Like a Diamond

01302016_StephanieBryant_LikeTheSunlight

I had lost my sparkle.

This was a big deal since Sparkle was the nickname my best friend gave me in college. She told me it was the gleam in my eye, passion for life, and zeal for God’s leading that made her think of it.

I would get worked up about things or just keep talking about my dreams and then we’d just laugh and she’d call me Sparkle.

I used to get quizzed growing up why I smiled so much. I wasn’t aware. I was just being me. And I was happy. Smiling was my favorite, along with drawing rainbows on every piece of paper I could find.

I knew it didn’t concern my outward appearance, but my spirit shining through. His Spirit breaking through the dullness of life.

I enjoyed her description of me. Sparkle put a bounce in my step. I owned it.

Lately, I’ve been grieving how dull I’ve allowed myself to become.

I’ve let others steal some of my shimmer. I’ve succumb to toning things down as to not stand out among those much more reserved. I’ve stopped throwing shiny confetti and acting like God brings a beautiful party into our lives through miracles. I’m not as sweet as I used to be.

I’m missing part of who God made me to be. I actually Googled “scriptures about sparkling” while sitting at a stoplight.

There was one verse about how you shouldn’t drink wine if it’s still sparkling. I kind of snickered. Really? Didn’t know that was in there.

But then there was this beauty:

“The Lord their God will save His people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in His land like jewels in a crown.” {Zechariah 9:16}

I was in need of rescuing. From myself and my trails of negative thinking about myself and others. I was tired. I needed a shepherd to lead me back to who He knew me to be. I wanted to be part of a friendly flock.

And His land? Of course. Here I am in a new spot. Tons of change has happened in the past few months and exciting times around each turn, but I’m definitely in a new land that could only be His.

I loved that God had Zechariah use a word like sparkle. Or whatever is similar in Hebrew. Shimmer. Shine. Beam. Reflect the light. And I wonder if the crown He’s referring to sits on my Savior’s head. I want to adore Him and adorn His crown, reflecting His glory.

“Jesus’ radiance is like the sunlight.” {Habakkuk 3:4}

I realize my sparkle doesn’t come from me. But what a sweet reminder as I was feeling bad about myself and most of my situations.

My sparkle was dull and my spirit lethargic because I had taken my eyes off the Son. To reflect and refract His light, to make the rays dance and glitter, I had to quit focusing on myself. I needed to soak Jesus up like a day at the beach, laying still in His peace, feeling His warmth, letting Him remind me who I am and whose I am.

I had to fully embrace how He made me and how I’m different for a purpose. Are you doing that?

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” {Philippians 2:14-15}

Whew! Grumbling and complaining have become second nature to me. With my husband, circumstances, my weight, you name it. If I’m not saying it out loud, I’m thinking it. My heart is full of warped and crookedness. What I really desire is to shine:

“Let [my] light shine before men, that they may see [my] good deeds and praise [our] Father in heaven.” {Matthew 5:16}

I want to be a star who twinkles, burning with a consuming fire for the One I love. A jewel He can be proud of. I want to sparkle again.

Are you allowing what someone else has said to you, your self consciousness, or embarrassment lead you away from your unique design? Will you be a jewel in His crown once again? Share with us one way God made you special so we can pray for you to embrace your gift and shine for Him in our generation.

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  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Stephanie,
    My sparkle has been dull and my spirit lethargic too. When I focus on myself, or I focus too much on those around me (grown children struggling), I’m taking my eyes off Jesus – the One who brings light into…and shines light out of, my life. I definitely needed this focus adjustment. Praying for your sparkle to return and your spirit to be aglow. Thank you.
    Blessings,
    Bev

  • Rajat

    NIce post.

  • ANNA FINLEY

    Wow!!!! Needed this today for several reasons and it lights a spark in me…………thx 4 posting it…………..

  • Valerie

    Wow!!!! I love this post! I want to sparkle like a diamond for The Lord!

  • Debra Mallow Barron

    I to have lost my sparkle. I have allowed the enemy to distract me and discourage me. A doctor my mom worked for when I was growing up, used to call me giggles. I seem to have misplaced my laughter for tears. Thank you for the wake up call.

