I’m not a big wearer of jewelry. I like it a lot, but I have about a million pieces that sit neglected on my hanging necklace rack and in my jewelry box. A lot of the necklaces are fancier than I normally wear (because I’m not generally a fancy, sparkly kind of girl), and some of them aren’t my style but I keep them for sentimental reasons. The real reason I don’t wear those, though, is that I have a favorite that relegates the rest to the back burner.
I wear this necklace nearly every day because it is a simple necklace that packs a big, meaningful punch for me. I get questions about it a lot, and while I love to explain the sentiment behind the different pieces, standing in line at Starbucks isn’t usually the time or place to do that. Since we’re on a journey together, though, I have both the time and a legitimate reason to elaborate on the meaning of it all.
The central piece on this necklace is this, my “pre-approved” charm from Krafty Kash Designs. (I’m not receiving any compensation for mentioning them. I just really, really love their work and think you will, too.)
A few years ago, I participated in the launch of a book that literally changed my life. Love Idol, by Jennifer Dukes Lee, was more than just a book for me. It was an experience, and through that experience and the Lenten journey that corresponded with it, I learned invaluable truths about myself and the way I see the world. Bottom line? I realized that I live(d) far too much for the approval and acceptance of other people, and paid not nearly enough attention to the truth that I have been pre-approved by God since the beginning of time. I got this necklace when I read the book and have scarcely spent a day without it since. (Hence the discoloration!) It’s a reminder I need close by every day.
This next charm is possibly the most cryptic of them all, and is the one that captures my daughter’s attention most often. “Is that real glass?” she’ll ask. And I’ll answer, “Yes, it really is!”
My sister made this little pendant for me years and years ago, but at the time, it was just a cool, unique, homemade-by-my-sister charm. As time has gone on, though, I’ve realized something a little deeper than that: this is a broken piece of glass – that should probably have been thrown away – that has been made into something beautiful. The parallel is clear: I, too, am broken…..but am day-by-day being renewed and reclaimed and remade into something beautiful and captivating. I am unique, even in my broken places, and am treasured beyond measure. In the hands of God, I have become more than I ever would have been on my own.
This angel wing was given to me on another necklace around the time my Grandpa passed away. The symbolism at the time was of the enduring hope we have in Jesus – both for today and for eternity.
My struggle with bipolar depression and generalized anxiety disorder is no secret to anyone who knows me or has been on this journey with me for long. I don’t believe in keeping my struggles a secret, but adhere to the promise that there is healing when things are brought into the light. This is something I live with every day, and while I now have more good days than bad, I still have to cling to the hope that is in Jesus. What I feel on any given day will not last forever. What I see with my eyes is not all there is. What seems to be true today isn’t the whole story.
(Incidentally, my daughter thinks this looks more like a feather than a wing. I have to chuckle at that, too, because “hope is the thing with feathers,” according to Emily Dickinson…)
The last charm on my necklace is a simple ring with the word “courage.”
It, too, is showing some signs of wear because I wore it on another necklace before I assembled all of these into one. My husband bought it for me about 10 years ago, right in the middle of my severe struggle with depression, social anxiety, and agoraphobia. Leaving the house was a scary – and often downright impossible – thing for me, and every day took an unimaginable amount of courage just to make it through. “Courage” became my mantra, speaking bravery and strength over myself that I didn’t feel as a reality. (I also have a Krafty Kash necklace that says “courage.” I do love those charms.) It also is a constant reminder of one of my life verses – the verse I have repeated to myself thousands of times in the midst of panic attacks:
“Be strong, courageous, and firm. Fear not, nor be in terror because of them, for the Lord your God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
If you know me in person, too, you might notice that I always, always, always (and I do mean always) have on a simple silver bracelet. If you look closely, you’ll see that it, too, is a reminder of those life-giving words.
Those are the truths I hold close to my heart, literally and figuratively. I think it’s critical that we 1)realize what is true (according to God’s Word), 2)embrace those truths and make them our own, and 3)constantly revisit and remind ourselves of those truths.
So to you, friend, I remind you that all of those truths I hold close to my heart pertain to you, too. Not theoretically. Not in a far-off, philosophical or scholarly way, but today. Relevantly. Factually. Personally.
- You are pre-approved by God. He adores you, just as you are, and you can do nothing to either lose that acceptance or to further secure it. Your identity is based on the reality that God says you are His beloved child.
- You are beautiful because of Jesus. Your broken places are where His light shines through the brightest, and the things about you that world says are disposable are the exact things He wants to use. He’s not finished with you yet.
- You have hope that surpasses anything in this world. Nothing the world tells you or offers you or does to you can shake the hope that is in Jesus. It will neither fail or fade. It is unending and promised to you as you cling to Jesus.
- You are never, ever alone. You have no reason to fear, because the Lord your God – the God of angel armies – is with you and fighting for you. He won’t fail you. He won’t leave you. He won’t let you down.
Friend, embrace those truths. Make them yours, and seek out the truths you need to combat your personal struggles. Truth is a weapon, and it is more powerful than we think.
Clinging to His Truths,