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Restoring What Was Stolen

By Diane Brennan 


Every morning as my feet hit the floor and I silence an annoying alarm, I ask the Holy Spirit to order my steps for the coming day. On one particular Monday in January, I had finished my get-up routine and was sipping my coffee at the table, ready to start devotions, when I received an intriguing Facebook message from someone I did not know. She stated: 

Umm, this is weird. I had found a class ring that I’ve kept for over twenty years because I could not find its owner. I think I’ve found you. The ring is from Berea High School (my high school in South Carolina) and has the name Diane Crain inscribed inside. If this is you, let me know. We do not live that far apart, and I would like to return it to its rightful owner. 

Sure enough, over twenty years ago my class ring was suddenly missing from our home (I believe it was stolen). I never found it and eventually forgot about it. After chatting back and forth, Joanne, the lady who sent the message, and I set up a meeting at McDonalds for that evening.  

My husband, Rick, and I live in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. As we made the half hour drive to Sturgis, we discussed how unbelievable this all seemed. We both knew that God was up to something. After all, He orders our steps. Proverbs 16:9 (NLT) says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”  

Upon arriving at the restaurant, we met Joanne and introduced ourselves. She proceeded to hand me my ring, which was attached to a man’s chain. I could not believe what I was seeing and asked her how she found it. She replied that the ring, attached to the chain, fell out of a roll of toilet paper that she was unwrapping at her office in Rapid City, South Dakota. How did my ring get from Belle Fourche, South Dakota, inside a roll of toilet paper manufactured at a plant somewhere besides South Dakota (there are no toilet paper manufacturing plants in South Dakota), and then get purchased by a company in Rapid City over twenty years ago? Only God knows!  

And that’s the point: GOD KNOWS! His timing is perfect. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). This could have only been God’s doing; no one can make up a story this good! And on top of that, Joanne searched for me off and on for over twenty years without success until January 2022, when she found me on Facebook. There are no coincidences in life. 

I now wear my high school class ring as a reminder of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and restoration – of things stolen by the enemy. God’s word says in John 10:10 that “the thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Satan’s goal in my life was to steal my destiny and purpose. I knew at a very young age that I had a call from God to serve Him. However, I grew up insecure, thinking that I could never measure up to God’s standards. I believed the lie that I was not worthy to be loved by God unless I performed perfectly. I strived to please God but was miserable and unhappy. In 2007, I attended a conference where I encountered God and realized that I did not need to perform; I am loved for who I am. I found freedom that day and decided I would not believe Satan’s lies any longer. I began to discover my purpose and knew that I could make a difference for the Kingdom. 

Life throws me curve balls, but I don’t have to swing at them. If I wait patiently for the right pitch, with God’s help, I can hit a home run. And in the craziness of our world today, I can look at my ring and be reminded that the battle is not over. Whatever the enemy is trying to steal—whether it is health, financial security, peace of mind, or anything that is dear to me—God has the last word. I have faith He will win.   

I do not know how my high school class ring got from my home in Belle Fourche to a toilet paper manufacturing plant outside of South Dakota, fell into an area where commercial rolls were being packaged, was purchased by a company in South Dakota, and was discovered by a kind lady who persistently tried to locate me for over twenty years. I do know that God is a God of miracles, reconciliation, and restoration! Needless to say, I’m no longer just surviving; I’m enthusiastically living the adventure called life! 

About the Author


Diane Brennan lives in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, where she pastors alongside her husband, Rick. Diane currently teaches kindergarten music and private piano lessons. She loves making a difference in children’s lives, encouraging them to be all that God has called them to be. To listen to an interview with Diane on Randall Bach’s Better Roads podcast, go to: https://anchor.fm/open-bible-churches/episodes/A-Conversation-with-Diane-Brennan-e1cjm8u

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