One day a couple weeks ago, I had a momentary lapse in reasoning while cooking dinner, I burnt the last two fingers on my left hand pretty badly. As a result, I had to take off my purity ring so the burn could heal and not scar or blister. As soon as it no longer hurt to wear it, I put the ring back on. It was the longest few days of my life. I felt naked and vulnerable without it. Which is 100% silly because my commitment to the Lord hadn't changed even though I didn't have the ring on. Those few days I didn't have the ring, the Lord took me on a walk down memory lane.
A few years ago, I read a popular article about why this 20-something Jesus-loving girl stopped wearing her ring. Her main point was that she was no longer going to sit around and wait for the Lord to bring her the man of her dreams. She was going to pursue Christ with all her heart in this time of singleness and not let the fact that she didn't have a man stop her. I got it. I was in the same place a few years ago, too. I was tired of the question, "When are you going to bring a boy home?" I had a lot of really gutsy strangers ask me if I was married and when I told them I wasn't, more questions about the ring followed. Instead of looking at those situations as opportunities to share what Christ has done in my life and what the ring means to me, I got frustrated and acted like these people were throwing it in my face, once again, that I am single. (I had a not-so-attractive attitude about the whole thing.) I was so frustrated, Quietly and spitefully, I took it off and every single day I made the decision to not wear my ring the Lord was convicting me big time.
At first I thought, "Well maybe the Lord wants there to be an outward sign that I love Jesus." This wasn't entirely true because people thought I was married and a ring doesn't scream "I LOVE JESUS," your countenance and the way you present yourself and carry yourself does. The next thought was, "Well...the Lord will still love me, even if I don't wear my ring." So I didn't really have a good excuse to no longer wear the ring even though it didn't change anything about my commitment to the promise behind the ring.
It seems like just yesterday I decided I wanted a ring but really it was eight years ago... I had just gotten out of my first "relationship" that lasts a whopping three weeks. I thought I knew what I wanted at the beginning of those three weeks: a boyfriend and a future with said boyfriend. At the end, my fourteen year old heart was broken and all I knew for sure about my future was I wanted Jesus to be my future. I bumped into my ex in the hallway at school and the hurt that flooded my heart and eyes was followed by the comforting whisper of Jesus leaning down from heaven, taking my hand, and promising me He would never hurt me. I went home and asked my parents if I could by a purity ring. They were, of course, supportive and didn't look at me weird when I bought two just in case something happened to the other one (Type A personality, right here).
I chose the silver ring with the words "True Love Waits" engraved and I was so excited when I got it in the mail. Before I put the ring on, I wrote a letter to the Lord with my commitment to Him. I wasn't as sentimental then so I didn't keep the letter but the promise has remained the same. Eight years ago, my broken fourteen year old heart promised to love the Lord with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I was an empty vessel ready to be filled with Him until I was overflowing. I moved from the driver's seat of my life to the passenger seat. My promise to Jesus wasn't (and isn't) so much about being pure until I'm married, although that is part of it. It's about being faithful to the Lord and seeking His will in my life in all things, including marriage. Until the Lord shows me the man I'm supposed to marry, HE is my husband, my best friend, my confidant, my everything. Now to some people that sounds stupid (and there are plenty of blogs that will try to convince you it's stupid) but before you judge that line of thought, you are not me and you do not have the same relationship with the Lord that I do. In Isaiah, He tells us He is all we need and more. To the friendless, He's a friend. To the widow (and single), He's a husband. To those in mourning, He is the Comforter. I could go on and on but I think you get the point.
About the same time, all of my Jesus-loving friends were going on Daddy-Daughter dates and their dad's were giving them their rings. At the time, it didn't bug me but a few years later, it started to eat at me. I asked my dad why he didn't take me out and give me the ring when I asked for a ring. I can still see his grin and hear his laugh as he answered my question, "Allison, would it have made a difference?" "No..." "You wanted that ring because you were making a commitment to Jesus. You were making a promise to Jesus, not to me. I didn't take you out and give you the ring because it was between you and Jesus." He pointed at my hand and said five words that have guided me all eight years since I put the ring on my finger, "Your true love didn't wait."
And I am so glad He didn't. Jesus didn't wait until He was ready to come down to earth and bear my sins on the cross. Jesus didn't wait to rise from the dead until all the people who wanted Him dead had long forgotten about Him. Jesus didn't wait until I got my mess together to tell me He loved me. Jesus didn't wait until I was less insecure, less anxious, less or more whatever to be my Savior. He has never waited to be my God, my Savior, my King. I still wear my ring because at 22 years old, He is still my true love, my God, my Savior, my King, my everything.
So when the burns healed, I placed the ring back in it's rightful place where, Lord willing, it will stay until I'm dressed in white and looking love in the face. That may be on earth with a earthly husband or when we're all dressed in white and the Bridegroom has come to make us His for all of eternity. Until then, I'll follow my Jesus wherever He takes me.
I am currently a teacher and life-long student of Scripture learning more about life and Jesus's marvelous love and boundless grace.