Category Archives: QUOTE joy

The Refiner’s Fire

Back when I was in the midst of receiving Jackson’s Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy diagnosis, I kept thinking about this story.
The one about the refiner’s fire.
I will summarize below:
“As they watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up.

He explained, “in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.”

Asking the silversmith,
 “is it true that you have to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined?”
The man answered “yes…
He not only had to sit there holding the silver,
but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire.
For if the silver was left a moment too long in the flames,
it would be destroyed.
The person was silent for a moment
and then asked the silversmith,
“How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”
He smiled at her and answered,“Oh, that’s easy — when I see my image in it.”

What a simple yet profound story, right?

I’ve felt that lately God is holding me in that hot spot, right in the heat of the flame.
But I am holding tight to the fact that he has his eye on me, that he is there for me and will not let it destroy me.
It is all part of his plan to make me more into who I should be, more Christlike.
I know that sometimes he puts us in OVERWHELMING circumstances.
Because that is why we’re here.
We’re here to be tested,
to show who we really are,
what we will do,
if we will stand or if we will fall.

Welcome to Holland


When Jackson was newly diagnosed with Autism, I found this Welcome to Holland poem written by Emily Perl Kingsley.

Now with his Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Diagnosis I have so much more love for these beautiful words.

I immediately fell in love with it and put it right in my journal.

There is not a time when I read it and don’t shed tears.

I believe it captures a lot of the emotions I have felt.


Welcome to Holland
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. 
You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. 
The Coliseum,
the Sistine Chapel, 
You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. 
It’s all very exciting. 
After several months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.
You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands.
The stewardess comes in and says,
“Welcome to Holland!”
“Holland?” you say. 
“What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy.
I’m supposed to be in Italy. 
All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.” 
But there’s been a change in the flight plan.
They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay. 
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting,
filthy place full of pestilence, famine, and disease.
It’s just a different place.
So, you must go out and buy new guidebooks. 
And you must learn a whole new language.
And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. 
It’s just a different place. 
It’s slower paced than Italy, 
less flashy than Italy.
But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath,
you look around.
You begin to notice that Holland has windmills. 
Holland has tulips. 
And Holland even has Rembrandts. 
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, 
and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. 
And for the rest of your life you will say, 
“Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. 
That’s what I had planned.” 
And the pain of that experience will never, ever, ever, go away. 
 The loss of that dream is a very significant loss. 
But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy,
you may never be free to enjoy the very special,
the very lovely things about Holland.

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