Kerrington's Posts, UYM

{Worth} Darkest Hour.

Written By: Kerrington Sweeney


Young Girl about 14…Damp tear filled eyes.  Messed up mascara.  Sad expression imprinted upon her face.  I could tell she was depressed. “She had it rough.” I thought to myself.

One week in our small groups at youth, I began asking the girls, about their favorite hobbies or something that really interested them.  Some it was, horse-back riding, others shopping, and then, it came time for this particularly quiet- sad looking girl, to answer this quite simple question.

The room was silenced.  We all waited in great anticipation, for a few seconds to hear her response.  She replied with…”Nothing.”

In that moment, my heart sank.  This girl, even at her young age, was already believing a lie from the enemy, that she had no purpose.  That she was nothing.  She had no reason to even be here on this earth.

Even then, while still in our small group, I said a quick prayer to myself, for that beautifully broken young girl.  When I got home that night, I sat down and wrote her a letter of love and encouragement… I didn’t even know her name but, the Lord laid it so thick on my heart to just simply sit and write to her.  To take time, just for her, nobody else.  Focused attention on this precious young soul.  This is the letter, I still have the hand-written copy actually sitting in my room ready to give her, if I ever see her again.  I look forward to the day of being able to bless her and pray with her.

Dear Young Girl,

Wherever you are reading this…I want you to know that I am thinking of you and praying for you.  I want you to know that you are worth it, you have a purpose.  No matter how worthless and depressed you may be feeling, God has plans for you.  He has a unique purpose just for YOU!  The enemy  is always looking to steal, kill, and, destroy you.  The enemy, knows and sees your divine potential.  He doesn’t like it.  Now you may be thinking, God could never love me…I am so dirty.  I am so sinful.  I am so dark.  I have done and been around so much ‘stuff.’  Well my friend, it says in the Bible in Romans 5:8…”I loved you, at your darkest hour.”  He loves you, just as much as He loved His only son Jesus.  God sent His Son down to earth to live a life.  Jesus was crucified a horrific death for you and I.  He died on a cross just so that you could be alive and breathing, today.  An act of sacrificial love was taken place on your behave 2,000 years ago.  When He hung there on that cross, in complete agony…He thought of you.  He took every mistake, every sickness, every pain, every, trouble.  HE took it all, so that you could walk in freedom and FULL of Light!  He loves you, even at your darkest-lowest points in life.  Never forget that.  I pray that this letter one day finds you…because you are worth every word.  God has so much for you sweet girl!!

 Love, Kerrington 

Until Next Time,
~Kerrington

Guest-Writers, UYM

{The Diamond Movement} Day 26!

The Diamond Movement

Written By: Marnie Pouget

Over the years in our time working with teenagers at a summer camp, we have instituted a tradition called “The Encouragement Box”. Every day everyone that lives in the Farmhouse has opportunity to write a note of real encouragement to another person in “the house”. We get to spend time with some amazing teens. 

One particular week this summer, I wrote a note to sweet Kaylee. Kaylee is a blond haired, blue eyed beauty with a smile that is infectious and a love for Jesus that overflows. She loves to talk and loves to sing. She bubbles over with joy. The following night she read this letter in response to the encouragement she had received:

“She will laugh at the days to come.”

That was the first time someone quoted Proverbs 31 to ME. For ME. Directed AT ME. 

I was confused. It had always been, “You’re almost there, YOU just need ________.” or “Maybe you can work on __________.”
But this time it was different. I was enough. I was classified as a Proverbs 31 woman. That was something I had never been before. And maybe I wasn’t EVERYTHING she was but I was something. And something was more than I had ever been. Maybe that was good and maybe that was bad. Because if I went 16 years without being told that any part of myself was even relatively equivalent to an ideal Godly woman, then how long were those around me waiting? 
As a society we are so quick to judge those around us and criticize them instead of affirm them. Nobody is a perfect Godly person, and female Christians are constantly compared to this perfect woman. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing; we should all strive for something. But the thing about a Proverbs 31 woman is you gain a new understanding of it piece by piece, not all at once.

