When I had my tonsils removed several years ago, I was very anxious about the whole procedure. I was working at the time for a supervisor who had also had his tonsils removed as an adult, and he recommended that I do something that would be a reminder to me of how scary the process was and that I had gotten through it. He had, he said, stopped shaving his moustache after his tonsillectomy, and every time he looked in the mirror it was a reminder of a scary time that he had overcome.
I ended up buying myself a piece of jewelry: a necklace that would dance and sparkle around my throat and remind me of the fact that a time of fear and pain had brought really good things (in this case, a drastic reduction in the number of throat infections I experience).
There have been some stressful events since then, and occasionally they have been marked by something similar, most by accident. Example: a necklace that Chris bought me when I started my first full-time job. Scary thing with good consequences--fear and hope.
I bring this up because I am sporting a new piece of jewelry these days. Somewhere near the beginning of the current moving turmoil, I bought what I think of as a "swoosh ring." It's a silver adjustable band that hugs my finger, the two arms of it not touching. It's very symbolic to me on a number of levels.
The two arms don't meet, just like I feel like I am not making both ends meet (metaphorically) these days. The space in the middle is the space that I have to trust to be bridged by God.
The two arms are also two pathways that are headed in different directions, symbolic of choices we have to make that will drastically alter the shape of our life.
The two arms are yet one piece, a reminder that Chris and I are still one, even while we're spending so much time apart.
Because of the break in the ring, it is not an infinite circle, like other bands I wear. Instead, it reminds me that hard times, like most other things, are finite, with a beginning and an end.
Someday, this ring will be a reminder of hard times in days past, an encouragement when new hard times come. For now, it is a reminder that no matter how discouraged I feel, God will get us through this and we will come to a time when this particular hard time is just another part of our history.