finding the gold.
last year, i turned 28 on the 28th of october. my golden birthday. i went a step further and declared the entire year to be golden. after years of breaking and repairing, i was ready. those years felt like the refining, and i was coming out gold. how fitting, to kick off the year with what is known as a golden birthday.
i chuckled at how well God orchestrates these details. and then, almost immediately, i forgot about it. this happens a lot. i keep moving. i keep working. i don’t spend a lot of time sitting around, talking about the gold. i boldly, and blindly, went into the year trusting that it would be gold.
then, about mid-year, i paused. things move and shift in my life daily, but the lack of tangible progress (other than my hair growing long enough for a side braid) had made me forget that real time was passing. i suddenly realized that my 29th birthday was closer than my 28th and, wait. this year feels more challenging than golden, now that i think about it.
where’s the gold? i asked. was i wrong? is this year not golden? please explain.
this, for me, is what “praying without ceasing” looks like. i can’t tell you where i was when i prayed this. i was not in my prayer closet. i was not meditating on it. i did not have a bible in hand. i was wherever i was. i said what i needed to say. i do my best to always be listening, to recognize it when i hear the voice of God. i knew He heard, i knew He’d answer, and i didn’t worry about it.
a couple weeks ago, i was reminded of the japanese art of kintsugi, which i’d heard of before but always forget about. kintsugi is when broken pottery is put back together with a metallic-infused lacquer. golden repair, it means. erin loechner writes about it in her book, chasing slow:
there are no clear coats, there is no blending, there is no attempt at concealing what has occurred. instead, the crack is illuminated with gold, with respect, with observance. and then it is pieced together – not to be made new but to be changed. the break itself is the beauty. the crack is worthy of gold.
i had expected this year to be golden – solid gold – because i expected it to be something whole and new and flawlessly beautiful. something created entirely from a blank slate – but i am not a blank slate.
the beautiful thing about God is that He redeems and restores. He doesn’t take us out or erase the past or conceal the flaws. we see it again and again: He takes what was bad and changes it into something good. something gold.
twenty eight has been full of conflict and opposition – what felt like the jagged edges of the broken pieces. each time, as i’ve learned how to push through and hold both – peace and conflict – at the same time, i’ve wondered why i keep circling around it. it took me almost the whole year to see how the break itself is the beauty.
so often i want to trash it all and start over. with big things and little things – with writing, with what i have, with my instagram, with nashville. i want the blank slate, the solid gold. the mistakes are uncomfortable. the cracks make me cringe. but if i’m not careful, i’ll miss it. because the cracks are worthy of gold.