On the morning of our wedding, my husband, Tim, wrapped a special gift for each of my two children and delivered them with handwritten cards. He chose a leather-banded watch for the older and a pair of birthstone amethyst earrings for my nine-year-old daughter, Carter. The kids were delighted by these small reminders of new family bonds.
While we honeymooned overseas, the kids enjoyed time with family at a house on the coast. Carter wore her earrings day and night. Somewhere between the pool, the house, and the beach, one of the earrings slipped out. The house was searched high and low. My sister deep-dove in the pool. But the earring was gone.
Soon after our trip, Carter confided in me about what had happened. I could tell that her dread of disappointing Tim was weightier than the loss of the earring itself. I encouraged her to take her time. “Tell him when you’re ready.” Privately, I let Tim know what had happened, we put it aside, and we waited to see what would take shape.
A few days later, Carter slipped into the room and nervously told Tim the story. I was not expecting what happened next. The moment she apologized and explained, Tim responded warmly, pulled a tiny package out of his pocket, and pressed it into her hand.
She unwrapped the satchel and found two gleaming purple amethysts, a second pair of birthstone earrings even larger than the first. He had given a double gift, prepared for her before she had even summoned the courage to talk to him about it. It was a lavish surprise.
This second gift was far more meaningful than the first because of what it signaled. The exchange reminded me of how God is committed to our formation. He keeps giving and forgiving. He has placed us in families and with ...1
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