So now, it’s time to affirm each piece we see and this time to not let it be paired with criticism. There is a time for both but more often than not they should be apart. Make today the age of affirmation not of antagonization.

You are worth more than rubies.

Joanna – you are kind and gentle: Proverbs 31:26

Kelly – you are wise and respected: Proverbs 31:26

Taylor – you have a gentle spirit and make light of tough situations when needed : 31:25-26

Maddie – you are a diligent worker: 31:27, 31:13-24

Gretchen – you are willing to serve at any time: 31:13

Kim – you watch out for other’s best interests: 31:11-12

Kate – you are compassionate: 31:20

McKenna – you laugh at the day to come and have a gentle spirit: 31:25-26”

Dear friends, we all need to be encouraged and reminded that we are worth more than rubies. Let’s take Kaylee’s challenge and encourage our sisters of their worth.

“Make today the age of affirmation not of antagonization.”

Until Next Time,

Marnie

Guest-Writers, UYM

{The Diamond Movement} Day 25!

The Diamond Movement

Written By: Marnie Pouget
Over the years in our time working with teenagers at a summer camp, we have instituted a tradition called “The Encouragement Box”. Every day everyone that lives in the Farmhouse has opportunity to write a note of real encouragement to another person in “the house”. We get to spend time with some amazing teens. 

One particular week this summer, I wrote a note to sweet Kaylee. Kaylee is a blond haired, blue eyed beauty with a smile that is infectious and a love for Jesus that overflows. She loves to talk and loves to sing. She bubbles over with joy. The following night she read this letter in response to the encouragement she had received:

“She will laugh at the days to come.”

That was the first time someone quoted Proverbs 31 to ME. For ME. Directed AT ME. 

I was confused. It had always been, “You’re almost there, YOU just need ________.” or “Maybe you can work on __________.”

But this time it was different. I was enough. I was classified as a Proverbs 31 woman. That was something I had never been before. And maybe I wasn’t EVERYTHING she was but I was something. And something was more than I had ever been. Maybe that was good and maybe that was bad. Because if I went 16 years without being told that any part of myself was even relatively equivalent to an ideal Godly woman, then how long were those around me waiting? 

As a society we are so quick to judge those around us and criticize them instead of affirm them. Nobody is a perfect Godly person, and female Christians are constantly compared to this perfect woman. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing; we should all strive for something. But the thing about a Proverbs 31 woman is you gain a new understanding of it piece by piece, not all at once.

So now, it’s time to affirm each piece we see and this time to not let it be paired with criticism. There is a time for both but more often than not they should be apart. Make today the age of affirmation not of antagonization.

You are worth more than rubies.

Joanna – you are kind and gentle: Proverbs 31:26

Kelly – you are wise and respected: Proverbs 31:26

Taylor – you have a gentle spirit and make light of tough situations when needed : 31:25-26

Maddie – you are a diligent worker: 31:27, 31:13-24

Gretchen – you are willing to serve at any time: 31:13

Kim – you watch out for other’s best interests: 31:11-12

Kate – you are compassionate: 31:20

McKenna – you laugh at the day to come and have a gentle spirit: 31:25-26”

Dear friends, we all need to be encouraged and reminded that we are worth more than rubies. Let’s take Kaylee’s challenge and encourage our sisters of their worth.

“Make today the age of affirmation not of antagonization.”
Until Next Time,

Marnie

Guest-Writers, UYM

{The Diamond Movement} Day 24!

The Diamond Movement

Written By: Marisa Dech

Not many people know about my struggle with anxiety. However, when I was asked to write a piece to empower women, I knew I had to be real and tackle this topic that I know so many people battle. 
“The struggle [was] real.”  

