He releases my other arm so that I can bring the nearly empty box into my lap. As I look into the box, I find two objects remain. I glance at Him in surprise; I thought there should only be one.
“Success is an attitude, little one, not a specific dream.. I want you to have that attitude over all the specific dreams I am giving you.” He explains. “Now, take out the smaller package.”
Of the two objects in the box, one is a large, oblong package, the other small, the size and shape of a jewelry box. I remove that smaller package and set the box aside.
As I tear at the stubborn paper I whisper, “I will submit to you, Papa. I lay aside my fear and take up faith. I will receive what You have for me.”
The paper gives way and I open the box. Inside, there is a ring. It is a ‘mother’s’ ring, set with six oval stones. The first three I recognize as being my sons’ birthstones. The other three seem to be topaz, garnet or ruby, and amethyst. But I only have three children. Then I know, these are my sons’ wives! They will be daughters to me, not daughters-in-law! My daughters! I am sobbing now, with joy.
“Look again, there is more.” He whispers in my ear.
I look more closely and see tiny round stones, eight or ten of them, set between the larger oval stones on both sides of the ring. I cannot make out the colors, there are too many of them to tell. It takes me only a moment to realize these are their babies! My grandchildren! This is my family, knit together and held close through three generations. Overcome with emotion, I press the ring to my heart, sobbing, not wanting to let it go.
“Put it on.” He takes the ring and places it on the index finger of my left hand. This is where I wear a ring to remind me of something important. This I cannot forget.
I look up at Him and mouth the words, “Thank you.” Not trusting my voice at all in this moment. In reply, He kisses my forehead tenderly and puts His arm around my shoulders. I rest there, my head on His breast for a long time before He hands me the final wrapped object.
I hold it for a few moments before unwrapping it, wondering what more there could be from Him. The wrapping seems to give way easily this time. I find that I am holding a microphone.
He does not wait for me to ask for an explanation. “You will need this when you teach.”
‘I will need this when I teach… when I teach…’ The words ring over and over in my ears, ‘…when I teach.’
“You have been afraid to accept this, child.” He speaks out the unsaid words of my heart. “You have known since you were thirteen that this was your calling, but you have been afraid of it. You have tried to hide from it, tried to run from it, and even recently, you have been ready to give it up.”
Tears begin to fall again as the turmoil over it all comes welling up again. A very real pain knots my gut reminding me of the struggles I have had with this issue. He strokes my hair comfortingly.
“Do not be afraid any more. I have never changed my mind. I want you to hold on to this, to pursue it, to dream.”
Looking from the object in my hand to Him and back again I whisper, “I will, Papa, I will.”
We sit there, together, for a long time as I try to absorb all He has said and given me. Finally though, He says, “It is time for you to take these and put them where they belong.”
I look up and realize that it is night now. A cool breeze blows in from the balcony bringing in the fresh scent of night. Without thinking, I reach for the box to hold the objects so I can carry them to my chambers. Firmly though, He catches my hand and stops me.
“No, do not put them back in the box. If you do, you will not retrieve them. They must stay visible to you or they will be lost again.” He warns, taking the now empty box from the table and folding it up, flat, so that it cannot be used.
“Yes, Papa.” I meekly whisper, not realizing I was doing the wrong thing. Carefully I gather the objects in my hands and rise to my feet to take them into my chambers. He walks there with me, across the balconies. I walk into my bedchambers, to the shelf above the bed. He stands in the doorway and watches as I place the objects on the shelf.
“Now, it is time for rest. Sleep now.” He instructs.