May 5, 2008

The Heart Around My Neck.

About six years ago, my dear friend Jessie Clarke was praying for me as we met with a small group of people in someone's living room for our 'homegroup'- a group that formed through the church we both were attending at the time in California. As she was praying for me, she felt like God gave her a picture- like a short film that flashed through her mind regarding the status of my heart.

Six years ago, I was a broken down girl with a broken down spirit. My heart was literally like a beat-up old pickup truck on the side of the road- it had stopped moving forward and I'd abandoned it there- expecting its very last journey to be the short tow to the scrap yard. I was smack dab in the middle of all the drama of Chris and I's young relationship... smack dab in the middle of the pain and anger and loneliness. Part of me hated God. The other part knew that God was the only way out. I was a mess.

When I met with the homegroup that night, I was on my last leg. Ready to give it all up. Then Jesse shared this picture with me as she prayed:

She said she saw that my heart was broken and cracked. It had gashes in it and had even split in some places. But then she saw a pair of hands reach down and tenderly gather up all the pieces. And these hands started to sew. But not with ordinary thread... with thread made from solid gold. And she said that as my heart was mended with this thread, it became even more beautiful than it was before it had been wounded. It became this amazing work of art, and the gold woven throughout it and around it made it strong and luminous.

As she spoke these words over me, I cried deep tears. And I asked God to make it true, make it true, make it true. To help me get to that place. As soon as I got home, I scribbled the picture she had for me down in my journal- a shining jewel in the midst of the heartache those pages contained before it. And in the months that followed that night, God began to answer these prayers. My heart slowly, slowly began to mend. I was a stronger person for it all. And life got flavorful again. My taste buds came back and every day was like a good meal.

Now, fast forward about four years. You'll find me casually browsing at a Goodwill Thrift Store in Reno, Nevada. I'm home visiting family for the holidays, and I'm doing some shopping with my sister-in-law. Right before we leave the store, I spy a necklace out of the corner of my eye. It looks like it could potentially be cool, so I snatch it up without much thought and I buy it on our way out the door.

After owning it for awhile, I grow to love this necklace. You would hardly ever see me without it hanging around my neck. It has become my staple item... a thing I feel naked without. But, still, it is more of a fashion statement than anything else. I like the look and feel of it, so I wear it all the time.

Now, fast forward one last time to a few months ago. Once again, I find myself in a dark place- where the world is overwhelming and all I want to do is disappear most days. A cloud of melancholy has settled over my head and it has been unknown months since I've seen the full radiance of the sun. One Sunday, while at church, I work my way over to the corner of the building and I kneel down, slightly bent over, begging God to show up and clear the fog. I tell Him that I just can't take this much longer- this forcing down of life like a child eating broccoli. Doing it because I have to, not because I want to. I am begging Him to speak to me- I am knelt down and crying out like I haven't done in years. I am desperate once again.

And that's when I see it. A flash of gold swings in front of my wet and blurred vision. And I feel like God says, "Look and remember. I've hung it around your neck."

I grab at the swinging pendant of my favorite necklace- the one I wear every day- and I stare at it. I cradle it in my hands and focus all of my attention on it. And the long buried memory of that picture God had given me six years earlier suddenly rushes... swells... no, TSUNAMIS into my heart again- so powerfully that a sob catches in my throat and I feel like I could burst right then and there.

There, right in front of my face, was a promise. A promise that had been literally INCHES from my heart for years, yet miles away from my mind or memory.

A heart. Wrapped in gold thread.

Just waiting for me to reach down and grab it.

Just waiting for me to remember.


Candace said...

I knew the necklace you were talking about before you even mentioned it! That gave me the chills!!! God works in AMAZING ways.....and of course He would!

Cheffie-Mom said...

That is truly amazing. I LOVE it. I can't even begin to tell you what that post meant to me! Sorry I have not been blogging lately! I have been taping shows which I am excited about because I was able to post them on my blog YAY!! If you get a chance to check it out, then let me know what you think. The more feedback I get the better I can make the segments Also, your stories are great and my whole idea behind this show is for other moms to share real stories like you do. Sponsors are donating neat prizes like chocolate baskets and mini-chef aprons and way cool cookery stuff. Anyway, I’d love to hear from you.

Talia said...

oooh, you gave me goosebumps with this post!!
That is a beautiful necklace, even more so because of the story behind it.

anna joy said...

wow that was powerful. its crazy how much your story is kind of like mine... about the stuff with chris and then God's deliverance and your heart coming back to life, I can relate to your posts on a whole different level now :) and isn't it cool how the longer you know Jesus the more of his character he shows to you? parts of him you never saw before. lately he's been showing me his gentleness... and it is blowing my mind. thank you for this posts, a great way to refocus my day :) p.s. so i love your music i already told you that so please make a cd and go on tour (to my house) and then make a bunch of shirts so i can buy one, k THANKS.

Liz said...

What an amazing story and testament to God's faith and goodness in us! He's always there even when we don't realize it.

Emery, would you mind if I shared your story (this one specifically, but also your whole love story) with the kids in my youth group? I feel like God is telling me that it would have a profound impact on them.

Anonymous said...

What a precious reminder and beautiful gift from God - the words and the necklace.

I have just a small shimmering piece of golden 'lametta' (not sure if I am using the right english word here - I mean the Christmas tree twinkling decoration) in my bible, because it remembers me to something I learned about / from God.

The necklace is really special!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. You have a way with words.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That is so touching. I love how God can so gently remind you of what he has done. He is so gracefully amazing. And that necklace is beautiful and awesomely deep. Great post.

secret agent mama said...

Amazing. Absolutely amazing and astounding!

Anonymous said...

I love it when you write these words at just the right moment; and then they are there for me to read at just the right time. Beautiful. Cleansing. Comforting.
Thank you.

Andrea June said...

Wowsers! That is SO amazing!!!! Yay for God :) Isn't it awesome how He always follows through with us?

Kyrene said...

I love Jessie Clarke!!!

Karen said...

wow wow wow! thanks for this. :-)