Literally. In high school I would struggle. Not for a day, a week, or even a year, but for all four never ending years. I struggled with immense feelings of loneliness and worthlessness. I was very insecure in who I was and high school just made it all feel like I was on a big stage and everyone was staring at me. I did not like attention, in fact I never have being the quiet, introverted person I am.

On top of that, I struggled with chronic pain and sickness to which no doctor could really give me an answer and caused me to miss A LOT of school.

 I began to have problems with teachers. Although most seemed to somehow understand my situation, there were the odd few that just seemed to have no sympathy or understanding for what I was going through. This led to some of my grades being…not so excellent.

This would be the least of my worries, except that my parents have really high standards (they always have). They tried to understand but eventually seemed to give up on me. This hurt more than anything in the world. I turned to my friends who thankfully took me in. This emotional pain became very real and I was now completely overwhelmed at school and struggled on a regular basis not to break down crying in class. 

What I didn’t fully understand at the time was that my parents had a lot of problems of their own; which was evident in all the arguments and awkward silence. 

I struggled daily, but I can honestly say that God was there more than ever during those hard times. He was there with me when I soaked my pillow with tears, He was holding my hand through all the physical and emotional pain. He hugged me as I considered taking the precious life He had given me. He was also there with me as I worshipped my heart out, despite it all.

 I found God in the very beginning of my high school years and I can without a doubt say, I wouldn’t have made it through without Him. He was my friend when I felt I had none, He was a parent when mine grew weary, He was a healer when no doctor could fix me! 

God calls us to trust Him completely, to “find rest in Him alone, for He is our refuge, our rock, He will not be shaken!” (Psalm 62)  

He says that He is here to help, He will not let us down!

“We have this amazing hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)  

He invites us to “cast all [our] anxiety on Him because he cares for [us].” (1 Peter 5:7)

He reassures us that the struggle will “certainly come to an end and will not delay!” (Habakkuk 2:3)

 I am overjoyed to say that I have greatly overcome my anxiety and panic attacks. While I do still fight this battle I know that I am not alone in it. I am able to find rest in the King of Kings who steadies my heart.

About Marisa:

Marisa is 21 years old. She is the first born of two children; who grew up in the house her family built in Essex, Ontario. Although Marisa has always felt a strong connection to God, her relationship with Him truly began when she was 14. She enjoys children of all ages and personalities but she has a particular interest in individuals with autism. She currently works as an early childhood educator assistant, a respite worker, and a direct care worker in a group home. Currently she is taking courses online to achieve her E.C.E. diploma. Some of her passions include teaching, learning to cook, figure skating, baking, event planning, reading, and languages. She looks forward to the future with her significant other, Jonathan, who loves her unconditionally in the way God made her.

Guest-Writers, UYM

{The Diamond Movement} Day 21!

The Diamond Movement

Written By: Cierra Fulps

Worth is often a word to express the price or monetary value of an object. Have you ever gone to a garage sale and picked up an object, only to ask yourself, “I wonder how much this is really worth”?

Have you ever asked yourself how much you really are worth?

Proverbs 31:10 states WE are far more worth than rubies.

We could never put a price tag on our worth. All through life, in job interviews, college, and maybe even a future spouse, the question “Is she really worth the effort?” will come to the surface. At job interviews, they’ll ask you what you bring to the table. They think, “Is she worth the training time.” In today’s society people measure our worth by the qualities and strengths we have.

BUT in Jesus’ eyes, we are really worth it. We were worth DYING for. God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to our rescue. Jesus took on our sin and our punishment. Why did Jesus take on our punishment? He thought we were really worth it.

We mustn’t put our worth in this world. Young ladies, your worth isn’t determined by your getting asked to prom or not. Your worth isn’t determined by your getting accepted into the number one school or not. Your worth isn’t determined by you having the hottest clothes or not. Your worth isn’t in your degree. Your worth has already been determined! Our Heavenly Father has determined your worth! You are worth more than diamonds! Who says, you might ask? Jesus says!

