I found this story from SecondaryVirginity.com amazingly inspirational.
A young couple walked into a jeweler's shop and they noticed that the jeweler was working on pewter. He was purifying the metal to use it for utensils. The couple asked him, "How do you know when it's purified?" The jeweler responded, "When I can see my reflection in it." God's healing wipes away the stain of sin so your past will possess a glorified reflection, His reflection. Healing will turn you into the woman he longs for you to be.
Here's the cool thing: I've been polishing a lot of jewelry recently. Do you know what polishing really is? It's scratches. Millions of tiny scratches. The only way to remove big scratches is to scratch them away with sandpaper, then scratch away those scratches with smaller scratches, and so on until the scratches are so small and so many that they seem beautiful and we call them "polish."
Which is why no jeweler would refer to polished metal as "purified." It's beautiful, but that beauty comes from the long hard road it's been down, not from being new or natural or perfect. To think that the best jewelry would be uncut stones and unrefined ore is to ignore the universe of possibilities that emerge when those materials are worked and designed and when both thought and physical effort has gone into their improvement.
(Also, you should really be examining it under magnification and angular light, not looking for your reflection. Can I just rename this Holly Pervocracy's Amazing Jewelry Blog? I've been doing a very intensive weekend workshop these last few weeks, it's going great, I'm doing some amazing work in silver, it's kind of on my mind lately.)
I could go further with this metaphor, but you know what? You're not like a piece of jewelry anyway. You're like the jeweler, because he's a goddamn human being.