Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pearls

I'm a very sentimental person by nature & I love jewelry.

I'm not very good at telling stories. Especially this story. It's a hard story for me to tell because it was such a confusing and difficult/emotional time in my life.

I was 20 years old and engaged. It should have been the happiest moment of my life- but as the wedding day quickly approached the stronger I felt I couldn't get married to my fiance. Wedding announcements were mailed, plans were already made.But- I called off the wedding.

My family was very supportive and didn't ask alot of questions. Just the important one "Are you sure?". I was. So they took care of everything. Looking back that was such a gift that I didn't have to make all those phone calls, cancelling the reception hall, caterer, the extended family and friends, etc. etc...

I knew it was the right decision- but I still felt awful. My poor fiance. I couldn't really give him a good answer. I just knew it wasn't right. You know that phrase, "with every fiber of your being"... before this huge decision... I never knew anything with every fiber of my being. But truly every inch of my body and soul KNEW I wasn't suppose to marry this man and I couldn't go against it. No reasoning would or could quiet this resounding NO I felt. Yet there was no hint of WHY?... no answers.

I felt awful. I felt small. I felt like I couldn't trust myself or my judgement and started second guessing all my decisions. My mom and other influential people in my life tried to comfort me by telling me how brave it was to do that. But I just felt stupid. Like I had been too quick to rush into my engagement. Too quick to get married. Desperate. Immature. etc..

Anyway- months went by and life went on. (Another small blessing- life always goes on.) One day while I was back in the store where we had bought our rings. I waited in line so I could return his gold band. There were a few customers ahead of me so I sat, reflecting on the events leading up to this moment- while staring at the display of pearls. You know how minds can wander? I started thinking about pearls... ... and this profound connection was made.

Pearls are made when an irritant enters an oysters shell. The oyster responds to the irritant by producing nacre, which coats the irritant and forms a pearl. I started thinking and comparing the irritant to an oyster, to challenges in my life. That I can choose to make something beautiful out of the challenges I face. Instead of having them be shameful reminders of my imperfections and weaknesses.

I walked into that store very insecure and embarrassed at having to return the wedding band, but by the time it was my turn, I was changed. I was confident and hopeful about my future. The salesman was apologetic to say I would have to have store credit instead of having the money refunded. But I was grateful. I bought a pearl. I wanted a token to remember that moment forever.

I've shared this story with a handful of people and have given each of them a pearl. I hope it inspires them to turn seemingly negative events in their life into "pearl" results for their future.
Laura

2 comments:

Emily said...

I love this story (well, not the cancelled wedding part- you were pretty miserable) but I love the pearl part. THanks for sharing it with us. ((hugs))

Laura said...

Hey Em
Thanks- it's kinda strange posting something SO PERSONAL on the web...just putting it out there for all to see...


but it's not painful anymore- I'm over it. :0)
I mean- after 13 years of marriage! I've learned and felt the blessings of waiting and marrying the RIGHT guy.
I love you Em!

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