Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.

Pandora bracelets are a great way to define who you are. It starts with a bracelet and its up to you to add charms to it. There are so many to choose from. Hobbies, sparkle, birth stones, sports, professions, Disney characters, seasons…you name it and there’s probably a Pandora charm to suit.

Last year I got a Pandora bracelet for my birthday. It was given with love and while I liked it a lot, it ended up in the jewelry box and was hardly worn. Kind of like my relationship with Jesus was last year…given with love, simple, classic, beautiful but not appreciated for what it offered. I was a ‘pray when I need something gal’ last year. I had no idea how desperate I was for the all loving, all consuming, all fulfilling relationship I could have with Jesus. I would only pray once a month or so. The Christmas list prayer. You know the kind….Dear Jesus, please let me have….please help me find….please fix this mess I”m in. That prayer. The totally selfish kind.

So, the bracelet stayed in the jewelry box, like my stagnate walk with Jesus and thats when I officially fell apart. All my eggs were in one basket and that basket flipped over. I was a mess. The basket was removed and all I was left with were broken raw eggs. I knew I needed to change. I knew what I was doing wasn’t working. I knew I was sad, angry, lost, and tired of trying to fix things on my own. Everything I did to try and fix only made things worse. Believe me…things got real ugly.  Talk about egg on my face!!!

I decided to change how I ate and see if that would help. It was a great start. I felt amazing, was running, eating healthy and physically I felt great. I felt so good I decided to change my heart. I kept trying and trying but everything I tried backfired in my face. It made me look bad…REAL BAD! I was putting my worst self, my worst foot forward and getting nowhere. So sad to be in a place where you are trying so hard but everything is going backwards right?

In all of this I forgot to pray. I never prayed. Not once. Finally last August I had a moment where Jesus literally woke up my soul. I prayed. Jesus, I surrender. I can’t do this on my own. I can’t fix what’s broken. I give it all to you. Everything! My hurt, my sadness, my broken self, my ruined friendships, my control…my stubbornness. You get it all. Have fun fixing me and good luck! I’ve really gotten in my own way!

He heard me. The fixing also started right away. I reached out to a friend and asked if she knew of a bible study and she said that she was starting one THAT VERY WEEK at her house and I was welcomed to join: Jesus speaking through a sister in Christ. I happily accepted and one week later the light bulb was on in my heart.

I felt different. I felt joyful. I felt Jesus working to change my heart, my attitudes, and the best part was I was now hungry to be his servant. I couldn’t get enough of his love. I prayed all the time and my prayers were the thankful ones…not the asking ones.

My friendships changed too. New sisters in Christ who I’ve known only casually until September of last year. I now feel like I’ve known them forever. The comfort, the bond, the love, the respect and the true intimacy that can only be found when your foundation is based on a mutual love for Jesus. Just pure love and acceptance…just like Jesus gives to us. It’s an incredible feeling.

I got my Pandora bracelet out this spring and began to see it with different eyes. Last year’s bracelet would have been filled with Disney charms…things that I thought would make me happy (like my life without Jesus). They are all beautiful in their own way but this year I was drawn to the charms that sparkled, the new rose gold line that just came out.  I was craving new Pandora like I was craving my new relationship with Jesus.

The bracelet works best with a safety chain. In the event that the clasp comes undone the bracelet goes flying and all the charms go flying too! I’ve seen this happen and I’ve searched on the floor for one to no avail. Safety chains are a good idea. I ordered one and when I went to put it on my bracelet, it didn’t work. It wouldn’t do its job. Instead of being securely tethered to the bracelet, it flew off too! That safety chain’s like me trying to keep things together on my own without Jesus. When I’m in control, nothing works…the clasp opens and beads fly all over the place. Some get lost. Even my own safety chain won’t keep things in place.

I got new beads this year for my birthday. I wept when I opened them and saw how beautiful they were. I couldn’t wait to put them on my bracelet. Rose Gold, sparkles, my initial…all gorgeous and all brand new…just like my heart for God.

I got one more bead yesterday. It sparkles, it glows in the dark…and the best part: It seals the bracelet! That one bead threads through and protects all the others from flying off! My quiet force, your bead holds all the beads in place. My sisters in Christ, YOU hold me together. My sisters in Christ…you are my safety chain!!!

Forever thankful that we are not meant for our journey to love the Lord alone. Forever thankful for my Pandora beads.



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