This past Christmas Malcolm bought me a pearl necklace and earrings from a Narimon box (which is this amazing organization that helps women out of sex slavery - please go to www.narimon.org to find more). We are not wealthy people, but knowing that Malcolm thought I was worth the money to buy me something precious made me literally cry! The first month I owned them I wore them almost every day - didn't matter if I was wearing a nice sweater and clean pants or a grungy sweatshirt and jeans they made me feel beautiful no matter what my situation or mental mindset.
I feel a little silly that I am this excited about an earthly object, but I seriously have not
received a gift that made me feel so worth while!
At the Missional Women Conference (which you all HAVE to go to next year, it was amazing), I was realizing I had been holding parts of my heart back from God because I was tired of being disappointed. (So really that's the spiritual way of saying I was throwing a hissy fit.) I was talking to the Lord during worship Saturday morning, being honest about how I was afraid of getting my heart broken for not getting these good things that I thought I should get.
"Leah, what's around your neck?" The Lord asked me. "Well, my pearls. They are the prettiest thing I own," I replied. "How are pearls made?" "Well, pretty much they are the results of irritants inside a clam, right?"
BAM! I think the Holy Spirit filled in the rest for me from there. I realized that my most precious earthly possession reflects the most precious thing I get to invest in. The Lord gently brought to mind all the girl's I've had the chance to invest in this year. He brought to mind those times where they have been difficult and irritating for me, and how I constantly remind myself that they are being perfected in Christ. He reminded me of the people I have persevered with to share the gospel with, and how this year I got to see someone come to
know Christ before my eyes!
Christ is the prize, and Christ is the ultimate reward of heaven, but God showed me just how much He has blessed me with precious gifts - these girls I get to work with every day, and the lost that I am called to reach out to - are the most beautiful thing I have been given. My little string of irritants! They start out as something unwanted in the world, and are now a new creation - this beautiful pearl that has been transformed by God's grace and redemptive work in their life.
"Leah," the Lord cries to my soul, "take care of my pearls! They are precious to me, just like you, my pearl, are precious to me. I hear you and know, now hear and know Me - don't fix your eyes on what you don't have yet, but remember what you have now."
I have no clue if this has made sense to you, dear reader! But the main thing is that you are a gem - a rare jewel produced through extraordinary circumstances! And so are the people around you. Investing in people is the most worthwhile thing you could ever do because they are precious to God too. Don't ponder on what you don't have, but realize the precious gift
you have been given right now.
Who is making up your string of pearls right now? Who have you been investing in in discipleship and evangelism? Take time and pray for these precious pearls, and ask God what your next step is to lead them towards Christ.
To my pearls this semester- Rachael, Missy, Katarina, Jemletta, Kate, Kelsey, Sarah, Jordyn, Rachael, Layla, Meghan, Becca, Kara, Anna and all my other Connect ladies - you are so precious to me! You make the great commission a great line of work to be a part of! You are beautiful inside and out. I know you have been facing difficult things, and that you haven't always done things perfectly this semester, but God sees you as His perfect pearl - completely different from before you accepted Christ! And if I love you and see you as precious, God does too - abundantly more so!!
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.
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