The Refiner’s Fire

There are times when the delicate pieces of life shift and slide into place like the beads of a kaleidoscope, coming together to form an image that is at once both exquisite and intricately unique, particular to one person, one life, and one set of moving variables. In the turmoil beforehand there appears to be chaos, the loud and indistinguishable churning of colors, crushing of spirits, and the twisting distortion of hope.

Then the larger tapestry slowly settles into focus with a degree of beauty and thoughtfulness that we could not have engineered even if we personally crafted and placed each individual piece.

Whether the struggles in life seem to hit in one fell swoop or compound slowly like interest on a bad mortgage, the end result is that it always appears to be more than we can handle in the moment, more weight than our tiny frames are capable of supporting. Arguments with spouses, sleep-deprivation, exhaustion, hunger, and then somehow trying to soothe a screaming toddler on a seven hour flight to San Jose– you know, just some general, hypothetical examples.

But each trial enters each life with precision and purpose, to mold and smelt our character in the fire of difficulty, to stretch us into that which we thought we could not be, if we are willing to rise and face the challenges before us. It is this forge that shapes and refines us into the best possible versions of ourselves, contingent upon the choices we make in times of stress. There is always an up and a down, a forward and a backward.

I cannot remember my life ever being more beautiful than it is on this day, in this moment, with my head clogged and stuffed full of post-nasal drip. I came to California with big plans about how to spend my time while my mother watched my child and instead Zoe now clings to me, rubbing her equally stuffy nose all over my shirt and I get call after call from friends in need and I set aside my big plans and I offer whatever it is that I have to offer.

My trials of late revel to me an even greater appreciation for my role as a wife, for my special responsibility and opportunity to support my husband in a way that is uniquely feminine and uniquely me. How could I learn these things without experiencing the uncomfortable and often painful process of learning?

No matter how overwhelming our circumstances may seem, there is always someone watching fondly in the bleachers, ensuring that we have the ability to meet each hurdle tossed our way. Twenty-two years in the fire and my life is an unrecognizable thing of beauty. I can only have faith that each subsequent chapter in my life will resolve in a similarly stunning fashion.

I am ready to be forged.

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One thought on “The Refiner’s Fire

  1. This is beautiful. I’m so happy for you. You’ve persevered through so much and you’re reaping the benefits.  It both gives me hope in my current situation, and brings up hopelessness and negative feelings which it will not help me in any way to dwell on. Nothing to do with you of course. All my own crap. So, I can use this as something else to beat myself with, as another reason to believe I’m beyond help, or I can focus on the hope and listen to the advice in your wise and grateful words. I can make the best choices I can during this time of trial where I’m learning like a snail, rely on the Lord and keep on clinging on to that hope and faith that everything is going to be ok and it’ll all work out for my good. I want to be refined, really! ut sometimes in the middle of the flames I want out. Thank you for the reminder that it’s worth it and that I can hang on without despairing. The next one step, the next right choice. I really look forward to talking later. Texting with you yesterday really helped. Thank you for loving me. It’ll be early to mid afternoon for me that I call you. I’m taking J to the dentist and a couple of things for me too. Should be done by 2.45pm/3pm ish… From: Listerine To: clairehooper82@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Monday, 24 November 2014, 18:33 Subject: [New post] The Refiner’s Fire #yiv8562776579 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv8562776579 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv8562776579 a.yiv8562776579primaryactionlink:link, #yiv8562776579 a.yiv8562776579primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv8562776579 a.yiv8562776579primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv8562776579 a.yiv8562776579primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv8562776579 WordPress.com | Veena Simon posted: “There are times when the delicate pieces of life shift and slide into place like the beads of a kaleidoscope, coming together to form an image that is at once both exquisite and intricately unique, particular to one person, one life, and one set of moving” | |

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