  • Karmen

    This was so good! I am printing it out and savoring it. This is so perfect for my teenage daughters but me as well. I will be sharing and quoting this!

  • LaToya Brown

    Stephanie, your post is a God-wink. Yesterday, I had to encourage myself, celebrate who God created me to be. Despite the lack of praise and encouragement I desired from my husband, I started singing to myself “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” LOL

    I too was often questioned about my why I smiled so much, as a child and an adult. I was even as by a coworker if I was “simple.” Well, although my coworker meant it as an insult, I knew that my joy was simply from God. I’ve always been bewildered by how one’s happiness can make others uncomfortable. ..but they wonder. Like you, I slowly dimmed my light to accommodate other’s perception of me. It wasn’t that my life was all sunshine and berries, I just had a different perspective of life. And I believe some people are naturally happy individuals.

    “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”

  • Elaine Kovacik Tomasello

    I loved this article. It really hits home for me. I think I have lost my sparkle. I love the Lord with all my heart, but I have never thought I was quite good enough. I’m not sure if I am special in any way. But I have had people tell me that there is a shining glow around me. Maybe that’s how I am special. Letting His light shine through me to show others that God’s love outshines the darkest times. Thank you for reminding me. God bless!

  • A

    Thank you for this beautiful encouragement :) Praying that we keep our focus on Him today, allowing His loving light to shine and remove any darkness in our lives :)

  • Kim Duvall

    I definitely could use Gods sparkle – for the past few months I had been struggling with a few things with my health- it was like I was getting hit with one thing after another and it has been a little disappointing to say the least – the Lord is restoring my strength – so I could use some prayer for strength and revitalization in my life and sparkle – thank you

  • http://sunnyand80.org/ Meg Bucher

    The past 24 hours have beat my spirit down.

    Even though I sang “Alleluia…Alleluia…”within the confines of my closet this morning, the tears would not stop streaming over my cheeks. It’s the most frustrating thing in the world to come unglued while the Bible sits open on my desk. I know the right thing to do…but cannot with all of my might force the right reaction to trump my hurt feelings. Within these failures I feel like a misrepresentation of Christianity. God told me this morning…

    “You can sit here and sulk about it or you can see what I say about it.”

    I did look to see what He would say…and it led me here. God has gifted and called me to write and encourage, yet I battle with a struggle of doubt, and wonder if my words really matter. I wanted to let you know that yours mattered today. He used them to speak directly to my heart when it was breaking.
    I used to be the most hyperactive, crazy, bundle of obnoxious life full of laughter. People knew I was within 100 feet of them by the sound of my laugh. I doodled “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” all over the place until I found my life verse…”Be joyful always.” 1Thes. 5:16

    Some days I wonder what happened to that girl.

    How can I be growing so much in my relationship with God and still allow others to hurt my heart so badly? Why can’t I shut off that feeling and reason with it…wrestle it back down with the love of Christ that I know is for me and not against me?
    I’m just not Jesus.
    And the more I get to know Him, the less I want to leave Him.

    I got up and trudged out of my closet this morning and back into the land of the leveled in spirit…and a touch of glitter trailed behind me.
    I can’t shake Jesus off any more than I can rid this house full of little girls of the actual anomaly of glitter. It’s hidden everywhere.
    Thank you for reminding me, with the awesome verses you shared here today, that no matter how much my heart has been shaken, there’s still glitter stuck in there. Sparkles of love. Treasures that I have hidden in my heart forever.
    People like us, who shine so bright and so loud, are blindsided by the darkness of the world sometimes. And it hurts. Bad.
    Shake it. We’re not crazy. We’re set a part.
    Happy Saturday, and thank you so much for letting God speak to me through your words today.
    Megs

    • https://crippledatyourtable.wordpress.com Julia

      Meg,

      I feel called to write too. This season of life I’m in right now has me writing in a different way (I typically write poetry). The doubts come when writing or especially when I’m done. Because it feels so vulnerable and terrifying and I just get scared. Even after I post something, “How is this going to help? That wasn’t the right thing to write..it sounds so self centered. Ugh God I’m a horrible person!” Not kidding. But this verse keeps holding me up: when we are faithless, He is faithful.

