In my last blog, (You’re a Gem – Part 1), I talked about all of the different kinds of jewels and gems that we have in our jewelry box. They can represent the types of friends we have – the “once in awhile” jewelry pieces, the tried and true pieces that we want to wear daily. The sparkly, fun, special, valuable…it all makes us smile.
I’m kinda dreading this post because it is painful. But I know I’m not the only one with broken or damaged pieces in our jewelry boxes. What about your box?
Do you have any jewelry pieces that aren’t shiny anymore? They might be tarnished or chipping. They are like friends that are going through a rough time and I can tell…whether they’ve told me about it or not. I can see they’re hurting on the outside. Is it up to me to offer a polishing cloth to help reveal these friends’ true beauty and get them back to their healthy, confident selves? Sometimes that is the right thing; other times those friends need to polish themselves from the inside out or it won’t be lasting. Sometimes it takes the professionals to handle the polishing. But I need to remind them that I still love and treasure them, no matter what they look or feel like.
What about the necklace, though cute, that gets caught in the little hairs on my neck and just about makes me want to yank it off? (Am I the only one that happens to?). I tried and try again to wear it, forgetting about that annoying pain. Because I really like the necklace, I want it to work, I want it to be a favorite…but again, it hurts me, it lets me down…and I come to a point where I just can’t wear it anymore. Maybe my expectations were too high or just too different for what (that friend) is capable of right now. It’s painful, disappointing and uncomfortable. I take it off. I keep it in the bottom drawer, or maybe give it away. It’s been fun – mostly – but it’s time to move on. It’s not worth the pain. After some tears and prayers, I wish you well…goodbye.
Sadly, the broken jewelry…it can’t be worn. Something happened – maybe I dropped it or stepped on it or got it wet – I didn’t mean to – honest. Sometimes I’m not even sure of what I did to it, which is especially frustrating and sad. Maybe it can be fixed with lots of effort and time; sometimes not. I treasured them once. Do I save it, hoping it can be fixed someday? Do I try to keep wearing it broken and get hurt every time the necklace slips off my neck and falls into my hands? Or do I say, “It’s been great having you, but now I’m forced to move on.” I’ve got enough other stress in my life and I have to let some things go.
What about those shiny and sparkly friends? When I’m with them, I might feel more important, more elegant and more beautiful. But it can be a lot of work and anxiety prepping for that polished look that can lead me to feeling inadequate in comparison. I feel like I need to have everything polished and packaged pretty well – because they are. Some shiny and sparkly friends are coated with glam and perfection but are hollow on the inside and won’t last or can’t be trusted. Friends that you have to try too hard for, or to change who you are to be with them….might not belong in your box.
Are there empty spaces in your box of friends? I hope so! I have discovered new friends in the most unexpected places, just by being friendly, outgoing, and trying new things. Also, by realizing everyone has a story. Sometimes casual friends of mine became soul sisters just by listening to their story and realizing their strength and hope was something I wanted to learn more about. I would challenge you, this week, to talk to someone you don’t know very well. See if you can find a common ground. Open the door for them to open up to you, should they choose to. You might be the gem they need, just by listening. Keep space in your box open for friends that God knows you will need.
Today, I mourn the broken jewels and make room for ones yet to come. I keep a polishing cloth handy for those who need a shine. Thank you, God, for the gems and metals you’ve placed in my box….the shiny, the favorites, the once-in-awhile”s and the “used to be”s. They were all placed in our boxes, by an intentional God, at the perfect time. Sometimes you need to put in the effort to fix the broken, admit you were wrong or did wrong, or said it wrong. Some pieces weren’t meant to move forward with us and that has to be ok. It might be time to say a “goodbye,” maybe not directly to that person. Sometimes that makes things worse. Sometimes writing a goodbye letter in a journal or an out-loud prayer is helpful.
Two are better than one; for if they fall, one will lift up the other. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Treasure all the beautiful gems that remain in your box and lift you up; Bless and release the broken ones and be ready & open for new ones. Resist being sad about any open spaces in your box…He’s working on it. 🙂