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Transforming Trials Into Pearls

Written By: Amy Reinhardt

God speaks to us in mysterious ways. It could be through a conversation, song lyric, meditation, book, movie, or one of the sacraments. He often reaches me when I’m praying my daily rosary. It’s the one with Mike Scherschligt and the Holy Family School of Faith.

In one of his meditations, he gave an insightful metaphor for perfection. It involved how oysters create pearls – a process I knew nothing about.

When these resourceful creatures face threatening irritants, they use a unique defense mechanism. Instead of fighting, they embrace the source of irritation.

The oyster manifests a pearl sac with its tears, and that transforms the irritant into what we know as a stunning pearl. If these irritants, or imperfections, didn’t appear, oysters would never have the opportunity to create valuable pearls.

We all face our own irritants. Every day something comes up that we do not like and cannot change. It could be anything from an argument with a spouse to getting cut off in traffic to a life-altering health diagnosis.

Imperfection is a big part of human existence. No matter how hard we try, it’s not going away. So, it is up to us how we choose to respond.

Are we going to use the same defense mechanism as the oysters? Can we find the strength to embrace our own irritants and transform them into pearls?

I feel a powerful connection to this oyster-pearl metaphor. I received my massive irritant in the summer of 2021. One I never, ever expected.

I could have responded to my kidney failure very negatively. I could’ve spiraled into deep, deep despair. I could’ve blamed God and became a very bitter person in the process.

But what did I do instead? I embraced it. From that first week in the ICU, I invited Jesus into my suffering. Whatever ups and downs I went through as a dialysis patient, I wanted Him with me. And He still is as I wait patiently for my transplant.

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

At 29 years old, Amy Reinhardt has been an Ascension parishioner for over half her life. She led Disciples Dwelling and was heavily involved in the young adult ministry up until getting diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. She strives to radiate Christ’s light and love to all who are blessed to know her. If you’d like to read Amy’s health updates: