Like most little girls, I remember making “beautiful” jewelry. By threading yarn or some such material with brightly colored plastic beads of various sizes and shapes, it was possible to make the best jewelry possible, worthy of wearing to any and all events. While I’m sure some of the delight in the necklaces was due to the effort put into making it by hand, these beads on yarn was seen as beauty to my little 6 year old eyes. What I had made in Sunday School would stay around my neck, or even possible passed on to my mommy to wear and show off. Wearing my masterpiece to school was fine, but not with my nice dress on Easter. Though my mommy put on the necklace at church, it was not good enough to wear our with daddy. She chose the pearl necklace he gave her. Despite my insisting that my necklace be worn in these situations, what I valued as beautiful was not considered as such by others.
As I grew up, the world of beautiful jewelry grew exponentially beyond those beads. I can oh and ah over diamond necklaces and admire the beauty in the variety of precious stones in jewelry. The colors are more natural, the sparkle is real and the price tag…well, we all know that is high. All of these attributes of real jewels give them worth. While the little bead necklaces carried sentimental value because they were made with my hands, pearls, and diamonds have value because of what they are.
Besides learning about truly valuable jewelry as I have grown up, I have also seen how similar my dreams are to brightly colored beads on yarn. As a child, I dreamed of a prince who would sweep me off my feet, friends to laugh and spend time with, and a life of emotional bliss. My view of God was also one of those brightly colored beads. He was this “person” in the sky who was in control of everything and “wanted a personal relationship with me.”
Life has gotten much too complicated for bead necklaces on yarn. There are complexities I never imagined. My prince has come, but there are so many emotional issues as two people work towards being united in marriage; you don’t always feel like a prince and princess. Good, close friends are hard to find, and once you find them, hard to keep as life sends you in different directions. There are tensions internally as I wrestle to figure out who I am. There are tensions externally as I learn to live and work with those I don’t like and honor my parents yet be an adult.
And then there is my relationship with God. Only now can I truly say He is incomprehensible. Justice and mercy. Disciple and love. Standards and grace. A relationship with Him is not easy, especially when my humanness can’t know Him even half-way. Though desiring to follow His will for my life, it isn’t as simple as “do as your parents say” or “do unto others as you would have the do unto you.” Needless to say, life is not at all what I thought it would be.
What I thought was valuable as a child is now worthless. I need a redefinition of what has worth in this life. The value I once placed on my bead-necklace dreams will not work. God, give me a mind to understand the diamond dreams you have for me. There are more complex, but so much more real than all the things that I once held dear. Help me give up on my bead necklaces and in return recognize and accept your sparkling, real dreams for me. For these jewels are Your plan for me; true beauty which reflects Your worth.