How blessed we are to have friends who lift us up, who speak truth to us, who listen, give advice, encouragement and their constant prayers. This is richness; this is true treasure to have such wonderful women in your life.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Plastic Pearls

I got up this morning, fed the dogs, then myself, fixed a cup of coffee and sat down to tackle what was coming next in my Choosing Joy devotional.  Actually, I knew what was coming "Joy in Surrender," and honestly...I wanted to get started.  I was not prepared at all for the story I read.  It so blessed me, that I am going to take the time to type it out here for you.  So here goes:

Plastic Pearls

A four year old girl was taken to the toy store by her mom.  At the toy store, the little girl was completely enchanted by all the princess dress-up clothes and accessories.  The little girl especially loved a necklace of plastic pearls, so her mother bought them for her.

The little girl insisted she always had to wear those pearls.  She wore the pearls while she slept, in the sandbox, talking a bath.  She never wanted to take them off.  "I am a princess," she declared, "and a princess always wears pearls."  Months went by and over time those plastic pearls began to show their use.  The string was dirty.  The paint was chipping.  The clasp had eventually been taped back together.  

Every night before bedtime, this little girl crawled into her daddy's lap to snuggle and talk about the day.  One night, her daddy asked, "Little princess, do you love me?"

"I love you, Daddy, I love you," the little girl joyfully replied. 

"Will you give me your pearls?" her father asked.

"No, Daddy, they're mine.  I'm a princess."

Her father kissed her on the forehead and the pajama-clad girl scooted off to bed.

The next night at snuggle time, her father asked the same question, "Do you love me?"

"Oh, Daddy, you know I do," the little girl responded.

"Will you give me your pearls?" he asked.

The little girl was adamant again, "Daddy, I am a princess," then quickly slid down and ran to her room.

The third night, the little girl, fearing the question that might come, was hesitant to snuggle with her dad.  But love won out and the little girl rested her head on her dad's strong shoulder.

"Do you love me?" he asked.

Big crocodile tears fell from the little girl's eyes and, unable to speak through her tears, she nodded her head yes.  The little girl loved her dad.

"Will you give me your necklace?"  He calmly asked for the third night in a row.

That night the little girl ever so slowly unwound the tape that held her pearls together and obediently gave them to the father she loved.  With one hand, her father tossed them into the fire.  With the other, he reached into his pocket and gave to his a daughter a new strand of beautiful, real pearls.  Exactly the kind a princess should wear.

Angela writes this:  "In that surrender, she (the little girl) had to trust her father's good heart toward her. She had to believe, even when she could not understand, that his desire was for her best.  She had to trust beyond her own understanding:  'Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding'" (Proverbs 3:5)

In 1982, after a long, hard fight within myself, I surrendered to God something so precious I thought surrender completely impossible.  After having two healthy sons who were the absolute loves of my life, Peter and I lost a baby at twelve weeks to miscarriage.  I was completely devastated.  And angry.  While I was in the hospital recovering because the miscarriage, I found out that a family member was going to have a baby due the same month as the little one I had just lost.  In my young mind at the time, God was heaping on my heart cruelty upon cruelty, and I shook my fist right back in His face.  My poor husband did not know how to handle this new creature that came to live with him.  My heart was filled with sorrow, regret and bitterness and had a hole the size of Norway that no amount of love or tenderness from this sweet man could possibly fill.  I was in a cold, dark, deep, hopeless place.  I remember thinking I would rather endure physical pain than this excruciating emotional heartbreak.  In the hope that this hole could be filled with another baby, we got pregnant again.  Everything was great until about eight weeks when the bleeding and cramping began again.  There are no words to describe the desolation I felt.  Why?  What in the world had I done wrong?  Why did He hate me?  Why did He want to hurt me?  

Surrender.  If I am completely still maybe the baby will stay.  Surrender.  Hold on, baby, hold on.  Surrender.  Don't move.  Surrender.  Stay calm.  Surrender.  I can't surrender this.  I can't.  I can't.  I can't.  Oh, Lord, I can't go back into that dark place again.  Please, Lord, I can't surrender this little one.     Help me, my Father, to surrender.

