I've shared my story with you before. My life was hugely impacted by severe depression. I struggled with confidence, body image, trust in relationships, faith in God and a whole host of things as a result. I was blessed to be swept off my feet by a kind, romantic, handsome guy who loved me with his whole soul. That was powerful in deed. But the true key to my healing came in the form of an incredibly difficult birth which produced a screaming, back arching, refusing-to-nurse baby girl who turned my world upside down that day and every day thereafter for more than a decade. I don't mean in a pretty way. I mean in an oh-my-gosh-what-was-i-thinking kind of a way. She has been the source of my deepest pain, but as it turns out, also the key to my greatest healing.
We love to read as a family. It has been the main source of education for each of my children-the reading of great books. When they were younger, we would frequent the thrift stores in search of good books. I was generally on the lookout for those volumes that looked "nearly new' or "gently used". My oldest son, however, repeatedly brought me books that were on the verge of death - tattered spines, darkened pages, and frequently smelling of old age. "Not that one", I would say, "that one looks too worn". He looked at me, perplexed, and then he taught me a lesson I would never forget, "I know mom, I look for the oldest books because then you know that someone really loved it. That's how I know it will be good." We made some of the most amazing discoveries thanks to his unique approach. We have acquired rare editions of classics like Make way for Ducklings, Hans Brinker, The Little Prince, and Heidi to name just a few. He inherently understood that those things that look unappealing on the surface often contain that which is most precious.
This past week, I had the opportunity to hear and see a woman named Stephanie Nielsen speak about her experiences as a victim in a plane crash that burned her over 80% of her body and left her in a coma for 5 1/2 months. She shared the feelings of despair, hopelessness, anger, and self loathing that accompanied her long recovery. She acknowledged that her appearance was drastically changed by what she went through. Some may find her less beautiful now than she was before the accident. She also believes that because of what she went through, she can share a unique message with all who suffer or are hopeless or in pain. She shares the message that you can overcome hard things and come out better and stronger on the other side. That many times life gives us beauty for ashes.
And so we come back to the oils. Do I love the smell of frankincense? Absolutely not. Does it look like something that is "worth" $93? Heck no. But what if I told you that it had the power to dispel clouds of despair, soften a troubled relationship with your father, support your body in producing healthy DNA, amplify the effects of other oils when severe infection is present, support memory in old age, and level unstable mood swings. Would you be willing to overlook the package in order to have all those benefits right at the tip of your fingers or in the pocket of your purse? Me too.