Lost Ring, Found Faith


January 31, 2024|In Stories|By Alicia van Huizen

Planning a wedding is stressful. But planning a covid wedding without family in a foreign country during a lockdown? Well, that may deserve a medal. 

To say I was under a bit of stress would be an understatement. My fiancé and I were serving as missionaries in Cyprus, thousands of miles away from my family. And I was NOT handling it well. Call it Covid-zilla, but in all my desperate attempts to nail down wedding plans, I managed to smash all my pillars of faith, trust, hope, peace. You know, the essentials. 

Then I lost it. No, not my mind. My engagement ring. 

I had removed my work gloves to discover the ring gone, the most precious gift my fiancé had given me. My stomach sank to my toes and kept sinking. I had been walking all over our large agricultural property that day. Even with the gloves on, it had somehow managed to fall off. But where? The impossibility of answering that question shrouded me. 

I dreaded telling my fiancé. We had no money to replace it. This just couldn’t be happening right now, when it felt like the world governments and their covid regulations fought against us at every step.

I broke off the search as lunch approached and headed to our ministry chapel, where someone would give a quick exhortation and prayer before we ate. The message that day was about showing our faith by our deeds. The question came: would anyone like to take an action step by praying in faith for something they don’t yet see? 

With head bowed as tears sputtered out of my eyes, I examined my faith pillar. Cracked and crumbling. Not much left to look at. But desperation rose up inside. What do I have if I don’t have faith? I knew this moment was a door cracked open for me. I had the opportunity to give God a precious gift, one that I can not give Him when all the dice roll in my favor: a sacrifice of praise.

I quickly shared with our team about the lost engagement ring, then prayed a simple prayer: “Father, please help me find this ring. But no matter what happens, I’m declaring now that You are faithful and You are good. And I will always praise You for Your goodness.”  

A sacrifice of praise is a leap of faith because the circumstances don’t inspire praise. On the contrary, they look more hopeless and defeating. But a sacrifice has to cost something. For me, it cost my perspective of the goodness of God. Can I believe He is still good, when I’ve lost the ring I’ve been dreaming of my whole life before I even say ‘I do’? Or when it looks like there’s no way my own family would be able to come to my wedding? Never did I imagine that my parents wouldn’t be there, that my dad wouldn’t walk me down the aisle. Is God still good then? 

I wrestled with Him until I could surrender to His definition of goodness. That’s a definition that didn’t promise me happiness and sunshine for the rest of my life. But it is a promise that He will be with me through it. Ring or no ring, family or no family, He is faithful and He is good. This was, and still is, my faith declaration.

It was a raw moment, but precious. I went to bed that night still wrestling to align my emotions with that declaration. Sometimes I succeeded. Most times I failed as I glanced down at my naked finger. But mercifully, the story didn’t end there.

The next morning, God whispered a memory of the moment I had taken off my gloves to remove my jacket. I could still picture the exact location where I had stood. Sure enough, in that same spot, in a field of wild grasses, my engagement ring lay waiting for me. On top of that, three weeks before our wedding, the Cyprus borders finally opened to America and my family could fly in! My dad walked me down the aisle and I married the love of my life. 

I witnessed miracles in that season of chaos! But God is not good because of those miracles, though I am incredibly grateful for them. Rather He is good because He IS. Our lives will always be full of the ups and downs, but His goodness is not measured by our moments. It is measured in light of eternity and His eternal nature that does not change. God IS good. He always has been good and He always will be. When He doesn’t answer my prayer, He is still good. When things don’t work out the way I planned, He is still good. And when I align with His reality of goodness, then I have every reason to praise.