For my All Things New Sundays post this week, I want to share something a little different than I have in the past.
A friend of mine Monica started an Etsy store not too long ago and she makes the cutest jewelry out of real pearls. Not only does she make fabulous jewelry, all the proceeds go towards a very special cause. Please read Monica's amazing story, you will be so blessed by it!
"The vision for this Pearl Project was inspired this summer 2011 on a mission trip to Moldova through Charity Cup, a non-profit organization.
The story of how a pearl is produced through "suffering" was a precious lesson that God gently taught me during the Summer of 2010, as I was struggling with questions of suffering and pain of my own, watching my precious mother face a vicious, painful battle with pancreatic cancer.
When God finally called my mom home, like Job, I found myself face to face with a God who falsely appeared to enjoy watching me suffer.
"Why, God? Why so much pain? So much suffering? Haven't we been good Christians? Haven't we served you and done enough to make you happy? Why are you doing this to us? Why are you hurting us," I dared to ask.
"Look at the pearl," was the still small voice that lingered in my mind.
After doing some research on the way a pearl is formed, I discovered a lesson that has traveled with me to Moldova and brought hope, healing, and encouragement not only to myself but more importantly to dozens of girls and women on this trip: God has a purpose for the pain we go through. God will make something beautiful out of the pain if we patiently endure.
In a similar way, the suffering of an oyster produces produces a beautiful pearl. The longer this process takes, the bigger and more valuable the pearl will become.
Sharing this story with girls facing very difficult trials in Moldova was very humbling. Some had lost their mothers, as I did. Some have lost both of their parents, being raised in orphanages without the luxuries we take for granted in America. The response to the story and the pearl rings blew me away. The girls were able to open up and share some of their experiences with pain and even their frustrations with the question of suffering.
One woman who received a pearl ring came to me a few days later and shared what an impact the story had on her: her husband had passed away 8 years previously, and she shared that this story was a perfect illustration of what she felt and learned through her painful loss. She shared that when she got home from the Girls of God lesson, she gave her pearl ring away to a friend who recently lost someone close, which helped her share the hopeful message that God has a purpose for the pain we go through.
This is the beauty of the pearl: the oyster does not keep it for itself, but rather gives it away so that others can enjoy the beauty of its suffering, just like the woman gave away her ring to a friend. In a similar way, Christ suffered unimaginable pain and torment so that He could give us eternal life. In this life on earth, there will be moments of pain and suffering, maybe even extended periods that seem too impossible to ever pass through. But at the end of this suffering, there lies a great reward if we can look to God and endure.
My prayer is that the story of the pearl will not only remain in the hearts and minds of these girls and women of Moldova, but that it will continue to be shared around the world!
May this lesson cultivate in us a hope and peace that does not waver when the storms of life rage but rather build in us a character that radiates the beauty of God. May it inspire others to allow God to do the same in their own life, for God to form them into His precious "pearl." All for His glory.
My vision is that the Pearl Project would share Love, through financial support for the Timothy and Esther Project in Moldova. Through this project, orphans 16 years of age and older are equipped with practical life skills, housing, and the opportunity to get an education!
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4)."
|Beautiful Monica and her amazing Mother who touched so many during her life.|I hope you were as blessed by this story as I was when I first read it. Please checkout Monica's Etsy Store and if you were touched by this story I encourage you to purchase some jewelry in support of an amazing cause: to help hundreds of girls and women in Moldova have hope for a future. Again, 100% of proceeds go to this cause!
FIND MONICA HERE:
Thanks for reading!
Labels: All Things New Sundays