"Remember Isaac and Abraham, Cherri?  Give me your Isaac.  I'll take care of him, and I will take care of you.  Trust me."

In that moment, I took my hands from my tiny pregnant belly and lifted them to heaven.  "This baby is Yours.  I gave him wholly and completely, and I will not shake my fist at You.   I surrender all...even this precious little one."

The bleeding and cramping did not stop.  In fact, I got food poisoning that night and vomited violently along with all the rest.  My Isaac did not get the reprieve Abraham's did...but peace reigned in my heart in the midst of all this...miraculous.  Peter called the hospital to see if he should bring me to the ER.  He was petrified.  This time the miscarriage seemed way worse, but they told him to "let Nature take its course."  Miracle.  (A trip to the ER that night would have probably changed everything.) But "Nature" had something else in mind and It definitely took Its course...just not in the way any of us thought.

A week later, I was still bleeding and cramping.  I went to my doctor because last time my miscarriage was incomplete...hence all the complications.   I thought the same thing was happening all over.  I was sad about the whole experience, but not angry.  At the office, I explained what had happened and that though the symptoms had subsided some, they had not gone completely way.  The only thing curious to me was that I was still feeling the never just "morning sickness" nausea I had felt before the miscarriage.  So my doctor decided to check for a heartbeat.  To tell you the truth...I didn't want him to.  I had already accepted the fact I had lost this baby, so to give me any kind of hope, even for a moment, seemed adding pain I just did not need.  As he set the doppler on my belly there was nothing...just my heartbeat in the background...thumping away like nothing traumatic was happening. little beats in double time to mine.  And then one small movement of the doppler and...No way!  There it was!  How could this be?

We all, Peter, the nurse and my doctor.  Miracle.  

And here she is!  My Isaac turned out to be Kirsti!

Kirsti is a reminder to me at this moment that I have surrendered deeper, dearer things to my good Father than this dream I have hung onto for so long.  Does my father have a "good heart toward me"?  Through tears I can type these words...Oh, yes, yes, yes.  His heart is for my good.

His heart is for your good.  His goodness is beyond our understanding.

Love and REAL pearls to you, my sisters!!!



  1. If being a Christian makes no difference in the way we respond to problems, what good is it?
    Showing our true colors...
    " Count it all joy" as James says.
    Yeah, not so much...
    My husband has not been able to walk for the past 3 weeks due to advanced Parkinson's disease. To say it was a rough spot would be an understatement.
    We prayed as hard as we could, we worked as hard and as smart as we knew how. We thought he lost the use of his legs for good...and that was not a fun thought for either of us.
    We wondered if God was mad at us and then we realized if God wanted us crushed, we would be crushed...For sure.
    So, some lessons are to be learned, like teamwork, patience, kindness, like trusting God with all your heart and not leaning on our own understanding.
    I read that joy and sorrow should run on parallel tracks.
    I thought about sorrows, great sorrows in our lives in the past 4 years. The death of my sweet sister, my mother in laws fatal heart attack, finding out my 32 year old step daughter has breast cancer, my dad's home going, and now my husband's illness.
    I realized if I am sad all the time, what light am I showing to this lost world?
    It was a true joy to walk with my husband this morning to the mailbox and back.
    It is a joy to be in the house of the Lord on a Sunday morning and it is a joy to Praise God.
    Oh yes, anyone can praise God on the mountain top, but the valley... that's a bit tougher.
    I'm not sure what heaven will be like, but I'm hoping God will allow Mike and I to be close friends, hands lifted high an praising God for eternity.We have afflictions now, in this brief dance we call life, but hold on my child like the song says...Joy comes in the morning!!!

  2. So beautifully written, Lynn! Thank you for sharing. Your honesty about what it is like to walk through difficulties and choosing to have faith, be faithful and light up the world around you is glad to have you in my life!


PLEASE leave your comment!!! We need to hear from you!!!!