You have a purpose in this life, whether your purpose is writing blogs, singing at church, going into the mission field, being a nurse, or a teacher. Don’t feel like you have to go into ministry in order to work for God’s kingdom! If you are alive, you have purpose and worth. My calling may be different than yours, but that doesn’t make your calling any less important. God gave us a passion, and God gave us a fire in our soul! Use it. If you don’t know your calling in life, that’s okay!

Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” Declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

The Lord has a plan for your life. Don’t think because you’re not sure what that plan is that you don’t have worth in this life.

You have worth, a worth that surpasses the worth of diamonds.

About Cierra: 

Cierra Fulps is an 18-year-old college freshman from the Great Lake State of Michigan. She is pursuing a career in nursing. She one day hopes to take her degree to Haiti for medical missions. Her passions include photography, writing, and being a light for Jesus. Her relationship with Christ really began in her teenage years. Every day she is in awe of Jesus and is continually learning how to strengthen her relationship with God and to share that with people around her.

Guest-Writers, UYM

{The Diamond Movement} Day 20!

The Diamond Movement

Written By: K Keeler

Proverbs 31: 10 (Message Bible)

         A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.

Ladies, the Lord our God and Creator of the heavens and earth has made us, “… worth far more than diamonds.” How blessed are we to be created in His divine image?

It is so exciting to sit here and think about the fact that I am beautiful in the eyes of our Lord. Who cares what society thinks is ” beautiful” when I have God telling me that I was created in His image and that I am perfect the way that I am right now. I hope that you ladies feel the same way.

When I was five years old, I broke out with a flaky rash known as psoriasis. I went to several doctors to see what it was and if there was any way for me to get rid of it. I soon learned that it was hereditary, from my fathers side of the family, and that I will likely have it for the rest of my life. They gave me lotions and things to keep it under control but I will never fully rid my body of this skin disease.

I’m going to be honest with you, ladies. This rash is ugly. My body is covered in little pink, flaky spots like polka dots. But girls, this rash doesn’t make ME ugly. Growing up with this skin disease has taught me so much! One thing it taught me is that I am beautiful because God made me so. I was created in His image, and a silly rash will never take that away from me.

So take this verse into your heart and let God speak to you through it. Allow His words to give you confidence. Life your life to the fullest knowing that you are, “… worth far more than diamonds.”

I pray that you all find your worth in Jesus Christ. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Guest-Writers, UYM

{The Diamond Movement} Day 19!

The Diamond Movement
Written By: Debi Chapman

Recipe for Greatness
“A good woman is hard to find and worth far more than diamonds.”
Proverbs 31:10 Message Bible
Comparing diamonds to a woman’s worth raises a high standard. How many of us consider ourselves worthy of such comparison?  
Deep in our soul we wrestle with the idea that we’re not enough. I know I’m not alone in this lifelong search for value. We measure ourselves against others and feel somehow our Maker put more effort into others. Let’s look to Scripture for direction here. Although different versions site various stones of great worth, in Proverbs 31, I like the concept of a diamond. After all, a diamond is a girl’s best friend, right?  
Taking a closer look, the similarities can’t be denied.

1. Historically seen as symbols of supreme strength

2. Ancients thought diamonds were full of life (due to the ability to lift spirits)

3. The strongest mineral known to mankind

4. Constructed over time with pressure and heat

5. Formed in the dark (deep in the Earth’s mantle)

6. Known for brilliance

7. The closer diamond gets to colourless the more valuable

8. Unbreakable

9. Discovered at great cost

10. Highly sought after

11. A diamond’s hardness depends on its purity

12. Often stolen away from its owner
Mystery surrounds this gem. Diamonds are made out of highly organized carbon. Geologists are still guessing how diamonds are formed in the Earth, but they think the recipe follows something like this:

1. Bury carbon dioxide 100 miles into Earth

2. Heat to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit

3. Squeeze under pressure of 725,000 pounds per square inch

4. Quickly rush towards Earth’s surface to cool
Women, by nature are mysterious and complex – much like a diamond.

Women:

