Surrender fear, loss, & Change with Julie Arduini

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Character Confession: The Sparkly Gift

Posted by Julie on April 21, 2012 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

To say I had a low self-esteem as a young adult would be an understatement. I didn’t feel worthy of love for a few reasons, and would complain when I observed what I thought were high-maintenance girlfriends demanding flowers and chocolates from my friends, their boyfriends. I thought so little of myself I remember uttering that “if he wasn’t hitting me, that would be gift enough for Valentine’s Day.”

When my husband came on the scene, he showered me with gifts, and I struggled. In my mind, he was going to learn who I really was, and that I wasn’t worth loving, and he’d be goe. To me, he needed to save his money and time. But he was stubborn and full of faith, letting me know that the Holy Spirit showed him we had a future, and a good one. I didn’t run, but I didn’t allow myself to enjoy the romantic beauty of the relationship. I was so practical and afraid of enjoying anything of worth I didn’t even want to shop for diamond rings.

Again, my husband to be insisted, but it was a battle of wills within the store. Every ring the poor employee brought out was to me a car payment. Or two. Or ten. All true, but deep down there was something else going on within my rejections. I didn’t feel worthy of such beauty.

I chose the smallest diamond I could find, and a small, simple wedding band.

I wore them for 15 years, through good and bad, thick and thin. Literally.

But last year I needed a surgery where the rings had to come off. I was in a thick season where I’d gained weight and it took an hour and half a bottle of Windex to get those things off. The surgery didn’t last as long. When it came time to put them back on, I couldn’t. My finger was so swollen it wasn’t worth it. So I left my hand bare.

My husband knew of a place where ring re sizing that was inexpensive and did a great job, but he couldn’t remember the exact place. When I called around, the places were not inexpensive. The rings sat.

I lost some weight, but the thought of putting the rings on hurt my knuckle thinking about it. When I thought about it, my mind dreamed about a new ring. After all, I was as different on the inside as I was on the outside. Most of all, God changed and healed me. I realized, like every woman on Earth, I was worthy.

And I felt one day I’d have a ring to reflect His love for me.

In January my husband and I went on a cruise to celebrate our belated anniversary. While browsing the ship’s store, I noticed a jewelry sale. He encouraged me to take a look. The rings were sparkly and big, most too showy for me.

But one stood out. Every time light hit the yellow topaz, beautiful colors showed off the angles. Not long ago someone prayed with me and let me know that was how God saw me. A source of His light. Lots of color. My presence, because of Christ, would light dark places. I believe that prayer, and that ring got a hold of me. To add, the diamonds totaled 14. The main gem made a total of 15. Seemed a great gift for the 15th anniversary.

This is now my wedding ring. It’s not traditional but it is a perfect reminder of how far our marriage has come, how much God has done through both of us. I love this ring. I finally feel worthy to wear something bigger and sparkly. I am a woman, and I’m God’s  masterpiece. This is God’s definition for all females. We are all worthy to Him. All. Even you!

But wait, God wasn’t done. A month later I participated in a study called the Esther experience. One of the meetings took us through Esther’s wedding. As a token to remember the event and the significance for us as God’s daughters, we received a simple silver band. It’s as basic as you can get where the ends aren’t even together. I can re-size that band all on my own, thank you. I’m just as worthy to wear that mass band all of us received that night as the one on the cruise ship.

To celebrate the journey, this is what I do: wear the gold wedding ring on my left, and the simple silver band on my right. The left represents how God views me and that this was a gift from my husband. The right represents how simple His love is, yet how deep. My right hand is my dominant hand, so when I wear it, I remember Jesus is my everything.

I have a feeling someone is reading this who feels like junk and has maybe even uttered something like I did years ago that as long as I’m not getting hit by a man, that’s enough. I’m not saying demand gifts and prizes all the time, but please realize you have worth. When you were created God chose you last not because you were an afterthought, but because He wanted to show you off.

You are a masterpiece.

You are a gem.

Never forget.



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