Yesterday was April 1st, the day most commonly referred to as “April Fool’s Day” in the U.S. While not a traditional holiday, the pranks and jokes shared are a good way to begin what is a wonderful month. April is a month where the weather is warmer, the sun shines a little brighter, people begin getting rid of the old to make room for all things new. In a nutshell, it is a period of rejuvenation and growth. That being said it seems only fitting that the highly coveted diamond is April’s birthstone.
A little history…..
In the not-so-distant past I worked for a very large and well-known jewelry store for 5 years. (You may be familiar with their catchy “kiss” jingle and holiday T.V. ads.) During my time as an employee I learned a great deal about jewelry of all kinds, but more so about diamonds. Beyond the typical attraction to its sparkle, I grew to appreciate and treasure the stone in ways I never imagined. I learned to move beyond the “product” and instead admired the “process”. Here are a few fun facts about diamonds:
- They are the hardest substance found on the Earth.
- They are formed under TREMENDOUS PRESSURE and heat; between 75 -120 miles under the Earth’s surface.
- Less than 20 percent of mined diamonds are actually gem quality.
Thinking about diamonds made me think about myself.
LIKE A DIAMOND, I was formed in a less than perfect (dirty) situation. I too had spent most of my life unseen and smothered by all the things around me. LIKE A DIAMOND, I had experienced tribulation and extreme pressure from all sides. Diamonds are merely lumps of coal and rock in their infancy and like me once, seemingly invaluable. I had become discouraged, despondent, stiff and downright miserable. Life was giving me its’ best shots and I had held the pain of EVERY SINGLE ONE of them. My mind was filled with worry, my body void of energy and worst of all, MY MOUTH filled with complaints! I was focused on all of the things that had hurt me and was upset that things never seemed to change. I decided to go to GOD in prayer over myself. Then I allowed my mind & spirit to do something it hasn’t done in a long time … BE QUIET. It was in that quiet that I dug deep to the root of my problem. As I countdown to my thirtieth birthday, I began taking inventory of my life and what it means for my future.
Then it hit me!
I’m not like a diamond. I AM A DIAMOND! My life possessed a rough beginning. I had experienced pain, suffering, loss and trauma. I had been burned, but I HAD SURVIVED! I was so busy sulking in the dirt of my past that I hadn’t noticed how much I’ve changed. I am stronger, brighter, sharper and more valuable than I had ever been before! Not because I had been treated gently or kindly and coddled by life but because I had been forged under pressure. Every moment of my journey has added another facet to the woman I am today and just like real diamonds, each facet brings a little more sparkle, a little more value. I have wisdom and perspective that I could only gain through my past experiences. While I don’t want to relive them, I APPRECIATE the role they played in creating the woman that exists right now.
I have decided to accept my identity as a diamond with humility and excitement! I’m looking forward to shining for all of the world to see. I encourage anyone else who finds themselves surrounded by dirt and under pressure to do the same. It is NOT EASY being a diamond, but all gems experience pressure in this life. It is up to us to decide what type of gem we become based on how we handle the pressure.
Why choose to be anything other than a diamond?