1. Throughout history, seen as symbols of great strength

2. Full of life with the ability to lift the spirits of those around her

3. “Strength and beauty are her clothing” Proverbs 31:25

4. A woman’s strength is formed over the years through life’s pressures and often difficult circumstances

5. Our best choices are made in the dark, quiet places – alone before God

6. Known for wisdom

7. Value comes with vulnerability and transparency

8. Determined to protect her young at any cost

9. Hidden beauty – discovered at great cost

10. Thought to be elusive

11. Strength comes from purity

12. Guard your heart from being stolen away
The next time you find yourself wrestling with your worth, stop and consider this analogy from our Maker. Creation was formed with a diamond in mind. You were formed by the same God of the Universe with your unique design.
A woman’s recipe for greatness is strength formed under pressure and the result – priceless.

Guest-Writers, UYM

{The Diamond Movement} Day 18!

The Diamond Movement

Written By: Karin Appleby

“A good woman is hard to find. She is worth more than diamonds.” Proverbs 31:10

When I was first asked to write for UYM, I was very excited. I immediately said “yes”. I was excited to help my friend with her ministry, and I have always loved to write. A couple of days later, I sat down to look at what I was asked to write about. Honestly, I sat there and laughed. It was a “you have got to be kidding me” kind of laugh. How did I miss this? Proverbs 31. Of course! This is the passage on The Proverbs 31 Woman. I had only noticed that the topic was “Worth More Than Diamonds”. My laughing quickly turned into a, “Oh God, what am i going to do” kind of groan.
If I had been asked to write about The Place of Women in Ministry, or 7 Simple Steps to Attaining Perfect Peace, or The End Times (okay, not really) or a myriad of other topics, I would have smiled, done some research, and started writing confidently. But this passage of scripture. *Sigh* This was personal. Over the years as I’ve interacted with my husband and children, I am confident they have wanted to rise up and call me things, but I’m not sure it has always been blessed. This passage of scripture has inspired me when I was a bright-eyed eager, young girl, and has overwhelmed me when I was a dedicated, over-achieving, newly married woman. Honestly, I have tried to ignore it as the realities of life, both wonderful and disappointing, have pressed in…except occasionally as a joke – “Wow, any woman who can do all of that would be a fearsome thing to behold” (insert laughter here). How was I going to write anything worth reading about this?  
This is where the praying part of the story begins. No matter what I had been asked to write about, I would have prayed. It would have gone something like “Lord, please speak through me as I write this article on the End Times. Put Your words in my mouth so that I can communicate what You want me to share. If You want to give some incredible new insight that no one has ever thought of, that would be awesome too. Amen.” There is nothing wrong with this prayer. But this time my prayer went something like, “Oh God, I need you so much! When I look at this passage of scripture, I am terrified. How can I, a woman who is so far from the incredible example found here in scripture, hope to write anything for women (who probably have it far more together than I do)? Amen.” Hmmm…could it be that there might be some of my own issues with worth surfacing?
God is so good! Over the next several weeks as I continued to pray and listen to the Holy Spirit, the Lord took me on a journey of discovery about worth. The phrase worth more than diamonds began to rattle around in my head. I began reading all about the process of how diamonds are formed at geology.com. Did you know that diamonds are formed about 150 km (90 miles) below the surface of the earth? The formation of natural diamonds requires very high temperatures and pressures. These conditions occur in limited areas of the earth’s mangle where temperatures are at least 1050 degrees Celsius (2000 degrees Fahrenheit). Through the process of incredible pressure and heat, carbon gas particles are changed into crystals. Diamonds are then brought to the earth’s surface during underground volcanic eruptions. When a diamond is finally dug out of the earth, it often looks like a cloudy, ugly rock (the kind I would toss back if I found it on a beach). A diamond must still be cut and polished. Finally the diamond is in it’s perfect state. It’s full value becomes obvious to anyone that looks at it.
The Lord began to speak to me. “If I were to show you a plot of land and tell you there is a diamond forming deep in the soil, how would you feel about that piece of land? Would you want that land?” “Oh yes Lord, I would want that land!” I replied. “What if it were the most barren piece of wasteland you had ever seen?” “It wouldn’t matter, Lord. If you told me a diamond was forming there, I would still want it.” “What if I were to give you that piece of ugly land and tell you that if you were patient long enough, and you allowed me to put enough pressure and heat on that land, it would produce a diamond of astounding worth for you?” “I would say, Lord do whatever you need to do to create exactly the right conditions. Would it help if I parked my car on top of it?”
He began to show me that this is how He sees all of us. He thought of us and created us. Our incredible worth is innate. When we receive Him as the Lord of our lives, the perfect elements are brought together for the process of transformation to occur. It is uncomfortable as He applies tremendous heat and pressure, creating exactly the right conditions to shape and form us into what He dreams we would be. Finally, when the time is right, He uncovers the incredible new thing that He has been forming in us, but it is still in it’s raw unpolished state. He continues to cut and polish and shape until our lives resemble a diamond of incredible worth that everyone can recognize.  

