About six years ago, my dear friend Jessie Clarke was praying for me as we met with a small group of people in someone’s living room for our ‘homegroup’- a group that formed through the church we both were attending at the time in California. As she was praying for me, she felt like God gave her a picture- like a short film that flashed through her mind regarding the status of my heart.
Six years ago, I was a broken down girl with a broken down spirit. My heart was literally like a beat-up old pickup truck on the side of the road- it had stopped moving forward and I’d abandoned it there- expecting its very last journey to be the short tow to the scrap yard. I was smack dab in the middle of all the drama of Chris and I’s young relationship… smack dab in the middle of the pain and anger and loneliness. Part of me hated God. The other part knew that God was the only way out. I was a mess.
When I met with the homegroup that night, I was on my last leg. Ready to give it all up. Then Jesse shared this picture with me as she prayed:
She said she saw that my heart was broken and cracked. It had gashes in it and had even split in some places. But then she saw a pair of hands reach down and tenderly gather up all the pieces. And these hands started to sew. But not with ordinary thread… with thread made from solid gold. And she said that as my heart was mended with this thread, it became even more beautiful than it was before it had been wounded. It became this amazing work of art, and the gold woven throughout it and around it made it strong and luminous.
As she spoke these words over me, I cried deep tears. And I asked God to make it true, make it true, make it true. To help me get to that place. As soon as I got home, I scribbled the picture she had for me down in my journal- a shining jewel in the midst of the heartache those pages contained before it. And in the months that followed that night, God began to answer these prayers. My heart slowly, slowly began to mend. I was a stronger person for it all. And life got flavorful again. My taste buds came back and every day was like a good meal.
Now, fast forward about four years. You’ll find me casually browsing at a Goodwill Thrift Store in Reno, Nevada. I’m home visiting family for the holidays, and I’m doing some shopping with my sister-in-law. Right before we leave the store, I spy a necklace out of the corner of my eye. It looks like it could potentially be cool, so I snatch it up without much thought and I buy it on our way out the door.
After owning it for awhile, I grow to love this necklace. You would hardly ever see me without it hanging around my neck. It has become my staple item… a thing I feel naked without. But, still, it is more of a fashion statement than anything else. I like the look and feel of it, so I wear it all the time.
Now, fast forward one last time to a few months ago. Once again, I find myself in a dark place- where the world is overwhelming and all I want to do is disappear most days. A cloud of melancholy has settled over my head and it has been unknown months since I’ve seen the full radiance of the sun. One Sunday, while at church, I work my way over to the corner of the building and I kneel down, slightly bent over, begging God to show up and clear the fog. I tell Him that I just can’t take this much longer- this forcing down of life like a child eating broccoli. Doing it because I have to, not because I want to. I am begging Him to speak to me- I am knelt down and crying out like I haven’t done in years. I am desperate once again.
And that’s when I see it. A flash of gold swings in front of my wet and blurred vision. And I feel like God says, “Look and remember. I’ve hung it around your neck.”
I grab at the swinging pendant of my favorite necklace- the one I wear every day- and I stare at it. I cradle it in my hands and focus all of my attention on it. And the long buried memory of that picture God had given me six years earlier suddenly rushes… swells… no, TSUNAMIS into my heart again- so powerfully that a sob catches in my throat and I feel like I could burst right then and there.
There, right in front of my face, was a promise. A promise that had been literally INCHES from my heart for years, yet miles away from my mind or memory.
A heart. Wrapped in gold thread.
Just waiting for me to reach down and grab it.
Just waiting for me to remember.