What My 8th Grade Ring Taught Me About God

I was given this ring in eighth grade. I received it at a conference called “Daughters of the King,” and it quickly earned its place on my left hand while etching truth onto my heart.

As a middle schooler, I would frequently look down at my small piece of bling (complete with fake diamonds) and be reminded that I was God’s prized possession. That I belonged. That He saw me as beautiful and His. I believed those truths and held fast to them. But years ago, I took the ring off because “I was too old” to wear it anymore. It was gently placed in a jewelry bag and forgotten about for a few years.

I’ve been afraid to wear a ring on my left hand for a variety of reasons this year – people asking if I was engaged, feeling ridiculous for wearing a purity ring though I’m not guaranteed marriage in this life, or experiencing fear of not looking ‘available’ enough when I wore a ring. It hurt to look down at a purity ring or absence of a ring because I believed these feelings: forgotten by God. broken. undeserving. failure. not godly enough.

Honestly? I would love to be wearing an engagement ring by now. Who doesn’t want to stare at a diamond all day? (Thankfully being a wedding photographer allows me to do that 😉) I thought I would be married and well on the way to building a life of stability. Though I wouldn’t have chosen what God had planned for me, God has been gently and kindly pruning me, and what a gift that has been. In the midst of my brokenness, He gives abundance. He’s been exposing lies I’ve believed, and He’s been filling me to the brim with Himself. He’s been challenging me that the aim of life is not stability and comfort, and the goal of healing is not simply to find the perfect match to patch up the broken spots. The goal of healing is to experience the power, strength and grace of Jesus to bind up wounds, comfort the broken hearted and free us from sin.

Yesterday I decided to put fear and embarrassed feelings away and slipped the ring back on my finger. Why? Because my ring-wearing habits have no bearing on what God has planned for my life. Because ring or no ring, I am filled by God. And because a little bling never hurt anybody 😉

Now, when I look down at my crown ring from eighth grade, I am reminded of who I am and how I’m seen by God. I choose to believe these things: Chosen. A royal priesthood. Held. A daughter. A person belonging to God and pleasing in His sight. The ring has fake jewels and diamonds, but it nonetheless sparkles with beauty in the sunshine. It clothes my left ring finger and reminds me that I am loved.

Kindly note: I may not wear this ring every day. I’m not making a ring pledge, nor am I revolting against societal constructs or going off on a rant about singleness 😉
Single friends and married friends: the sadness over the absence of a ring can feel so weighty because the wedding band and the marriage covenant is so weighty. It means a lot, and I’m convinced that it’s okay to desire marriage without feeling embarrassed. I’m also convinced that I’m not promised marriage and instead I’m promised suffering. Because that’s where we meet God, and I can testify that it’s been the sweetest thing to see more of God’s heart. Wear your bling or don’t wear your bling, but be encouraged by 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession.”