Tuesday, August 2, 2011

my pearl necklace

graduating from college and moving home, preparing for a wedding and settling into a house that's soon to be "ours", starting a big girl job... all wonderful steps, but also huge changes that are requiring me to take leaps and bounds of faith, not only in those so close to me, but also in my God. throughout all of the changes i can't help but to think back on a sweet story i remember hearing as a young girl in sunday school. 

i'm sure many of you have read the story below, but reread it and see what God presses on your heart this time.
a cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "oh please, mommy. can i have them? please, mommy, please!"

quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "a dollar ninety-five. that's almost $2.00. if you really want them, i'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from grandma."

as soon as jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. after dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. on her birthday, grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.

jenny loved her pearls. they made her feel dressed up and grown up. she wore them everywhere
--Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. the only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.
jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. one night when he finished the story, he asked jenny, "do you love me?"
"oh yes, daddy. you know that i love you."
"then give me your pearls."

"oh, daddy, not my pearls. but you can have princess-- the white horse from my collection. the one with the pink tail. remember, daddy? the one you gave me. she's my favorite."

"that's okay, honey. daddy loves you. good night." and he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
about a week later, after the story time, jenny's daddy asked again, "do you love me?"

"daddy, you know i love you."

"then give me your pearls."

"oh daddy, not my pearls. but you can have my baby doll. the brand new one i got for my birthday. she is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."
"that's okay. sleep well. God bless you, little one. daddy loves you." and as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

a few nights later when her daddy came in, jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. as he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek. "what is it, jenny? what's the matter?"

jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. and, when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. with a little quiver, she finally said, "here, daddy. it's for you."
with tears gathering in his own eyes, jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of beautiful genuine pearls. he had had them all the time. he was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure.

i have started yet another book, Having a Mary Spirit (by: Joanna Weaver) and it is just phenomenal already. i’m hoping God will be teaching me amazing things through her writing and that i can attempt to share them with you through less capable words.
in just the few pages i’ve read, God has reached into my chest and molded my heart. He has said to me (a countless number of times in the last week) that i must give something up in order for Him to provide me with something better. i keep looking at everything in my life and reevaluating, but have suddenly come to a realization… i went through an extremely painful (and losing) summer last year between my father’s health scare and breaking my nose but in all of the loss i have gained times a million.

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." -Matthew 13:44-46

in losing the security of my (earthly) father’s mental abilities, my family has grown exponentially and he has just bloomed into a new, fun, more-Christ like man. he longs to make memories with all of us kids, something that had taken a backseat to work. he desires to show us how much he loves us, instead of just telling us. he doesn’t want to miss out on a moment of life, which pushes us to make everything fun and exciting even when it’s not supposed to be.

in breaking my first bone and undergoing my first surgery, i realized i’m not by any means unbreakable. i am a fragile being that is no better, no stronger than the next person. but in the brokenness, God showed me He is restorative. He is here to put us back together and to heal us stronger and more capable than ever before.

in the depths of deteriorating friendships (seems like it's just one after another) i realize that "best friends" doesn't necessarily mean forever. in handing over one broken relationship, another appears to grow me and encourage me despite the pain from the last.

like jenny, i needed to hand over my dime-store strand in order for God to give me the beautiful necklace of genuine pearls. and now, with the real pearls around my neck, i wouldn’t have it any other way; however, it wasn’t easy given up what i felt was a sure thing.

what are you withholding? what dime store pearls is God asking for you to sacrifice in order for Him to bless you with something greater?

and, for some, be patient. you have handed over your dime store pearls and you are in a time of waiting. be patient, our God is a faithful God and He will provide you with the desires of your heart. be still and know He will bless you.

"Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart," -Psalm 37:4

song of the day:
god of this city – chris tomlin

“for greater things have yet to come
and greater things are still to be done in this city”
wherever it is in your life that God is working, remember it is greater than what you are being asked to forgo. hold out for greatness through faith in the King of Kings.


Tiffany said... Best Blogger Tips

I read too!!! THis is a great lesson that all should read! Thanks, Am!!tiffany

Tiffany said... Best Blogger Tips

Hmm, great lesson. One that is hard to accept. One that I needed! You rock Am!!!