My friend Annie gave me this beautiful gift the other day. She went shopping to find something just for me, she said it had to have "violet" in it. It is made with antiqued brass and sparkly jewels, and it means so much to me because of her thoughtfulness in picking out something so special with me in mind - and also because the cross has such deep meaning for both of us. I'm posting about it because it ties in with some thoughts that have been swirling about my mind and heart, so I'll see if I can put it into words today. I was thinking about treasures I've received that I never would have experienced if I hadn't let go of the other things I was grasping with both hands. I don't like change. I'd rather keep hold of what I presently have than to jump into the unknown. I think of moves I never would have made on my own, from the small town where I grew up to a more metropolitan area ... and think of the amazing friends I never would have met otherwise or wonderful experiences I wouldn't have known if we had stayed back there where I thought I wanted to stay. I have had some dogs that I loved like crazy and if given the choice, I never would have said good bye to them. They never would have died! But then I wouldn't have the dogs who are now in my life, and who I love like crazy and am so thankful for.
I would have kept my children young, my babies the stage they were in when I thought, "If only they could just stay like this forever!" And then a few months later I loved that new stage the best. And on and on.... Of course I'd still like to go back in time and visit them at those endearing stages, the ones where my heart was overflowing with love for those precious little ones. (Not the sleepless nights of sickness and crying, just the pleasant beautiful moments!) But I had to let go.
Looking back I can see it was 'letting go' yet receiving even greater treasures. But even though I know that, letting go today is still hard even though I know in the future I will see that all these things will be made to work together for good, as the Bible promises in Romans 8:28 - "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Some things may not seem to turn out for good always in this life on earth, but nothing can separate us from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord! He has more treasures to give us, if we will just let go of what we are grasping so tightly. And what wondrous treasures are found in knowing Him! "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him!" (1 Corinthians 2:9) And one day when I stand before Him in heaven and He takes my hand, I will truly understand that the things I treasured most on earth and found most beautiful, will seem like little bits of nothing compared to the gift of His life for me and the beauty there that He has prepared for us.
How I will treasure this gift of the cross, and will treasure the friendship it represents ... hers and His!