“I love you, Oh Lord, My Strength.” Psalm 18:1

A symbol of strength, a reminder, a tangible something to hold onto…

At 16 years old, 6 months after meeting my future husband, I presented him with a gift.

It was Christmas. We had met that summer and hadn’t seen each other in person since then. In that time, the friendship and long distance relationship that had grown was something only God could have put together. Amidst all the flutters and giddiness, I knew this was special, sacred.

Funny how I hadn’t intended on this present being that big of a deal. Mostly just a little something that we each would have to remind us of our salvation and commitment to Christ. That God is the strength of our relationship first and foremost.

Over the years, this sentiment of a gift has sparked hundred of conversations.

I’ll never forget those tender teenage eyes look up at me when he opened that ring box.

He still looks at me like that from time to time. And I still get all fluttery and giddy. The same gaze, maybe with a few more smile lines. (I love those eye crinkles! They’re my favorite.)

For a second I didn’t say anything. Both of us knowing our future was with each other. I anxiously explained the meaning of the two circles of silver and that the inside was engraved with Ps 18:1.

(coincidentally our last name initials are P & S. )

We both wore those rings for years. When Thomas proposed I transferred mine to my right hand. Thomas replaced his with a wedding band when we married. The old ring was so bent up and oval shaped we tucked it away as a sweet memory for safe keeping. Then one morning, just last week, I woke up and my finger felt weird. Looking down I saw a crack in the ring that I’ve had on my person for over 20 years! Hard to believe.

It took me a bit to concede to the fact I needed to take it off so I wouldn’t lose it. I put mine with his old beat up ring. (Kinda sweet seeing them together.) I find myself habitually trying to twist the ring with my thumb. Lots of emotions and memories spring up each time I go to rotate it and remember it’s not on.

There’s a lesson here. In only God’s perfect timing.

Reminding me, strengthening me, guiding me…

Like in our sweet and tender years of early romance, love is blooming, friendship is growing, and staying grounded in our strong foundation is key to this journey.

God’s love doesn’t have cracks, it’s unending, it’s forever, it’s strong and unbreakable…and I’ll always be grateful for the tangible reminder of that for all these years.

To you reading this, I remind you of God’s love story. He loves you so much, first and foremost. His strength is enough. It is more than enough to fill your heart. To fill the hurt. To fill the cracks. Every other blessing in this world is just an added bonus. God has something bigger and better than we can ever dream. So hang onto that love. Tuck it away for safe keeping in every part of your soul and let it spill over to be seen and noticed.

God is so good, Thomas Porter. Even when times aren’t. Even when stuff is hard and others are crumbling around us.  I’m so blessed that I still see those tender looks and have you to hang onto to remind me of God’s great strength and His sweet grace.