On a Thursday morning as we were ready to pull out of a campground where we had stayed for four nights, I realized my diamond ring was missing. I was flabbergasted. I never take my rings off except to clean them. Never before, in the TEN years of March this year since I had been engaged, had it ever fallen off.
I wear three rings on my ring finger: my engagement ring, my wedding band, and another ring with my two children’s birthstones– rubies and diamonds. The ruby and diamond ring has a twist to it, so that it looks like two rings. I was about to take this picture when I realized my engagement ring was missing:
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Since I do a lot of projects, gardening, and housework, I rarely paint my fingernails, and I’ve only had a handful of manicures in my whole life. (I also keep my nails short for playing the piano.) But I had bought these very cute Nail Stickers. You get two sets for $5 and they might wear better than regular nail polish so I thought vacation was a good time to try them. So I put them on and I liked them and I photographed them Wednesday night around 6:30 p.m. It was Thursday morning at 11:30 a.m. that I realized my heart shaped diamond ring was missing. I was going to take another picture of my pretty nails, since I so very rarely have pretty nails. Instead, I gasped that my ring was missing, and that we had to look for it before we left the campground.
Searching and Praying
I had just thrown away four small bags of trash. I immediately retrieved them. (My husband and I each looked through them later before throwing them away a final time.) The second thing I did was call my mom and ask her to pray that we would find my lost ring.
A Hobby Lobby Sign that hangs on the camper bathroom door with a command hook.
I continued to retrace all of my steps since 6:30 p.m. the night before, when I had picture proof of having had my ring. But most likely, I figured I had lost it when I washed my hands in the camp bathhouse an hour previous, because I hadn’t dried my hands. I thought the water may have allowed it to slip off. It was a fairly short distance from the bathhouse to our camper site, so we searched thoroughly. It was sandy, with pine needles everywhere. We rented a metal detector. I had never used one before, but I called someone who had, and got some tips. All I found were round can pop off tops.
As I searched, I prayed, and I thought of the woman in the Bible (Luke 15) who had lost a piece of silver. She swept her whole house looking for it. I wondered why after such a good camping trip, it had to end like this. If you know me, you won’t be surprised to hear that I was not in an emotional panic (although that can happen occasionally). I methodically thought and looked and prayed. To the best of my ability, I trusted God that even if He answered no about finding my ring, that it would be okay.
This Hobby Lobby paper plate is held on the wall of our camper at the foot of the bed, with masking tape.
At around 9 a.m. that morning, I had taken yet another picture of my nails. Please don’t think I am vain : ). Just remember I am a blogger, and I was a picture taker (although not a professional photographer) for years before that. These were the pictures I took and posted on Instagram:
Oh, how I wished I had photographed my whole hand, but I had only taken pictures of my finger tips! If I had, I would have had evidence or a different time frame to piece everything together. I thought that surely, even though I only took picture of the finger tips, that surely I would have noticed then if my ring was missing. But I was wrong. Apparently at the time of the keyboard pictures, my ring was already missing.
After spending five hours looking, and renting/ returning the metal detector, we finally headed for home. I hoped that my ring was in the camper and that I would find it. I also called the camp staff and asked if they would keep an eye out for it. I even called local pawn shops, in case someone had found the ring and decided to keep it and sell it. I placed a lost and found ad on Craigslist, without telling the cut of the diamond, hoping that an honest person would find it and see my ad. Years ago when I lost a wallet, someone claiming to be deaf claimed that they found my wallet, but they were trying to scam me. Sure enough, I received an email saying they found my ring. When I asked what the cut was, they gave me a hard time about my post being real or not. Really?!? I thought that was a little reversed, and of course they didn’t tell me the cut and they didn’t have my white gold heart shaped diamond ring.
The next day (Friday) I looked again in the camper before leaving for work. I couldn’t focus very well on my office work. I edited the Craigslist ad to include a reward, no questions asked (in case someone took it hoping for a reward.) As I did the laundry (hoping to find the ring in the washing machine), and eliminated places in our small camper where the ring could possibly be, I began to lose hope that I would ever see my ring again. I wished I had taken a better picture, the last time I took a picture of it that Wednesday night.
I began praying specifically that God would open my eyes to see the ring, or that He would open an honest person’s eyes to see the ring and return it to me. I think I also prayed to understand the reason, His good purpose, behind all of this. “Open his eyes” is a prayer that Elisha prayed in 2 Kings 6, when he prayed that God would open his servant’s eyes to see the protecting horses God had sent. So many things happen in our lives and we can’t see why. I encourage you to trust God and ask him to open your eyes. “Open my eyes” is a prayer that can mean not to just physically see something, but to open your mental understanding.
