The Sure Investment

Growing up I often wondered why I didn’t have a father, like many of my school friends. My father killed himself when I was a baby, so I never got to meet him. It was only after hearing his story that I realised the many mistakes that he had made before his very last and fatal one. My father invested himself in what he loved: music, money, friends and work. When things were good they were really good but when they were bad he decided that he couldn’t take it anymore.

 Thoughts of my father’s death plagued me throughout my childhood: “Didn’t he love me enough to live for me?” It was only after many years of torment that I realised that my father had invested too much of himself in things that were unworthy. Those things could never give him the return that he was expecting and when they didn’t, life didn’t seem worth living.

 My mother however, hadn’t invested herself in anything physical, so when he blew himself up, taking our home, possessions, savings and clothes with him, she didn’t think to end it all. She chose to invest in my sisters and I and later, to entrust her all to God.

In my short but eventful life I have invested in many things: relationships, friends, family, careers, studies… and I have always expected some kind of return. However, the most precious rule I have learnt is that nothing and no one in this life is worth my all. When I got to know about God (through my mother), I understood how He had protected me throughout my life, taken care of my mother and always provided for my family. He stood in for the father that left me and that faithfulness made me realise that He was a sure investment. He was the only One worth 100% of me because only He could handle such a stake in my life.

You see, in life we are encouraged to invest in many things, be it financially, spiritually, emotionally or physically but most of the time we end up disappointed when they don’t come through for us. If you have invested yourself in all of the wrong things or nothing has given you a good return then don't end it all, just withdraw that investment.

You want my advice? Find out who God is and invest in Him. I promise you, it will pay dividends, from here to eternity. You can bank your life on it!

The Travelling Necklace

It was the night before the General Election but besides pondering the future of my country, my thoughts were governed by: “What am I going to wear with this beautiful necklace?!” I wasn’t as excited as some of the other girls, as I’m surrounded by jewellery everyday - my mother has loads of it and my sister is a jewellery designer! However, when I finally received the monochrome floral creation, I knew in my heart that this purpose was so much more than flaunting a bold accessory...

It was a fight to get the necklace in the first place, so when I finally did it was a relief! As I studied the intricate floral pattern and smooth glass accents, I thought of all the girls that had worn it before me and all the girls that would wear it after. They were girls with so many stories to tell; girls who had walked different journeys and travelled difficult paths... However, the one thing that linked us all together was our faith: to become the women that God created us to be.

I prayed for the one who gave it to me and for the one who would receive it from me, that in some way they would be blessed just by wearing it. It was then that God revealed to me that the beauty of this necklace was the fact that it was made up of so many smaller pieces.

It reminded me of a sacrifice I had made years ago. Before that sacrifice I used to look at my life with joy – it was beautiful to me. Perfect. I was serving God, my family were in the church, I was healthy and I had the love of my life by my side. I looked at my life and saw it was good. However, one day something happened and I lost it all. I will never forget that day. You know it’s like when one link on your necklace snaps and all the beads go crashing to the floor. The biggest tragedy was that I lost my faith in God. I no longer believed in His providence and felt as though He had let me down. I couldn’t believe He could allow this to happen to me and I didn’t want to continue living anymore. I had no strength to ‘pick up those beads’ and felt as though I had nothing to testify about.

After years of existing this way, one day God gave me a new set of semi precious stones. He was faithful although I wasn’t. He was ready to rebuild that necklace that had shattered so many years before. I wasn’t prepared and so I made a sacrifice of faith for God to help me rebuild my life again. He asked all my lovely clothes and some of the best jewellery I had in return, (as they were my crutch and my defence to this world). I cried that night. All night. However, when I presented my sacrifice on the altar I knew change was on the horizon. I didn’t know how I would live without all those precious things but knew that I wanted to truly find life again.

I started to see God do wonderful things in my life and couldn’t believe the journey He was taking me on. He left me with a beautiful testimony – an accessory that can never be taken from me – with jewels so precious every one of them tells a story. I am amazed that my hardships are now a statement of all the wonderful things that God has done for me. He stayed with me in my black hole and held my hand when He encouraged me to come out.

Whenever I wear beautiful things, like this Travelling Necklace, I remember that sacrifice and thank God for where He has taken me from. Today He has given me something that is far more precious than everything I placed my hopes on. My story is my statement piece and every battle I faced an intricate detail, sealed by the mercy of God.

Like this Travelling Necklace I too want to pass on a legacy to my children and my children’s children: a faith that makes such a statement that they too will want to wear it.

One of the results of my tough times:

“Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favour and high esteem in the sight of God and man.” Proverbs 3:3,4