For the past several years, I have worn a band on my left ring finger that very much resembles a wedding ring. Though single, I would wear it because it held special meaning; and because, like most women, I’m a sucker for pretty jewelry. After a while, I continued to wear it mainly because of the notable nakedness my finger felt whenever it was absent. The ring was a cheap platinum imitation and was replaced whenever it began to lose its luster. Earlier this year, I chose a new one, this time with a huge rock for shock value. Much fun ensued, and few near heart attacks were caused now that a big, fat princess-cut sparkler sat on my hand. After a few months, the shock value began to wear off, and as if that weren’t enough, my finger began to turn varying shades of green. By then I had managed to garner my mother’s reaction of horror and was now satisfied. I haven’t worn anything on that finger since.
It’s often said that hindsight is 20/20, and the lessons learned post-ring have proven that statement true once again.
The ring brought a newfound confidence. I could walk anywhere and not be insecure about my singleness. I knew who I was, and even if I didn’t, my hand told the story that I was “spoken for.” For all anyone knew, at least one person thought I was desirable, intelligent and had something to offer. There wasn’t something profoundly unlovable about me, and if there was, it was obviously a slight that could be overlooked and forgiven. With the ring, I was allowed to be attractive. I wasn’t a threat to anyone, and they weren’t a threat to me. I could walk past a crowd of men, and after a once over that “token of taken,” I was checked off their list of available women. I could have intelligent conversations with a guy, and not be concerned about where I stood with him. Friendships were not built on the basis of “what if,” because there was no possibility of “what if.” The ring said so.
In retrospect I realize I naïvely failed to connect any of this with the ring. Since being rock-free, however, I have discovered a different kind of confidence. I am getting hit on again for the first time in ages. My intellect is not in question. I am learning that it’s okay to be pretty and smart and let the world know I haven’t yet been snapped up.
I would be lying, though, if I claimed to have learned the secret to being confident and content. There are still times when pangs of insecurity shoot through me. The thought of attending a wedding ringless sends chills down my spine. The bareness of my finger serves as a reminder that I am not wanted, desired or loved by one man. A reminder that I am not yet spoken for.
But hold on just a second. I am spoken for. I am a daughter of the Most High King. I am a creation of the ever-living God. Made in His image. Handcrafted in my mother’s womb. It is by Christ’s death that I am guaranteed a life with Him in eternity. It is by His say-so that I can live and move and breathe. Surely I must be wanted, desired and loved. To imagine anything less is to embrace a lie.
Yet the human race has been embracing this lie since the beginning of time. Lies are hurled at us every day and from every angle. We are so afraid to let down our guard and take God at His word that instead, we allow the lies to crowd our minds, fill our hearts and ultimately decide the course of our lives. We recognize our fallen state, but refuse to see ourselves as redeemed, restored, clean and forgiven. We endeavor to speak of Christ’s love to our friends, but far too often we are failing to live out that love for ourselves.
When a person is in love, their head is held higher, their step is lighter, and the world looks on with an envious eye. What false foundations would be shaken if we looked the lies in the face and said, "No more!”? What addictions could be kicked, thought patterns reversed, lives influenced, if we chose to back our words with the never-changing Word of God? What would happen if we not only claimed to love God, but also allowed Him to love us?
I don’t need a ring to dictate my worth. My value is rooted in who I am in Christ. Who I am in Christ is not based on my merit, or lack thereof, but purely by the Cross. And the Cross says I am a life worth loving.
[Allyson Brenning resides in Arizona and is a terrible cook. Her passions include caramel macchiatos as well as seeing women embracing their identity in Christ and bringing His fame to the ends of the earth.]
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