I have wanted to purchase a Giving Key for quite some time now. I finally had some extra cash and excitedly chose my key with the word Hope, which was a declaration of faith for me, as I have been lacking it. I just loved it, loved wearing it, and to be really honest, had no intention of ever giving it away, even though I felt slightly guilty about not being true to the spirit of paying it forward.
No sooner had I owned it - about a few weeks - when I encountered a young mom at our church who I knew was struggling with health challenges and waiting on test results. I knew she was fearing the worst but she was also being very private in her struggle and it was difficult to break through her wall to try and support her. When I came upon her that day I gave her a bit of a hug and she just melted in my arms - I tried offering her words of comfort but I felt so inadequate - everything I could think to say seemed so cliche. I prayed for wisdom or words or just anything to come, and I finally found myself saying through tears that I knew it was difficult to have hope but she had to try and look past her circumstances and put her hope in God, not in what she could see in front of her. That's when I 'heard' in my heart "give her your key". Without hesitation I reached down, showed her the word on the key, then took it from around my neck and put it around hers.
I guess that was the point all along. But I also think something very significant took place when I passed on that key. I haven't felt at all without hope since then. I considered getting myself a replacement key, but when I do, I have decided it will bear a new word - Joy.