Labor of Love Make a Pearl
Labors of Love, Take Time
A Labor of Love takes time, after Thirty years I think we have something to share! While thirty is not the longest of wedding anniversaries, and others can surpass it, this milestone remains an accomplishment, of compassionate compromise and our forever love story.
Webster defines a Labor of Love, as a voluntary undertaking or performance without consideration of any benefit or reward. — I find this an exact description of a long-standing work, such as a thirty-year marriage. How do we make pearls from invading parasites? You do it by forming a gem of a relationship, read on for tips thirty years in the making!
Labor of Love
Definition of labor of love: a labor voluntarily undertaken or performed without consideration of any benefit or reward-- Meriam-Webster
Then & Now
Pearls in The Shell
How awe-inspiring, the thirtieth wedding anniversary symbol is a pearl, a gem quite fitting for this reflection? A pearl comes in many shades, sizes, and luster. It changes over time in its creation. The fact that a pearl forms when a grain of sand enters its shell is a myth. A more probable cause is a tiny organism or parasite that slips into the structure seeking to disrupt the tissues. The shell then creates a pearl sac around the invader and releases a coating called “nacre” this film and layering defense develops over time into a magnificent pearl. After Thirty amazing years, our pearl is one to cherish.
The Process of A Pearl Forming
“Natural Pearls form when an irritant - usually a parasite and not the proverbial grain of sand - works its way into an oyster, mussel, or clam. As a defense mechanism, a fluid is used to coat the irritant. Layer upon layer of this coating, called 'nacre', is deposited until a lustrous pearl is formed.”
How Pearls Form in Nature (Take a few minutes to view the video of this magnificent process!)
Poetry in Nature
I find it poetic that as an oyster shell receives attack by the tiniest of an organism or parasite seeking destruction. A natural defense occurs when a covering encapsulates that intruder and layers it with a film that produces a firm and sought after pearl. Doesn’t anyone else see the beauty of this and how it compares to a long and steadfast marriage or relationship or is that a reach?
In a world where longevity of pairing seems fleeting, nothing is further from the truth. I believe in love! The hard work, compromise, tenacity, iron sharpening iron, and growth that can occur through the adversity and incursion. This love is not fleeting unless people stop seeking a strong, solid and exquisite gem of relationship.
Moving forward in a relationship, we can wait and allow a natural response of protection by bringing God into the center. Start with our shell, and then extending that example to others. The best defense or covering is prayer, as it surrounds the intruders and parasites that seek to attack our core.
Take a Leap in a Labor Of Love
I remember the day my heart fluttered with the first sight of him, and yes, he felt the same pitter-patter. I also recall possible doubting of a forever love. Questioning, even though we had parents whose unions stood the test of time. Nonetheless, the idea of melding two ideas, goals, wants, desires, needs, gave way to impossibilities.
But, God gives a little hidden voice if you are listening, it did not say what you might think? It didn’t say if it gets tough you could give up. Nor did it say you are not worthy. It didn’t even say it would be amazing and perfect! No, the voice said, JUMP!
Seriously, that is what I heard JUMP! Now, of course, I wanted the fairy tale, but I did not believe in them. While I loved the Disney princess stories, and never grow tired of a predictable Hallmark movie, I was and am more of a realist. But after evaluating my ability to stand on my own two feet, believing that I could come what may, I decide to try love. Knowing there are fierce possibilities when you want to face life with someone you hope will work as hard on a true Labor of Love, and you jump together!
It's a Ride
To claim a long ride has not been a bit of a roller coaster, is fictional! Instead, I will tell you, it’s possible to fall in love with the same person year after year. It’s a reality, to not always understand adult humans. Any more than you get everything your cute pup or sweet baby does every single minute. They eat your shoes, pee on your clothes and scream, cry or bark at nothing and everything. But, they cuddle and warm your heart with a smile, giggle or cute stare.
We irritate by an environment where zings and intruders come to steal and destroy. Struggles and trials happen to good people, and people fuss, take things out on trusted loved ones, even distract and take for granted of not doing the work necessary to keep a pearl developing within the shell.
Once you learn to protect one another from the parasites that seek to intrude a wonderful defense is possible. Every day becomes one of polishing the gem and growing together. After doing the work you realize the blessings even in the mess. You understand the value of what is, and that is darn awesome.
The great distractions allow us to lose our way, forgetting to respect one another, when newer to a relationship, or in the mid-seasons. Holding fast to the idea that, those we are in a relationship with, will always love us despite our faults. Be careful to not overindulge in this practice, though, as the ability to change a negative habit is daunting. Remember, God is the gem maker, and we continue as a work in progress. The goal is to shine as an example of His unfailing love we can be much grittier and abrasive than our awesome God.
How to Form Pearls In Relationship
The way you keep that pearl forming is to:
- Put Christ at your center first, accept Him and listen to His voice.
- Put God at the center of your relationships and conversations.
- Take your medicine of prayer together each day, even when it is hard to swallow, and you don’t like the taste.
- Forgive, yourself, forgive each other, and keep seeking the covering, and protective coating of the unfailing love of God.
- When you mess up, and you will, own it, and take a minute allowing God to redirect!
- Remember, it is not perfect you are going for, but rather gem making! Gems take time; you have to allow some artistry and patience in doing good work.
- Most important the work is not enough, you must lean into your faith in the one who changes everything, and this is the answer.
Praying for Our Pearls
We pray to love you more so that we can love those within our path better. We humble ourselves to listen in the loudness for the guidance of God’s will for our relationships. Allow us to deflect the parasites that seek to invade our shell, and cover us, as we seek to form a pearl in relationship with YOU! Help us to remain close to those seeking relationships and accountability. Allow our hearts to acquiesce letting go of things gone by, and move our futures to the perfecting of a gem that will give God all the glory. Thank you; Lord, for the natural state of faith that no one can imprison no matter the trial. As we lose ourselves in grace and mercy, grant us the strength to grow our pearls trusting the process of God’s timing.
You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Phil 4:13 Then it became louder, saying Ephesians 4:2: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." 1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." John 15:12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."
Questions & Answers
© 2019 Kathy Henderson