The trouble in this process is, we often look at the scripture about the Proverbs 31 Woman, or the lives of others around us, and we conclude because we don’t look like the finished product, we don’t have any worth. We are all in process. Some of us are like the diamonds still in the earth. We are in a place of hiddenness. Great pressure and heat are being applied to our lives. In this place it is so easy to wonder if we have been forgotten by God. Some of us are in the middle of what feels like a volcanic eruption. Everything that we used to know is rapidly changing. God is bringing to the surface the incredible thing He has been doing in us, but it feels confusing because all we can see is a cloudy rock. We feel like even though we can see some progress, we are still falling so far short. Some of us are in the cutting and polishing stage of the journey. While we are thankful for the calm, we are sometimes wondering if this process will ever end. In the midst of the process, it can be difficult not to look ahead to what we dream the finished product will look like and be disappointed by what our reality is. It is difficult not to compare ourselves with others and find our own worth lacking.
The thing the Lord whispered to my heart as He spoke to me about this process, and I long for each of you to hear Him whisper to you – “Your worth is immeasurable to me, no matter where you are in this process!” When He asked me if I wanted the field where the diamonds were forming, my answer was a resounding YES! The worth was already there even though I could not see the end result.  
Ladies, your worth is already established! The Creator of the Universe thought of you, created you, then offered to put His own spirit inside of you because of your incredible worth. As you continually submit your life to Him, all of the incredible-ness inside you will begin to shine on the outside. It is as you turn to your Creator and decide to allow Him to determine your worth that you can know, truly know, you are “worth more than diamonds”.  

About Karin: 

Karin is an American living in beautiful Ontario, Canada. She loves being a Children’s Pastor at Amherstburg Community Church. Karin believes that identity determines destiny and is passionate about raising up a generation of children who know their Heavenly Father and believes what He says about them. In her spare time, Karin loves to wander through antique shops, read good books, cook new foods, and drink tea with friends. She has been married to her wonderful husband Dan for 22 years, and they have two awesome kids, Will and Abbey.

Guest-Writers, UYM

{The Diamond Movement} Day 17!

The Diamond Movement
Written By: Rachel Shaw

God has a lot to say about our identity and worth found in Jesus Christ. As we have been studying together we know that we are loved, special and created beautifully for a purpose. 

I want to do an exercise together. 

In your journal (or anywhere really), write 5 things that you love about your outward appearance. (eye colour, hair texture, skin, cute nose etc.) 

After you write those 5 things, write 5 things that you love about your character. (Personality– funny, genuine, respectful etc.) 
I did this exercise and found that it was kind of tough. Sometimes it’s so easy for us to constantly think of the negatives. It’s so simple to think of all the things we hate about ourselves. “The things I do wrong, the mistakes I make………”

God wants us to be confident. 

