I raised my hammer above the unsuspecting bottle wrapped in several layers of thick paper bags. A plastic bag was the outer layer. With one swooping motion, I swung down hitting the bottle. Thud. Nothing more. It took several strikes before the impact shattered the glass into a collection of small pieces, no longer recognizable as the bottle it was moments earlier.

It was my first adventure into to making faux sea glass – glass that had been broken, tossed with sand and elements, becoming a refined treasure. The symbolism of sea glass speaks so loudly to me because over the years life has been less than perfect. I love the reminder that beauty comes from the refinement of brokenness. As I filled my rock tumbler with the broken shards, I anticipated the treasure that would emerge from the opaque container in several days. What I didn’t expect were valuable reminders important to keep in mind as we process our own hurts.

  1. It takes time – When I tumbled the glass, it took four days of the machine constantly turning for the glass to become smooth. If I had disturbed the process, the results would have been negatively impacted. When we’re working through our life challenges, we need to give ourselves time. Healing is a process. We need to continue to steadily work at it. Don’t be discouraged when things don’t change as fast as you would like but instead continue in the right direction.
  2. Too much is well, too much – When I first tried to “tumble” glass, I put too much broken glass in the container. As a result, the broken pieces didn’t get as refined as I would have liked. In life when we tackle the wrongs we’ve incurred, our hurts and our brokenness, we need to be careful to not try to address everything at once. When we try to fix too much at once, we’re not able to make as effective progress. Instead start small and take steps in the right direction. It all adds up!
  3. It’s what’s on the inside that matters – With the glass I tumbled, I put many different bright beautifully colored pieces of glass. Several pieces were a brilliant aqua color. I couldn’t wait to see how nicely they would turn out. I waited patiently for the four days only to find the pieces that had been aqua were now clear. Apparently the glass was tinted on the outside. On the inside it was simply clear glass. When we go through challenges in life, what’s on the inside matters. What’s in our hearts? What makes up our attitude or our disposition? What’s on the inside ultimately comes out. As you process life’s challenges, you can choose what speaks truth into your soul. Are you filling up on God’s promises, on His encouragement, or on the world around you? What you put on the inside will be what ultimately comes out.

I never expected such truth to come out of broken glass. Somehow I have a feeling these won’t be the only important reminders that come from my new hobby. I’m so grateful that God accepts all of our brokenness and is faithful to bring healing, refinement, and redemption to our lives. It’s a process. But, if we continue one step after the next, beauty comes from our brokenness just like the glass!

I’d love to hear from you. Which of these resonates with you? Which encourages you the most? Be blessed!