I love sparkly things. Whether it’s purses with sequins or shoes with glitter, I love adding a little glitz here and there. Jewelry is the best of sparkly things. I have drawers full of $5.00 rhinestones and layers of precious plastics. It’s like playing dress up every morning when I can decide what necklace, bracelets, and earrings to wear. (And heck, there is nothing like a little frosting to spice up an outfit!)
I have a very clever jewelry organizer that hangs in my closet. I made the decision when I saw it at T.J. Maxx that it would, in fact, change my life. I could neatly fit all my earrings in their own compartment, therefore making my morning ritual of deciding upon my accessory choices that much easier. The thing is, more often than not, I fail to put my earrings back in their proper place. Inevitably, after a long day, I toss a pair into my childhood jewelry box. This works well until I have created a mountain of mismatched jewelry and walk out the door with a bow on one ear and a ladybug on the other. So, every few months, I find myself pulling out all my jewelry and reorganizing. This time will be different, I say. I am getting this stuff organized for good.
So after dumping out the entire contents of my jewelry box this morning, in a last ditch effort to find the match for the earrings I just HAD to wear to church, I knew this afternoon was that day. Again. “This time would be different.”
As I was meticulously going through the mountain of metal, vowing to become one of those ladies that says “everything has a place”, I saw it. Though, buried underneath a tangled web of plastic pearls, the writing was in plain sight. For the past two years, I have chosen a word to be my theme for the year. My word for 2013 was JOY. It was truly a year of discovering joy and choosing joy. My happiness increased, even through hard times, as the Lord taught me so much about the true definition and source of Joy. I loved that word. It showed up everywhere too (I am talking bathroom stall walls kind of everywhere), and was a constant source of encouragement throughout the year.
As January approached, I started thinking about what I wanted my word to be for 2014. A word immediately came to me. Nope, I did not want that word. I would much rather a word like “Love” or “Freedom.” I prayed. And then again, there was that word. Um, no, definitely am going to pass on that word. This whole word thing is silly anyway. I talked to my friend Erika who also themes her year with a word. She told me what I needed to but didn’t want to hear(she is really good at that, and I love her for it)—“that word that keeps popping in your head, yeah, that is your word.” Fine. I stomped my foot like a bratty child and gave in (kicking and screaming).
So there it was today, beautifully situated in a locket. The word felt like it was leaping into my heart. I pulled out the locket on the chain, and read it again out loud. Submit. The word I had chosen in December was submit. My sweet friend Megan made me the locket. She made one for each of the women in our group who chose a word as a reminder for us to have during the year. It was a beautiful gift.
Somehow as the weeks and months have passed by and it feels like winter became summer with no spring, I tucked away my precious reminder. You see, submission is easy when God’s way so perfectly aligns with mine. It requires little faith or sacrifice, and I do not even have to put my big girl panties on for it. This type of submission yields little growth. What God wants from me is ALL of me. He wants me to lay down at His feet every single bit of my heart. The good, the bad, and the ugly. He wants the rebellious part of me: the desire to feed my flesh. The selfish part of me: the “but what about me?!” The impatient part of me: “Why is the wait so long?” And when I lay it down, He does not want me to go back for it. I have been going back for it. If I do not let go, how is He going to redesign the desires of my heart? Our path to holiness is one where the Lord continues to peel back the layers, toil up the soil, and reveal our desperate need for Him.
Today, He peeled back another layer and revealed the mistrust in my fleshly heart. He is so kind though, because when I saw the word, it did not scream at me in judgement of failing Him or being a loser. It grabbed at my heart and encouraged me to submit first to His grace. His mercy. His love. I want to do that better… to not hold anything back from Him. The Lord does not require me to adorn myself in shiny things to be accepted. I am already His. May I remember this. In His eyes, I glisten not like $5.00 rhinestones but shine just like the real thing.