God wants us to know our identity. 

God wants us to really know our worth. 

The more we know our worth, the more confident we are. 
The more confident we are – the more we set higher standards for ourselves. (Standards as in spouse, future family, career, life decisions) 
Really meditate and think about the things that you wrote down. Be confident, knowing your worth in Jesus Christ. Throughout the week, continue adding to the lists. Add more and more things you love about yourself as we continue this journey on identity and worth.
Thank you Jesus for fearfully and wonderfully creating us. We are made in Your image, and for that, we are thankful. Create in us a new heart. Make us to be strong and wise women, who are confident in our identity. Continue to help us understand our real worth.
In Jesus name,

Amen. 

Guest-Writers, UYM

{The Diamond Movement} Day 16!

Written by: Abby Breuklander 
If someone were to come up to you and say, “If I had to choose between a diamond or you, I’d pick you every time.”, what would your reaction be? I’d be the first to take a quick look around and ask, “Who me?”. But did you know that someone already says that about YOU every single day? 

God has chosen us – not because of who we are – but because of who He is and who we will become in Him. It has absolutely nothing to do with us at all, we didn’t choose Him, He has chosen us. And He’s proud to call us His own. How amazing to be wanted even more than a diamond!! How heart-melting is that? This is the kind of love that each and every one of us is looking for!!
Diamonds go through a very long process. It takes a lot of work to achieve just the right design, cut and sparkle. It’s the same in life! It takes a lot of effort to keep going when life gets hard and you just don’t know how you’re going to take one more step. But this pressure is part of our refining process; it hurts to be cut and stripped of things that we want. Never realizing at the time that the pain that feels like it’s going to kill us is actually going to help us shine even brighter than before!
It’s taking the blemishes and stripping them not just off of our lives, but off of our hearts as well. I’ll be the first to admit that it really, really hurts. But He knows that after the pain the beauty can really shine through. And once we see the difference and how light and free we feel, the peace that passes our understanding just pours over us!

Jesus didn’t pay thousands or millions of dollars for you. He paid so much more than that with His suffering, blood and life. You and I were on His mind the entire time, He went through Hell itself just to point at you and say, “This one’s mine!”. Never, ever forget that, especially on the days when you feel absolutely worthless. You are always worthy to Him. No one else is ever going to love you the way that Jesus does. You are loved, treasured and cherished just the way you are. And nothing can ever change that, nothing could ever make Him love you less. Sure there are times when we slip up and fall flat on our face, but He’s right there to pick us up and dust us off. He’s going to walk with us every step of the way.
He knows that you’re worth it no matter the past, no matter the circumstances that you may find yourself in. He died for YOU, that’s how much you mean to Him. When we realize just how precious we are to Him, far far more than diamonds, we will be able to to understand just how much He loves us. Despite the pain, despite the journey to where we are now, we will see just who we are in Him.

Sometimes our refining process can seem agonizingly and painstakingly slow. But our timetable isn’t the same as His, and He knows exactly how long it’ll take for us to step into our full potential. We can’t rush something this important. He doesn’t make mistakes and wants us to be just perfect for His use.
You are so much more than a diamond in another important way. A diamond can’t love Him the way that you can. This is the first time in the history of the world that a creation can love it’s Creator!
Everything in life loses it’s glitz and glamour, but with Him that’s just not the case. With the light of Christ shining in us, we never have to worry that He’ll toss us aside for someone “bigger and better”. People may toss us aside, but He never ever will. Once He has you, He’s never letting you go. And nothing can ever take you away from Him. How incredible and absolutely mind blowing is that?? It may not seem like it right now, but there truly is beauty in your pain…..you just need to know when and where to look. So hang in there, I promise that it’ll be worth it. What are you waiting for? Get out there and shine knowing Who’s you are! Sparkle like you mean it!