Diamonds- they are precious and they are rare. They require time and intense conditions to form. There was a purification process.
The Natural History Museum states: “Diamonds are crystals of pure carbon that form under crushing pressures and intense heat.” It didn’t happen overnight. Pressure, heat, and waiting years for someone to unearth them. Of course, when found they are in their rough form. An ordinary rock with sharp, dirty edges; unremarkable on the outside but filled with extraordinary significance on the inside.
Crushing pressure and intense heat.
This process required miserable conditions in an extreme environment to transform a worthless piece of carbon into a brilliant, flawless, priceless gem.
And just like the refining process of the beautiful diamond, our lives are often met with seasons of miserable conditions. Life is ripe with struggles. They can come in many forms and with varying intensities. They may hit us square on, or silently pull at us when someone we love is navigating through their own rough waters of crisis. Finances, a terminal illness, a child wrestling with depression, or a marriage hanging by a thread. We are tempted to shake our fist at heaven while our hearts whisper in pain: “Unfair”; “Unbearable”; “Where is God?”.
I had big dreams with my little clothing shop. Designing tees for women to remind them of who they are in Christ. Love notes in the form of comfy tees speaking truth. I envisioned this shop to be a place where dear sisters in Christ would buy shirts to remind their friends, family members, co-workers that they were loved. Scripture-based messages to share with a hurting world.
After 17 years I think I’m beginning to wrap by brain around what marriage is really about- it’s less about being heard and more about listening. It is less about having my needs being met by my husband and more about turning to the Lord to fill the deepest longings of my heart.
As I sit here on my bed early in the morning, the kids are downstairs watching TV and my husband off to work in the Urgent Care Clinic, I am alone in my quiet thoughts for the first time in several weeks. I usually spend the last few days of December in soulful searching of what I hope to change or work on for the upcoming new year, but this time, I couldn’t muster up the energy. I just couldn’t do it. Choosing to spend my time tidying up after Christmas, sitting with my kids, and simply avoiding the tugging urge to plan out my 2016.
There is something about a new year that I love. The crisp, clear, wide-open spaces of days to come. Just like opening up a new book that has never been read, or a gifted journal that has yet to be filled with dreams, this is how I approach the first few days before New Year’s.
The Christmas season stirs up a bustling, joyful busyness into our lives more than any time of the year. From Christmas programs at school to holiday menu planning and prepping for out-of-town guests, it’s so easy to miss the point. In the rush of it all, we effortlessly zip through December with our to-do list clutched tightly in one hand and our minds buzzing with anxiety and chaos. And sadly, we miss out on the true purpose of Advent.
My alarm was clueless this morning. It obviously did not get the memo that I wanted to sleep in for fifteen more minutes. Pounding the clock to punish it for ignoring my need for sleep, I adjusted my tired eyes to the streaming morning light. Today was going to be a hard day– I could feel it in my weary body. I poured out my heart before the Lord, asking for help to face my day. With a deep sigh and an “amen,” I stumbled out of my bed and head first into another schedule-packed day.
Monday mornings are tough here at the Campbell house. Today was especially rough. All four kids were finally coming down from their three-day sugar binge. Throw in the time change, and we had the perfect storm converge in our little kitchen this morning. Grumpy, moody, candy hung-over children vying for school gear, homework, and backpacks. Feelings were hurt, nerves were frayed, and patience was paper thin. I swear my coffee pot decided to brew slower than usual, but I knew that no amount of coffee would be able to help me through this crazy morning.