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I love a good speaker—one who has been crushed, beaten round and round until they’ve earned their spot on the stage. This is not to say I’m glad for the pain they’ve felt, or hardship that got them to this point, but I recognize the value in their journey. It’s the stuff that shapes a grain of sand into a pearl.

About seventy of us mothers sit forward at our round tables and listen to this speaker who grew up in a Christian home, but answered the call of the piper instead. She gave us her story—the one so many know—of chasing the bits of pleasure the world had to offer. The nice clothes, the “free” living, all the stuff that looks so good on the outside, but eventually leaves a person empty.

“How do we prevent this from happening to our kids?” someone asks. “What could your parents have done differently?”

She pauses and takes a deep breath. “Well, I can’t say for sure. We went to church, but we never prayed together, we never really talked about God. We were Sunday Christians.” She pauses and thinks treasure photoa bit. “But I don’t know if that would have made the difference or not. Some of us just have to go through the journey.”

Heads nod, eyes fall to laps and we all let that settle within us.

Maybe we all have prodigal seasons—the family, the job, fear of the words we’ll be called when we become more than Sunday Christians. And knowing our kids may have to go through hardship to find their answers weighs heavy.

As a child, an apple tree in the shop yard served as a treasure-hunting ship. I would balance on the leave-frilled branches with a friend, searching the distant skies for treasure. Would it come in with the waves? Would we need to land and tread across the wilderness in search of it?

Little do children know what real treasure is, or the battering they may have to go through to find the genuine stuff.

But finding it is worth everything—it’s worth the pearls we become—it’s worth putting our concerns in the hands of the Treasure Maker Himself.

This woman is a warrior—she had to go through the journey to find the true treasure—she’s one of those that bear the most judgement from others, but becomes the trailblazer who finds that giant X on the map, only to find that it’s been a Cross all along.

Are you a journey-maker? Tell us your story in the comments.

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