Monday, February 27, 2012

Crikey! It's Cracked!

Well, friends, I would have loved for the above photo to have been a finished piece of jewelry. I worked on this Turquoise Blossom at length only to have an imperfection arise in the final stage of the process. I fixed that to my satisfaction. And then I noticed a noticeable crack running along the bottom edge of one of the petals. Ugh! I was disappointed and floundering in uncertainty about whether I should keep going. But the final test was my husband. He's a very encouraging person with nary a critical bone in his body. He listened to my tale of woe, took a look at the blossom and said, "Yeah, I see what you're saying. Could you fix it somehow?" Total confirmation that this was not good to go. The answer to whether I can fix the crack is still being worked out. Maybe I'll be able to fix it. But maybe not. And that's just how life sometimes is...imperfect, disappointing and broken.

The backdrop to my little dilemma was that I attended a women's conference at my church this weekend entitled, "Fear Not! Finding God's Comfort for My Fearful Soul." At the end of the first session, our speaker had us fill out a little card sharing what we fear. She then sorted our responses to come up with the most common area of fear for the women attended the conference. Before revealing the top area of fear, she went through other common responses...finances, issues related to children and grandchildren, medical concerns. Each one of those seemed a likely candidate for the most common fear among us. But in fact, the most common fears dealt with various aspects of shame. Being afraid of being found out as a fraud, an imperfect person who doesn't measure up. Wow. As soon as she said that, I was right there identifying with those women even though that hadn't come to mind when I filled out my own card. I've struggled with those feelings in lots of areas but especially through making and selling my jewelry. I've had loads of fear...will I do this right? Will anyone like this? Will I be able to come up with new ideas? It can keep a person up at night. For me, I truly find comfort in the God who is always with me. He knows that I'm sooooo imperfect and He loves me anyway. There's no pretending with Him. As our speaker Tara Barthel said, "Shame rejects but the Gospel accepts." So true. Jesus accepts me no matter what the cracks in my life are. And that gives me the comfort and courage to keep going. Peace to your souls.

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