Monday, August 8, 2011

Turning Adversity into Pearls

Stay tuned for some great posts written by eight fantastic and inspiring women. Two weeks of vacation for me means two weeks of fresh content for you. Enjoy! (And don't forget to comment and let these ladies know that what they write matters.) See ya soon.

My Auntie Lori, Grandma, Mom, and Auntie Lucille (aka Tante).

This is a guest post written by my Tante (not sure if I spelled it correctly, but that's German for Auntie), Lucille. I have watched her faith since I was a young girl, and dreamed of having the close relationship with God that she has.

One of my favorite memories is from a time I stayed with her and my Uncle Barry for the summer... I had a question to ask and couldn't find her anywhere. Eventually, I discovered her in her en-suite bathroom. She was on the floor in there, little book in hand, praying over all the needs she had recorded.

As a couple, my Aunt and Uncle have taken it upon themselves to invest in the lives of each of their nieces and nephews. I can't count the number of years they took me (and my other cousins) along to Family Camp. And though their Family Camp has shut down, they still take my younger cousins out camping every year! They never "pushed" religion on us, but just let us experience Jesus through the quiet and faithful routine of their lives.

I pray that her steadfast faith will speak into your life today, as you read these words. (Excerpted from a talk she gave at a women's event.)

On May 21st, 2010 my husband had 18” of his bowel removed. August 10th, as I began preparing for the Alliance Women’s Kick Off, was the first day of my husband’s chemo for colon cancer.   

About 4 years ago, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, resulting in a prostectomy. However, his PSA levels continued to increase, so, next on the medical agenda were 35 treatments of radiation.

Now, we are excited about this new cancer! Why? Because it is not a metastasized cancer! That would mean his original cancer was spreading, and since this is not the case, and this is a new one we are excited! The prostate cancer will have to take a back seat until the chemo is finished.

Once done chemo, Barry will again be facing treatment for his prostate cancer…hormone therapy. Oh joy!  I’m not sure my ego can handle it if he gets bigger breasts than me!   

Adversity Happens

Adversity, we all have it. It actually is the natural state of our fallen world. Jesus himself said, “In this world you will have trouble.”  

I like words and definitions, so here is the definition of adversity: 
1. misfortune: hardship and suffering, or 
2. adverse happening: an extremely unfavourable experience or event

Often we look around at others and think, "Wow, their life is easy and great. They have it made. No one has gone through the adversity I’m going through." Not so! 

So, when you look at me and other women, I hope you will see just another woman who has had a variety of struggles…some just happen…like  cancer…others might be self inflicted because of poor decision making or reacting in the natural…others might be done to you by someone with evil intent.  

I want to tell you about a few of my adversities, not to dwell on them, but to show you what God was doing in the midst of them.

Ø     Raised in an angry home where I felt unloved…propelling me into a negative search for love

Ø     Married young because I was looking for love

Ø     Divorced right after the birth of my son because of my 1st husband’s unfaithfulness

Ø     Single parenthood and the accompanying low income problems

Ø     Trying to expel my adversity and searching for relief from the pain and anger through drugs, drinking, and more bad relationships

Ø     Anger and emotional pain

Ø     Wanting to be dead

Ok, I’ll stop there for a minute. Can you see how most of this resulted from reacting in the natural, kind of like a wounded animal might...just trying to get away from the pain....but in a way, self inflicted as well? Nothing really beautiful developing there! 

God uses our Adversity

But, that’s when God delights to step in and do the GREAT REVERSAL, transforming brokenness to beauty. 

He uses our adversity to make us desperate, desperate enough to search for answers. And to show us how futile our own answers are. I finally turned my broken hearted mess over to Him, and what an amazing thing He did. He restored me, healed me, gave me hope.

Psalm 40:2 became my special message from God.

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
       out of the mud and mire;
       he set my feet on a rock
       and gave me a firm place to stand.

 3 He put a new song in my mouth,
       a hymn of praise to our God.
       Many will see and fear
       and put their trust in the LORD.

Pearls from Adversity

Reminds me of an oyster. An oyster is kind of a slimy looking creature and lives in the depths of the sea…probably a rather dark and murky bottom.  But, what does the oyster create? Again, a GREAT REVERSAL...a pearl.   

­The formation of a natural pearl begins when a foreign substance slips into the oyster shell, and irritates it. It's kind of like the oyster getting a splinter. The oyster's natural reaction is to cover up that irritant to protect itself. So, the oyster covers the irritant with layers of a substance called nacre. Eventually, layer by microscopic layer, a pearl is formed -- a thing of great beauty and much valued. None perfect...each one different. But, A PEARL OF GREAT WORTH! 

So, much like the oyster and pearl, God covers our irritants or adversities with Himself, to protect us and change us into His Pearl Girls.  ow, I have to admit I plagiarized that name, but I just loved the name when I came across it…it has that touch of whimsy…I just had to use it ( ).   want to be a Pearl Girl! A PEARL OF GREAT WORTH!

to be continued...


  1. I can't wait to read the "to be continued." Thank you for the encouraging post!

  2. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.


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