oh beloved soul
the desert was hard on you
figuratively and literally,
emotionally and spiritually.
what could be seen reported discouragement
like the barren and parched land of your travels,
but what you had not yet seen were the diamonds in the desert… (my journal entry this morning)

we went away this past week, to get away from it all and refresh ourselves with new surroundings. these desert getaways in the past served as a time of regrouping, extinguishing the old and work, those things that no longer serve us, and stand as a gateway of reentry into a fresh existence full of motivation and new ideas.

this particular trip instead found us tired, worn out, lacking motivation and inner fire no matter how we tried to stoke the flame. it just wasn’t happening. challenges with my health set in, along with a moderate depression about where i am at generally in life. everything seemed meaningless, the world became a dark and ugly place, a bizarre turn from my usually sunny outlook on life.

the last evening, we embarked on a walk along a 2 lane desert highway, unsure where it lead, but it called to us so we set off in the direction of the faraway mountains in the future. picturesque, like a movie set, the mountains taking on a purple hue as the sun began to slip behind them, tucking itself in for the evening. a calmness followed, only an occasional car or motorcycle passing, inviting us into an awareness of the true sounds of this desert oasis- the rustle of lizards through nearby brush, the soft sun soaked breeze gracing our cheeks and whipping at our hair.

below our shoes the desert dirt radiated the warmth it had stored for the day, creating a golden hue beneath our steps. as i walked, something glimmered and caught the corner of my eye. i passed it and kept walking, until i felt so strongly the prompt to return back to it. i leaned down and picked up a sparkling and beautiful stone, the looks of a diamond. it seemed cozy there in that spot, face up in the red dirt.

it awestruck me- this beautiful, shimmery rock among the dust. i carried it in the palm of my hand all the walk back to our hotel, as we dreamed up it’s value and also what we would do with the cash if it were actually a diamond of this size. oh the places we went that next hour in our heads! the potential to be nothing or to be something was all rolled p into that beautiful stone, and we would get it looked at when we returned home.

well, yesterday i found out that it was not indeed a true diamond. a tad disappointed of course, but what this picture has shown me is beyond the price of any diamond. i cut a friend’s hair this morning and was telling her the story. “what a story that would’ve been!” she exclaimed, if the stone had been real. but then she followed up with, “but, what a story it still is!”

she summed it all up rather profoundly in that sentence.

just because something isn’t what you thought it was, it was the picture, the possibility- the light lighting up that dark path once again! the hope it brought! in the midst of all this dirt, this dust, there are always diamonds if we believe there are.

i looked up the journey of a diamond in it’s evolution. it’s the finished story of the soft and raw material carbon, which under many miles of the earth’s crust and under extreme pressure is formed into the strongest substance on earth.

i like to view myself as the most raw and soft material, my heart is that sensitive and mushy substance that often thinks it cannot handle too much or it will shatter into a million pieces. what is happening though couldn’t be farther from this imagination of my own head.

i am the diamond!
i have come so far!
i am so much stronger than i ever imagined!
it’s the extreme pressure that makes me shine,
that makes me a human of substance,
a woman with a story.

i stumbled across Lamentations 3:29 this morning which says, “let him bury his head in the dust, there may yet be hope.”

a song that found it’s way to me right before leaving on our trip is a song actually called ‘Diamonds” of all things, by the duo Johnnyswim. it’s lyrics go:

in the wake of every heartache
in the depth of every fear
there are diamonds, diamonds
waiting to break out of here.

don’t you think i hear the whispers
those subtle lies, those angry pleas
they’re just demons, demons
wishing they were free like me.

chorus: we’re the fire from the sun,
we’re the light when the day is done
we are the brave, the chosen ones,
we’re the diamonds, diamonds,
rising among the dust.

image: money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2015/07/30/how-to-make-your-resume-a-diamond-in-the-rough (GETTY IMAGES)