Many years ago I purchased a cross almost identical to the one I own now in this photograph. It hung 18 inches from a gold chain and lay gently at the base of my throat. When I bought it, my life was flowing smoothly; free from any number of crisis that can throw one's course - and faith - off track.
For the most part, my life has been pure enchantment, filled with love and family and all the things that make life joyous and whole. So when the earth suddenly turned on its axis and things slid out of control, I wasn't sure where to grasp to prevent myself from hurtling off into the never-ending vastness of the unknown.
The loss of someone dear, a marriage dissolving, new changes in my life, health issues, financial devastation; they all came knocking at my door. I wanted to turn the key, lock the deadbolt and pretend that I, as the occupant, was enjoying a well-earned, luxurious vacation on some exotic island far away. No admittance. Do not enter. No trespassing.
It was during these moments that I began to truly wear my cross. And then I never took it off. My hand went up to it when I needed strength; feeling its coolness and distinct shape beneath my trembling fingers. I held it in a clenched fist during medical tests and it lay against my pillow each night. It was a symbol, a security, a promise that I wasn't alone. It was renewed faith, peace to a troubled soul, hope for the future.
A year ago, I lost one of the stones and for the longest time I didn't replace it. And even though I know it is only a piece of jewelry, for me it is something much more. Since it would cost more to replace the stone than to purchase a different necklace, I waited awhile until I found just the right one. It's interesting that my cross broke just as the light was beginning to touch my path once more. Perhaps it is symbolic and that the stone was "rolled away" to make room for a new life.
Believing has nothing to do with necklaces, old or new. But having this golden cross is a reminder that I do have something that will never be lost or broken......and that is Faith.