The conference I mentioned in my last blog was the Jewel ladies conference at Meadows Community Church – and it was there I learnt rather a lot about diamonds.
I’ll be honest and say I don’t normally go to ladies conferences. I don’t fit. I’m married and have not had children of my own. I’ve not done the whole kids under 16 thing. I’m in ministry, ably supported by an amazing husband. I also detest the whole ‘Princess rhetoric’ stuff and the assumption of what ladies ‘like’. I’m the kid who owned a dolls house but was more interested in how it was made….and preferred Lego over dolls.
But, my friend Cathy was speaking and I wanted to support her. So I booked.
I’m glad I did.
With a sabbatical looming I had been praying that I would have some guidance on how I should pray into that time. I find comfort in a tangible plan and I didn’t want to just drift though the Sabbatical with no direction. I got a lot pointers to pray through on that day, but I’m only going to give you one of those for now because it is my over-riding longing for the sabbatical.
Cathy has written an excellent book called Digging for Diamonds. In it she explains the diamond principles much better than I will in the following paragraphs – along with much more wisdom than I can comment on here. But a lot of what she spoke on is in that book.
Ok, finally – what on earth am I talking about?
I have two small but beautiful diamonds in my engagement ring (along with a lovely deep red ruby), and I’ve always been amazed at how they sparkle. They are set in a heavy bezel because of my incredible knack of breaking things. If they had been in a claw setting, they would have been lost years ago! Because of the setting, you would think no light could shine through them, and yet they still shine and sparkle brightly. The photo doesn't do them justice!
The reason is the skill of the cut – they have just the right amount of facets at the right angles for the setting so it sets off their brilliance. Apparently, if a diamond has too many or too few facets it will not reflect the light as well. I decided to research this a little more and found the angle of each facet has to be spot on too. When all are perfectly aligned, with the perfect number of facets, that is when the light shines through with the greatest brilliance. You may have sussed by now where I’m going with this…..
It is also rare to find a diamond without a flaw. But they are not called flaws, they are called ‘inclusions’. As a perfectionist – this was a helpful thought.
One of the purposes of this sabbatical, along side some rest, is to see what God wants for my future – do I continue as before, just more finely tuned and with renewed passion, or is there a new season ahead?
Future blogs will reveal why I’m asking those questions, but if you have committed to pray for me during this time all I’m asking for now is to pray into the things I’m learning and thinking.
I want God’s light to shine brighter and with more brilliance. That’s God’s light – not mine.
My ministry needs to have the right amount of facets in the right places and angles.
Some see my disabilities as flaw. I believe God sees them as an ‘inclusion’. This has been a painful distraction as those looking for trainers and speakers have overlooked me because (I’ve been told) it’s easier to use people who ‘don’t need accommodations’. I need to put this to rest and move on.
So why did I mention the setting on my engagement ring?
Because those diamonds are surrounded and they still shine.
As I’ve meditated on what I’ve heard, I’ve looked at my ring and pondered that setting on two levels; God’s surrounding love makes the sparkle just right too. The cut of those diamonds wouldn’t work in a different setting - I need to be in the right setting with God's surrounding love.
And then the surrounding of friends. I’m an independent so and so. I don’t let many people ‘in’. I need to change that – not to wear my heart on my sleeve, but to have some good friends I can be ‘real’ with.
So that ring setting made for some good pondering too - all 'sparked' by a lesson in diamond cutting.