      Thank you for sharing your heart. And if you ever want to talk about writing or expel some doubts, I’d love to email :)

      • http://sunnyand80.org/ Meg Bucher

        You got it! And thank you! That’s exactly how I feel as soon as I click “publish!”
        We can be doubt-squashing buddies!
        I left my email on your awesome blog.
        Happy Saturday!!!
        Megs

    • M

      Each and every word of this resonates exactly.Thank you from another hurting heart and going to hold on to the image of some glitter still stuck in there, no matter how much has fallen off! Thank you x :)

      • M

        …and any prayer for the return of sparkle and joy would be so much appreciated.M

  • Anna Smit

    Love the nickname you were given and the verses you shared about sparkling. Thank you for encouraging us by opening our eyes to the sparkle He wants to gift us. I could do with some of that too!

    I was running through the pouring rain today on holiday, after a night spent tending to my two wee girls and laundry by hand after the dinner they’d eaten didn’t agree with them. My circumstances called for me to grumble, moan and complain…so as those thoughts started coming I asked God to help me turn from them…and guess what He gave me: an old childhood praise song “The joy of the Lord is my strength, yes the joy of the Lord is my strength.” I ran with a renewed spirit and it also lifted my husband’s spirit, who was running with me. Normally this is not me…I grumble much too much, but this taught me that I can ask him to help me: “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” {Philippians 2:14-15}. And that it can bring a wonderful blessing to others around me.

  • Lillian Penner

    I am not sparkling right now. I have come down with a severe case of Contact Dermatitis which is very itchy and painful. I am the National Prayer Coordinator for Christian Grandparenting Network and just launched a new project called Million Praying Grandparents. Calling grandparents to intentionally pray for the grandchildren as our world is declining spiritually and morally. Please pray a recovery will come soon so I can serve Jesus by sharing my passion with grandparents. Thank you for your prayers.

    • Marissa

      Praying for you Lillian! God bless!

  • Nancy Ruegg

    I, too, want to radiate the Light of Jesus through smiles and cheerfulness, friendliness and kindness. The imagery of sprinkling diamonds of encouragement wherever I go is great inspiration. Thank you, Stephanie!

  • WE Services

    Stephanie, this blog spoke to me and made me tear up. I have lost my sparkle and it’s been awile since I have felt it. Thank you for your transparency and for putting words to what I have been feeling. I will be praying specifically for this. Silvia

  • Donna

    I loved this post. I pray I sparkle more in my blog. It needs a bit of life, Jesus’ perfect words.

  • Marissa

    Thank you for this post. I too feel like I’ve lost my sparkle. May we shine like the children of light that we are! God bless!

  • Ana Brooks

    I think God made me special in my ability to really know others—know beyond the surface.

  • Colette

    Thank you for sharing this! I can very much relate to your story, somehow losing my sparkle along the way. Recently with a couple of amateur clowns we visited a school with special needs kids. We sang ‘happy thursday to you’, and ‘you are so beautiful’, we made contact and laughed and played with the kids. It is not something I am used to do at all and I was quite nervous about it. But oh my, have I seen sparkling eyes! It was wonderful to see the soul shine through, physical or mental limitations not seeming important at all anymore. It was only later, when I got the photos in my mailbox that I noticed: I myself, stumbling, unprofessional, uncertain and all, I was shining and sparkling, the reflection of those shining kids eyes. Now I know where to look for my sparkle in everyday life: just search for it in your neighbours (kids/spouse/colleagues) eyes instead of looking for it in the mirror!

  • Beth Williams

    Stephanie,
    Boy could I relate totally to this post! It is me!!! My sparkle has been gone for a long long time now. It began a few years ago with job changes, then my aging father had medical issues that kept mounting. I kept hearing and believing “not good enough, smart enough, etc.” Like you I was lethargic, grumbling & complaining a lot!!! Just the other day God threw a miracle my way–my dad’s health issues improving some. It has changed everything. I have my sparkle back some & Praise God for the miracles He still performs!
    Blessings :)

  • Sheeba Susan

    Such an inspiring post Stephanie. I was feeling so down and low today , and then I read your wonderful post that has reminded me that I have to regain the shine that I have lost….Thank you .