A collar of gold

When I was in my early twenties and in my first job in London, my Mum’s dear friend Rosemary gave me a gold necklace.

Rosemary is an amazing lady with great stories to tell. She lived and worked in Belfast in the middle of the Troubles, served the Lord in China ministering to students and finally met her husband when she was in her fifties and had just popped down to the local shops to run some errands! She has battled with illness and heartbreaking loss but retains a sense of joy, a wicked laugh and wonderful creativity and style.

The gold necklace she gave me was a flat ribbon chain and sat beautifully across my collar bone when I put it on. At the time it was only one of a couple of special pieces of jewellery that I owned, along with a gold dress watch that I had inherited from my Granny after she died. I didn’t really know what to do with good jewellery at that age, unsure of how or where to wear it, and didn’t ever feel that I had any occasions special enough to merit taking them out of their safe place in the trinket box.

As Rosemary placed the chain around my neck she told me it was “a collar of gold for the daughter of the King”. I must have looked a little unsure of the title, because she followed up with the words, “That’s what you are. You’re a princess, the daughter of the King of Kings”.

I knew that God was my heavenly Father and I was his child, but I’d never thought about it in those terms before. A daughter of the King. Royal.

A year or two later our house was burgled while we were all away over Easter weekend. Of course the only two things of mine that were taken were the gold watch and necklace – the only pieces of any worth to the house-breakers, and the only pieces prized by my heart. I was devastated, both by the loss and by the waste. Why hadn’t I worn them more often? Now, nearly twenty years later I know that I’d open that jewellery box and rock that collar of gold on any given Monday, just because.

But as I’ve reflected on it I’ve come to realise that I do wear it every day, because the gift that Rosemary gave me was so much more than a necklace. She reminded me, in the most beautiful way, of who I am and of how my heavenly Father sees me each and every day. She reminded me of my identity in the Kingdom of God. The gift she gave was one that, as a young woman, I needed to hear and have planted in me. It’s a royal identity I have carried with me ever since, and although there have been times I’ve let the royal robes  slip from my shoulders a little, no thief can steal it from me.

My prayer for each and every person who reads this is that you would know that you are a daughter or son of the King of Kings and that you walk in that identity every moment of your day. Some of us have never had a Rosemary to speak that over our lives, so let me tell you now: You are loved, beyond measure. Your heavenly Father is the Creator of the Universe, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings and he calls you his child and brings you into his family, his kingdom to take your place and to gain a mighty inheritance. That is who you are. That is your true identity.

Many people will try to steal it from you. They may come with harsh words, mocking jibes or disappointment. They may pour doubt or scorn on your gifts, talents or abilities. They may slander your name or speak false things about you or to you. But your heavenly Father says that you are his child. You are a Prince. You are a Princess. And no one can take that from you. So wear that title, that identity, and stand a little taller. Hold your head up high in the confidence of who you really are. And if there’s some special jewellery hiding away in a drawer, go take it out and wear it – just because it’s Tuesday and you’re royal.

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