Everyone was staring. And why wouldn't they be, we were making a scene!
I could't help but wonder how weird we must have looked....how weird I must have looked.
I had completely lost it and there was no hiding my heartache.
I was curled up in a ball weeping in public.
How had I let things get so messy?
Ten minutes prior we had been happily ring shopping in a James Avery. I was torn between excitement and nervous energy as he walked me from glass case to glass case asking which one I liked best. One ring in particular with a lovely gemstone in it had caught my eye, but to my horror he had said "I don't want to get you a stone, you'll scratch it up."
Tears started welling in my eyes at his reproach. I felt like I could see myself through his eyes ... I was the stone! Once upon a time I was a precious gem but due to my own carelessness I had ruined everything, I wasn't worthy anymore.
He could see my tension rising and must have read my thoughts because he pulled me close and said," it's not because you don't deserve it! I just know you're so active and tough you might have to take the ring off sometimes and once I put this ring on your finger I hope you never have to take it off again!"
I looked up in shock. He wasn't mad at me, How could he not be mad at me? I was mad at me!
With a calm voice he broke my gaze and looked back at the glass case.
"That one! I want to get that one."
A sweet store clerk came over and pulled the ring out in my size and handed it across the case to him.
He held my hand and walked me to a bench in the corner of the store.
We sat down facing each other, but my eyes couldn't meet his stare. I was so ashamed.
A few days beforehand I had confessed that I had been pregnant. That I had miscarried the baby. And that for the last 15 months I had been keeping it a secret from everyone, especially him. He had said nothing in return other than, " I'll be coming by to get you on Saturday. I am taking you ring shopping."
RING SHOPPING?? That couldn't be right?! He must not have heard me correctly! And if he had, how could THAT be his response???
But when Saturday rolled around he was perfectly pleasant and he did exactly what he said he would ....and he took me ring shopping.
We sat silently holding hands for a tense minute or two. He was gathering his thoughts and I was waiting for the shoe to drop! As if this ring shopping excursion was some grand eccentric way of hammering home his fury with me...
And then he said what I never expected..."This is not a promise ring."
I looked up.
He went on, " This ring is not a way for you to promise me that you'll never have sex again, or that you'll never mess up again, or that you'll never lie to me again."
" This ring is my promise to you!"
"I promise that no matter what you do, where you go, or how far you stumble I will always love you!"
"I will always welcome you back! And just like your heavenly Father you can never out run my love for you! You're forgiven sweet girl! You have been made new by his love and his grace, forever! THAT is the promise of this ring... "
Tears rolled down my cheeks. Tears of heartache & guilt mixed with tears of joy and freedom. I began to shake as wept uncontrollably.
In his warm tenderness he pulled me up into his lap and hugged me.
And for a few minutes we just sat there, me sobbing and him holding me.
That was the day... the moment... I understood grace. That was the moment I accepted Christ.
Twenty years old, sitting in my fathers lap, in a random James Avery in Austin Texas I was reborn!
My father pursued my like Christ and his forgiveness and love taught my heart the freedom of confession, repentance, and acceptance of Christ's love.
That I can never earn it or lose it!
That I'll never deserve it or achieve it... it is simply & freely given, and all I have to do is ACCEPT IT!
God is so sovereign. He used the grief of losing my first child to make me HIS child.
This is my birth story! The story of how I crossed from death into life, and live eternal!
AAAAAAANNNNDDD since then God has proven that there is no diagnosis he can't overturn!
Despite a decades worth of OBGYN's telling me I'd probably never have my own children and one major emergency surgery on my ovaries, my husband and I welcomed our little girl, Winslett Adelaine Friesen, into the world on July 24th of this year.