• Darcie @ Leighton Lane

Gift of Forgiving V: Diamonds are a Girl's Bestfriend

Updated: Apr 6

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. I stared at this sparkling diamond bracelet against the backdrop of a black velvet case. It was one of the last gifts I had received from my father. Like all of the other shiny gifts I had received, it was intrinsically valuable. But for me it was void of any value.

Girls are supposed to love diamonds, but the display of brilliance I held in my hand was clouded with resentment and remorse. I slowly started to understand why I had gathered all of these gifts. Why I started to think about my Dad. God started to open my scarred over wounds and made them fresh again.

I needed to forgive.

I was probably sixteen when I received that diamond bracelet by mail. Personally, it was not my taste. Small round diamonds plated in yellow gold. “White gold. I like white gold,” I thought. "He wouldn’t know that though."

Nevertheless it was a gift and I cherished it. Especially since it came from my father. Those gifts were the only semblance of a relationship with him. I tucked that bracelet away in a safe place waiting for a dressy occasion.

A few years later while slipping into a royal blue formal dress, I finally had a reason to wear that bracelet. As I headed to the ball, I gushed over that sparkle draped around my wrist. It was the only piece of real jewelry that I owned and it was a tiny reminder of the love from my father.

That shine wouldn’t last forever. He would make it dull. I remember him sitting on my mom’s floral upholstered couch, dressed in a pale yellow button-up shirt and the same leather boots he always wore. He was in town for a visit. I don’t remember if it was a special occasion, but I do remember it being extremely important to me. It was the first and only time he would meet my future husband.

I’m pretty sure that I acted giddier than normal like a school girl excited to show off her report card. I told him all about my college classes. I was studying business and it was pretty natural to me. I thought he would be excited about that since he ran several successful companies.

Talking faster and more excited than normal, I told him all about the trips we had taken. "Cancun, Arkansas, Alaska… Oh, oh, oh… I still have that tennis bracelet you gave me! I wore it to our first Mardi Gras Ball and it was so pretty."

“I had bought that for a girlfriend and then she dumped me. So I gave it to you,” he replied.

“Oh goodness. That’s no good.” I smiled and nervously laughed it off, changing the subject. My mile-a-minute talking slowed to a crawl as I eyed the door nervously. I’m sure there was a glistening in my eye, but I did not cry.

I held back those tears for over a decade. And then God opened the floodgates.

What I realized is that through those gifts, I built a relationship with my Dad. Albeit, an imaginary one.

When I looked at the glass piggy bank, I saw flashbacks of my sister and me digging out the dollar bills and big coins with a nail file. By far my favorite gift from him. It seemed like he kept stuffing the good bills in there for years until one day I was only left with pennies. They were good memories even though my sister always wasted my money on New Kids on the Block posters.

I imagined him talking to the jeweler about me as he hand-picked that gold-plated clock. “She’s smart,” I’d imagine. “My daughter, she will do big things.” And then again with the expensive clock with the globe on top; I’d picture him standing in that store telling the clerk that his little girl was going places.

The first time I held that diamond bracelet in my hand, my mind went off to Oz again. I saw him leaning against the glass counter top pointing to this one piece. “That one. That’s it,” he tells the jeweler. “My baby daughter, well she’s a beautiful grown lady now. She needs something special for all of the special occasions she will celebrate.” I watched as the clerk wrapped it up in tissue and set it in a gift bag, handing it to my Dad as he left the store smiling.

With a few words, he had crushed the few good memories I had of him – even if they were fictional. Honestly, he was probably making up the ex-girlfriend story. His sense of humor was hard to read at times. He seemed to have a talent of keeping a distance between the two of us.

As humans with vulnerable hearts, we sometimes let our imaginations fill voids in our lives. We can take those broken relationships and live out a different relationship story in our minds.

But Jesus calls us to seek a relationship with Him. He whispers, “let me fill that void.”

Still gazing at that diamond bracelet, I now realized that I had let those words hurt me far more than necessary. I think my Dad kept a distance, because that is what he felt was best for me. I was the one who relied on my imagination to close that space.

So I let it go. I let go of that conversation in my Mom’s living room. I let go of the memories I had created by daydreaming and now I was left with a handful of actual memories – none of which were really that good.

What I didn’t know at that moment was that God had plans. Plans to change my perspective and give me a child-hood memory of that old man that displayed a fatherly love I so desperately desired.

“Even if. Even if you weren't the original intended recipient.

He could have resold it or given it to someone else.

But he chose to give it to you.”

He whispered to my soul.

To me the act of forgiving is the easy part. It's the letting go that is so hard. The picture of what should. The what if... That's the hardest part to let go.

What do you need to let go of? Freedom is attainable. That complete surrender though, it takes some work and patience.

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