I found this illustration in a grief book I read in 2008. I wish I knew the author to give them credit. Modified to incorporate elements of my story.
There is far more beauty in a crystal cut vase than a plain crystal vase. When the sun touches the crystal cut vase it illuminates with light. It creates prisms of light throughout the room that dance around the walls and anything in its path. It is something to behold.
Put a plain vase in the sunlight - it isn't as beautiful. It is dull and doesn't project the light in the same way.
In order for the crystal vase to have the deep sharp edges that allow the light to bounce in different directions - it has to be cut. The work is precise. It is rough and sharp, yet delicate so that the vase doesn't crack or break completely. There is much craftsmanship that goes into making a valuable vase.
The plain vase without any grooves or depth is easier to make. It doesn't require an artisan craftsman and it doesn't take as long. It also doesn't shine as brightly or illuminate light. It still serves its purpose - it can hold flowers, but it doesn't shine in the same way.
We are that crystal cut vase. Each painful experience is another deep groove that is cut into us.
My mom's death - cut.
Chloe's diagnosis and death – cut, cut.
Miscarriage - cut.
It is uncomfortable and painful. It is dangerous. It is messy.
It is delicate work that could break us at any minute.
But the Master Craftsman knows exactly what He is doing and He is delicate with us, even through the refining. He protects us along the way. Because He knows what we will look like when we are complete, when the work is done, He allows the process to take place.
When it is complete, we will radiate His light more deeply, more richly, and more brightly because of the deep grooves in our lives. The deeper the cut, the more brilliantly the Light will shine through. It doesn't make it easy. It doesn't make it fun.
I believe God's promise that He will work all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I know that God has a purpose for all the painful experiences in my life. I believe he has a purpose for yours too.