When I was about 7 years old, my parents took me to a history museum. There I met one of my great loves, history. I could go on and on about how I love His story, but that is not the point of this post. While I was there we visited the gift shop and I found a quartz crystal that had been cut into the shape of an ovum. At the time, in my limited experience, it was the most beautiful stone I’d ever seen. I asked my mom if I could buy it. “Why?” she asked. “I want to give it to the girl I marry.” I promised.
When I was 18 years old, I was driving down the interstate at night with a friend of mine. We were talking about life, as 18 year olds about to go to college do. “What do you want out of life Jason…like if you could have anything at all?” my friend asked. “The same thing I have always wanted.” I told him. “A family. But it’s never gonna happen. I can count all the relationships I’ve had on one hand and they were all terrible. So I guess a good career that has meaning would do.” From that day on, I tried to focus on landing a great career, but the pain was always there.
When I was about 25 years old I took part in a singles life group led by the Currans at Steven’s Street Baptist Church. It had been 18 years since I bought that stone, and yet my bride was not forthcoming. I was depressed at my life in general. The wife thing was not the only part that had not worked out as I’d hoped. The degree I’d earned in medicine might has well have been printed on toilet paper for all the good it was doing, and future prospects looked bleak. Only recently the year before had I returned from years of wandering to the Church, but my spiritual walk was a hobbled one.
Bill Curran handed each of us a stone. Just a plain rock. “Take this stone,” he said, “and pray over it. Take your biggest burden, your deepest hurt, and put it on the stone. This is your burden. Every day I want you to pray that God would take away the burden until it is gone.” I prayed over the stone like he said, but it wasn’t my failed career or lost prospects that came to mind, “I want to be married, God, but I am not, and it hurts so bad not to be and know I never will. So I place this burden on this stone, and I pray you will help me to be satisfied and not carry it anymore.”
Over the next year, God showed me how to be content without a wife. Nevertheless, content as I was, the stone remained on my dresser. Just because you learn to live with a burden doesn’t mean it’s gone.
At the time I knew a girl named Gena. Though we had started out enemies a year prior, we were now good friends, although we still got on each others nerves. Over the course of that year, things began to change between us. We talked more and more and more. There’s a lot of twists and turns and nuances I won’t get into here (but I’ll be glad to talk about it anytime), but eventually I came to realize the truth. I could not marry anyone else. She was it, or nothing. Realize now, that I did not believe I could not live without her, because I had come to trust that God was the only companion I needed. What I did realize was that Gena was the only girl I could ever marry, and no other. If I could not marry her, then I would not marry. I just knew it.
The time had come. Before I did anything else, I went to Cane Creek with my burden stone and I threw it into the lake. There was no turning back.
Gena and I talked about it and started courting shortly thereafter. We were engaged six days after we started dating. It turns out the same God was speaking to both of us. After I proposed, I got out another stone, the quartz ovum I had kept for 19 years, and I gave it to my future bride.
Two stones, one a burden, one a promise. One lies on the bottom of the lake, never to be seen again. The other lies in a special box on my wife’s dresser.