I was born on January 9th, 1958, so my date of birth in “short numerical notation” it’s 1/9/58. My date of birth, and year of birth the same!
That’s incredibly rare and because of that, I expected that when I turned 58 (which I did on Saturday) that the day would be incredibly meaningful because of the numerology behind it. 1/9/58…1958…turning 58.
But, the day—that I looked forward to for so long—turned out to be anything but amazing—complete with the drama (and pain) that would rival a Broadway tragedy. Ironic, timing right? Sometimes I just don’t understand the weirdness of life.
I thought about diamonds—their scarcity, value, brilliance. When you mine for diamonds, you don’t just walk out your door and find them. You have to mine for them!
Diamonds are formed hundreds of miles underground where pressure-crystallized carbon and heat dance together to create them.
(A lot of our formation as people seems to occur when we’re under pressure.)
Then, they reach an area high enough to be harvested through a volcanic eruption.
(There have been times when I’ve erupted just like a volcano.)
Diamonds are the hardest substance scientists know of on earth.
(Although they can be broken, just like people.)
The sadness that I was stuck in caused a lot of pain—emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically. I was having conversations with God that kept asking, “why?” I attempted to “reason it out”, but came up with nothing.
Then, in the midst of the disease (dis-ease) of my life, I decided (or was led to decide) that not only would I look for diamonds in the darkness, but I would actively mine for them. I became purposeful about sharing my pain, being vulnerable, asking for advice, and reaching out for prayer from those I know and love best. The more I mined, the more diamonds I found.
I’ve come out on the other side—a bit battle weary and scarred, but mostly in awe of the amazing gifts I have in the human beings who are “My Beloved”.
These people are not “diamonds in the rough”. They are brilliant and perfect in their imperfection; breakable, just like me, but overflowing with grace. They have changed my life with love that’s unadulterated, honest and genuine.
the unwavering love and support of both of my daughters.
(Erin—whose birthday was on January 7th, and whose celebration plans were changed because my world was spinning out of control——came to my home and made lunch for me on her birthday. Sara, in the midst of working and parenting and being a soccer Mom, decorated the house on Friday evening with streamers and balloons and a banner that shouted “Happy Birthday” when we walked in the door.
the love of my sisters-in-law, both of whom I talked (and texted) with.
the love of my friends over and over.
In a period of fewer than 48 hours, I shared time with four of my dearest friends over food and drink, with long conversations, unwavering support and love because they cared.
birthday cards that inspired me, brought me to tears, and lifted me up in ways I’m not yet sure how to express, with messages like:
“You are loved by so many. Never forget how unique you are.”
“I have loved sharing this journey of life with you!”
“I am so blessed to have EXTRAordinary you in my life!”
“Thank you for who you are and light you share in this world.”
“I love you.”
“I am so thankful that God brought us together.”
Who gets to be blessed by words overflowing with such kindness and love?
I’ve received more messages of support than I can count. One of the many that touched my heart said:
“To one of the most sensitive, intuitive, loving presences I know.”
Then another diamond—a sign:
Larry and I were making the long trek home late on Friday night. Uncharacteristically, I stayed awake for the entire three-hour drive. At midnight, Larry said “Happy Birthday” and one minute later (12:01am on 1/9/16) as we rounded a corner on a dark, two-lane road I said, “watch out”. Standing there, in the middle of the road, right in front of us, staring at us was an owl. (Owls are the way I know that my Mom is “with me” from the spirit side.) Amazed, we looked then drove slowly away, in awe. This diamond shone so brightly that there was no way to mistake its message: “this is an important day, you are always loved, you are always safe, you are always a child of God”.
None of these diamonds are about me being any more special than anyone else. These diamonds are about being blessed by the amazing spirits who share their lives with me.
These diamonds are about:
Laughter in the sadness,
Hope in the bleakness,
Joy in the sorrow.
These diamonds are about Love.
January 9th, 2016 was a day of dark and light. The dark will fade away because that’s what it’s supposed to do. The light will continue to grow and grow, and light more torches because that’s what IT’S supposed to do. In my humanness, I will remember some of the pain, but I will remember more, and always, the triumph of love. Thank you, God.
With gratitude and love for all the diamonds in our world,
p.s. from “The Checklist from Z to A”: #43. Do things because you think they’re right, not because you think you have to; too often we get stuck in an “I did it because I had to” mentality. Doing what you consider “right” is much more important.