Looking in the Camper
Our small camper has some neat features. One of them is that the bed lifts up with hydraulics that hold the entire bed open so you can store things underneath.
From the top of the bed is a small crack running the length of the bed. If anything fell through that small crack, well, then you can open the hinge and look underneath. But no, I did not find the ring. It wasn’t as easy as that.
The frame supporting the bed underneath is against the curved front wall of the camper.
So the frame still had a crevice in it. (See the straight support board against the brown curved front wall?)
I got in underneath and poked around with some plastic forks. I tried to use a mirror to see down the crack. I got some pipe cleaners to bend to reach down, but they weren’t strong enough to do anything. Someone came to help me search, and thought the crack was too small for a diamond ring to fit.
The People God Sends
Friday evening I got a call from a man. The first thing he said was, “I didn’t find your ring. I don’t want you to get excited because I don’t have your ring.” But he proceeded to tell me that he finds rings all over, and that he was a member of the Metal Detectorist’s Club. What?! There is such a thing? Apparently, and it is actually called The Ring Finders. The man was fairly local– three hours from where I lost the ring. His fee to go search for it? Nothing. If he finds it, he would be happy to have the reward money I offered. If he doesn’t, he would like $25 for gas money. For real?? Yes, for real.
I checked with my husband who agreed we had nothing to lose. Then for an hour, this man (The Ring Returner) grilled me with questions and details like a friendly lawyer/ investigator/ private eye, about where I had been, what habits I had (did I twist my ring, play with it, put it in a pocket, ALL the details). My only habit was to straighten the diamond and check that the stone hadn’t fallen out once in awhile– which was why I was completely shocked to discover my ring was completely gone. I told him all of the other details about where I had been and all the places where it could possibly be (had the dog eaten it?).
The Ring Returner also wanted to know more about me– how long had I had the ring? Why was it special? Well, I’ve had it more than ten years– our tenth anniversary is next month. “Well,” said he, “you need to have your ring back for your tenth anniversary!”
The Ring Returner encouraged me to finish my laundry, and ask my husband to help me look again. (I did, but he was tired from working on our car, so he took a shower instead.) Meanwhile he would start driving to the campground because time is a big factor.
It was Friday night, 36 hours after I noticed my ring was missing. That day I had lost most of my hope that anyone would find my ring. But The Ring Returner renewed my hope. So I offered my kids $10 each if one of them found the ring. I sent them out to look in the truck. Then I found the metal hanger that I had used on my Pocket Doors.
The kids and I then headed out to the camper to search again. The crack along the bed was 1/4 of an inch wide, enough for a ring to fall through.
I fished out a piece of wood trim, and a plastic piece out of the crevice. I knew that because of the size of these pieces, I could prove to my husband that it was possible the ring could be in that hidden crevice area.
I kept fishing blindly with the hanger, and was shocked and surprised to hear and see my ring pop up past the crack! (You can see another piece of plastic still in the crack.)
I got soooo excited!! My son was holding the flashlight because the electricity wasn’t hooked up. It was 11 p.m. After I fished my ring out I was talking like one of those silly people that win the lottery! “I can’t believe I won!” Well, it was, “I can’t believe I found it!!” Yes, it was a little exciting. (The most exciting part for the kids was that I told them since they were both with me they could each have that $10 I had promised.)
It was so much fun to call and text all the people that knew my ring was missing. Remember the woman in Luke 15 who had lost a silver piece? When she found it, she called together her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her. I again thought of her as I called and asked people to rejoice with me!! I had not thought that I would get to identify with this part of the story. I had thought that God’s answer to my prayer to find the ring was “no.” Now I know that the answer was “wait,” and then, “yes.”
So now I get to ask you, my reader friends, to rejoice me! I have found the piece that I had lost!
The People God Sends
Remember The Ring Returner? He had texted that he recommends people “ask God with a prayer for help to find the ring.” You know I had already done that. It turns out that the person God sent to help me in this particular instance, is a believer in Himself, just like me. And THAT makes this particular answer to my prayer AMAZING!
Thank you, God, for sending someone to encourage me.
Thank you for answering my prayer in a special way.
Thank you for sending an honest person to help me.
Thank you for being the God Who I can trust with my whole heart.
I made a short video to show you how I found the ring.
I made a reenactment video at the Ring Returner’s request. You can see that version below, also.
Update: You can read the story from the Ring Finder’s point of view, and see pictures not included in this account, by Clicking Here.