Do you ever feel like a broken glass? I do. I experienced this feeling a lot during this last semester. With morning sickness, pregnancy fatigue, upper division courses, a major surgery in the family, work, and a husband to take care of I had a full plate. There was so much to do and there was never enough of me to go around. At a time when I had tons of tasks I had no motivation to do anything. All I wanted to do was curl up on the couch and take a nap.
Towards the end of the semester as I was washing a large mound of dishes I started creating a mental to-do list. I don’t know why we women do this. We can always think of more things to put on our list than we can physically accomplish. I started to overwhelm myself as I kept repeating my list over and over.
Suddenly I was jolted back into reality when the glass I was washing shattered. It was a cheap glass bought at a dollar store and decorated with blue snowflakes. I once had six of the same glass but with the loss of this glass I was down to one. I had been careless and put the cold glass in some very hot water. The glass just couldn’t handle the heat.
I picked the pieces out of the soapy water, and I empathized with the cup. I felt like I was breaking too. The glass broke because the water was too hot, and I seemed to be in a similar situation. I fought back tears as these debilitating thoughts came to my mind. My husband was doing homework in the other room, and I didn’t want to put him through another one of my “pregnancy breakdowns”, so I tried to keep my emotions as quiet as possible.
As I struggled to continue the dishes I prayed for understanding and hope. Then I remembered the lesson my husband and I had just given to the 8-10 year-old Sunday school class we teach. The lesson was about Job and in it we explained to the children that the Lord makes us strong through our trials. We showed the children my wedding ring and asked them how the diamonds in it were made. We explained to them that through many many years of heat and pressure coal turns into diamonds.
The thought crossed my mind that the Lord did not make me out of cheap glass designed to break as soon as it hit hot water. On the contrary, the Lord intends me to be something far sturdier and infinitely more valuable. The Lord intends me to be a diamond, and tough times now will only mean a stronger me in the future.
It’s interesting to note that I wasn’t immediately comforted by these thoughts. I knew that they came from the Lord and I knew that I was his beloved daughter, but I still felt the frustration of the day, and I still felt a certain amount of empathy for that glass. It wasn’t until later that night as I knelt for prayer that I finally experienced that sweet wave of peace that only the Holy Spirit can bring. It wasn’t until I had let go of my worldly worries and focused myself on God that my previous thoughts came to mind and brought me solace. I kept the glass. My husband tried to throw it out once, but I quietly took it from the garbage and placed it near the sink as a reminder of my lesson.
Over the rest of the semester I continued to struggle with my never ending load of schoolwork, housework, and of course work-work, but I looked at the glass and remembered that the Lord is by my side every step of the way. This life will never be easy, but we will never be asked to do it alone. I’m so grateful for that, and I hope I can keep it in mind throughh the next few months of pregnancy. With graduation and a baby due so close together I know it won’t be easy. That’s why I’m keeping my broken glass.