A Lesson From An Ornament 
 By Annie
(http://www.annien.com/Holidays/Christmas/ChristmasStories/OrnamentLesson.html)




I've shared this live many times, but I thought I'd try to share it here, too. When I was younger I was able to make beaded Christmas ornaments as shown above. I don't have many left since most I made for others and gave them away. I loved them and gave them to people I loved and cared about as a way of saying how I felt about them. 


One day, when I was still 'creating' my classes for sexual abuse recovery groups, I was doing some more reading on shame for my upcoming class. Shame was something I still didn't totaling know how to convey to others from my own journey as I still had some healing work that needed done in that area as well. Anyway, I was in my kitchen and the Lord brought my ornaments to mind. I thought about how I had given them to certain people and then noticed the following year, it wouldn't be displayed on a tree or anywhere at Christmas time. I noted it and then stuffed it down deep inside for this particular day for God to show me something of importance. As he opened up these memories, along came the thoughts and feelings I had not allowed myself to process at the time. I felt hurt and realized I felt a since of rejection when my gift wasn't used. I thought about how carefully I wrap mine up to store them for the next year. I don't want beads to come out and don't want the satin to fray. But others didn't just not display them but may have not taken the same care I did and the beads may have come off, they could have become dirty and frayed and wouldn't look good at all like that. 


Then I realized I took such good care of mine and liked them so much and valued them because I CREATED them...each one different from the others. I put time, money, and later even some pain from my hands into creating them. I put lots of love...I put me into those ornaments. They were a representation of me. 


As the Lord took me further into this, I realized that I also had felt devalued. I remembered praying before and asking God why he gave me to a family that couldn't, or wouldn't, care for me. I was told I was an answer to prayer, that God gave me to my family. Why did he do that? Why give me to a family that would not shelter me, protect me, care for me, be proud of me, treat me with love and respect, and not abuse me? And He very clearly revealed how He valued me and loved me because (simply because) He created me. He expected those he gave me to to love me and care for me and value me as He did. But they didn't. I was left with missing pieces, marred, and torn, and as I was grieved over something like my ornaments, He was so much more grieved over the way I wasn't valued.


I came to realize that day that if I could never do another thing for God in this life...if I were to be crippled and maimed and no help to anyone, He still valued and loved me because I was his creation. And...as His creation He also was making me (His ornament) beautiful again. He was fixing the places that were frayed, torn, missing and ugly. He was making me new again. And because He values and loves me, I can also value and love ME.


I love it when God teaches me something because He does it in ways that I will never forget. Every Christmas, I am reminded of this lesson. And as I put up my ornaments, I remember that I am His ornament.

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