Even when I don’t know what the future will hold.
Even when I am homesick.
He holds my heart in His amazing, strong, capable hands. In that embrace, I am safe. Whenever I gaze at my ring, I remember that He is wrapped around my finger.
And my heart.