By Christi Stone
A few years ago, I found it that time again to take down the Christmas decorations, so I enlisted the help of my children. As the day began and before heading off to work, I laid out very specific instructions as to how to put the decorations away since some of them were very delicate and fragile. I even showed them the place to put them in the garage when done.
Upon arriving home later that evening, I walked in to find the task at hand completed. Delight! I was overwhelmed that my children had done exactly what I had asked them. I took notice of one tote left down and took a peek inside. What I found was ornaments that had been placed in tote unwrapped and in the process…broken.
I was heartbroken.
I was sure all of my ornaments had been ruined and my response was not sophisticated to say the least.
Tearfully, I retreated to my room, to what I would like to say was to process, but let’s be real…it was to mope. I was so sad these precious ornaments I loved so much were ruined and now needed to be disposed of.
And THEN. Then, I felt the Lord whisper “Christi, because those ornaments are scraped, chipped, cracked, and broken does that give them no value?”
I was stopped dead in my tracks. I continued to listen as I knew a lesson was about to ensue. I again heard the Lord say, “Broken doesn’t make you bad. You were once scraped, chipped, cracked, and even broken and I never saw you as bad.” As I continued to listen, the Father gently gave me a reminder of what true value looks like. And I knew what I had to do.
I called my children into the living room and one by one they filed in unsure of what to expect. I began by asking for their forgiveness for my outburst moments before. Then, I began to share my encounter that I just had with the Father and what my mama heart had just been filled with. I explained how I was reminded that broken doesn’t make you bad or without value, it just makes you broken, and God can do extraordinary things with the brokenness we allow Him to have.
God doesn’t measure or place our value on what we do or what we accomplish, but rather who we are and who He created us to be. He made us with a non-returnable value that cannot be taken from us. Where we find ourselves in life doesn’t diminish or tarnish us to Him.
I shared that just as the ornaments had not lost their value, neither had they. I explained how our mistakes don’t give us a discounted value and if we allow God, He will bring good from what we can’t.
That night was an amazing lesson of value and honor, not only for my children, but for myself. And now every year as we get out our less-than-perfect ornaments, we are reminded that value doesn’t come from our perfectness, but from our perfect Father. And every year as we decorate our tree together, there is a special moment each one of us encounters as we remember those ornaments that were once fragile, delicate, broken, and now to us…priceless.
Christi is a wife and mom to six children through blended family. She attends and leads at Garden Valley Church in Roseburg, Oregon, is a published author, and founder of Just Be You Ministries. Her favorite drink is cold brew coffee and her favorite sweet treat is an old fashioned chocolate donut. She enjoys reading, traveling and hosting her friends and family at home. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!