Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Fabric of My Life

An adorable little blonde girl sat contentedly on her father's lap eating her doughnut, not a care in the world. As I looked down at her small feet slipped inside her white sandals memories of years gone by flooded into my mind. Wasn't it just yesterday that my own girls wore cute little sandals much like hers?

God's timing is so impeccable at times that it overwhelms me.

I had just been having a conversation with Him about my children and the years that had passed. When my children were the age of that little girl I didn't know much about grace. I wish I had. My life's path as a mother would have taken a much different turn. I would not have been so focused on modifying their behavior. I would have spent my time telling them who God saw them to be and what Christ's death really meant for them. I would tell them that they didn't have to get it all right, because that's what Jesus came to do. I would tell them that their sins will never define them, that God defines them. I would speak of His delight in them, telling them that He would never, ever, ever be ashamed of them for their mistakes. I would invite them to live in their reality, Jesus in them is their life. He wants to live from the inside out in them.

But I came into grace too late for their early years. I couldn't give them what I didn't have. Sometimes it feels like too much water has passed under the bridge.

How does one reconcile the years gone by? What does one do with the tangle of threads they've woven into the life of another, especially when it is their child? How would one untangle such a mess? As I contemplate it all, feeling the overwhelm, I am reminded of when my grandmother taught me how to cross stitch.

She started off showing me how to look at the pattern and count each square, placing the thread right where it needed to go. Once my lessen was finished I was sent home to work on my own. When I returned for my next instruction she turned the fabric over to look at the back. She immediately saw that I had been carrying threads across the fabric instead of taking the time to cut them close. The result was a chaotic mess. Patiently, Grandmother took the tangled threads out and wove them in neatly right where they needed to go. By the end of my first project the back of my tapestry was as neat as the front. Each and every mess had been resolved.

It's what I imagine Papa God does with the threads that I've woven into my life, and the lives of those I love. Somehow, someway He takes those threads and intertwines them into the fabric of each life weaving His story of redemption.

In some unfathomable way there is never too much water under the bridge for any life. God is the God of my yesterdays, my todays and my tomorrows. He weaves His story of restoration in ways my mind cannot comprehend. As He does with me, so He will do with my children. It's that which gives me hope.

Nothing I do will ever fix a thing in my life. I cannot make who I was better. Jesus died so that I might have a fresh, new start each and every day. He fixed everything and now offers to live His perfect life through me. I get to step into what He has done for me. He makes all things new.

One by one He's taking the threads of my life, unraveling them, cutting them close while weaving them into a unique tapestry. It is the story that tells of how He came for one stuck in sin and shame and brought them out. As my children watch they are given a picture for their own lives. He is the God who makes all things good.

I live to tell, for I am His story of redemption.


2nd Cup of Coffee said... Reply to comment

Absolutely beautiful. This piece is gentle, simple, vivid, devoid of preachiness, uplifting, encouraging, inspired, and straight from the heart. You can tell you were overflowing with your desire to share what grace is about. Wonderful, Jewel.

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Great Jewel. I was just thinking along those lines today. Thanks for your encouragement and reminder that He makes ALL things new!. I love you, Mom

Bretta said... Reply to comment

Wonderful, Julie! You teach me every day something new about what GRACE looks like. Thank you for sharing the Father's heart. I love you!

Evie's Story said... Reply to comment

Beautiful post Julie...and such a challenge to me as a young mother. How fortunate your precious children are to have such a wise and loving mom. Praising Him for the GRACE manifested in you!

Sita said... Reply to comment

an encouraging piece for all moms, Julie..

Shanda said... Reply to comment

I am in the very early stages of being a mom, and I struggle with it for the very reason you stated

"I couldn't give them what I didn't have."

That phrase overwhelms me. I know what I want to give them and still don't own it (grace) for myself and not sure yet why I struggle to receive it and yet I continue to have this fear that such a desire is not tangible.

.... so my question is this:
When my heart learns to accept grace and then I learn to teach it to my kids, what will that look like? Is it truly that powerful of a gift that I don't have to raise my children in a law driven mentality? That they don't have to know the "should/guilt/shame" game in order to understand and receive freedom for themselves?

I love reading your heart and your journey!!! PLEASE, keep writing, as it always speaks to my heart and keeps me reaching for grace and freedom!!! Thank you, Julie!

Karen said... Reply to comment

Beautifully written, Julie! I love the analogy with the cross stitching...aptly named for your reflection, don't you think?

This statement "Nothing I do will ever fix a thing in my life."...calls for a resounding "Amen!"

That Crazy Family said... Reply to comment

So So beautifully written! Our thoughts aligned this morning. I posted a similar journey/thoughts on my writing blog, check it out! I am honored to have you in my life Jewel, you have been such a blessing!

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said... Reply to comment

Fabulous words. Thank You LORD! Jewelz... I love reading the words You put out from God. Amen!

Amy said... Reply to comment

Another amazingly beautiful article!

Jesus is SO amazing!

CAPTIVATING FI said... Reply to comment

So true! One thing I have started to see in recent years is that nothing is too late with God! I really messed up alot with my first two children, but slowly I see God restoring that. Even in my late thirties, God has restored my relationship with my mother and now we are becoming friends anew. It is never too late, and He gets all the glory xx

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Julie you are a master story teller and have an amazing way of explaining what God does in our lives by painting a picture with your words. This is beautiful. I look forward to God unraveling my threads and the threads of those around me and making the front look like the back - fixing the mess. xo

sparrow girl said... Reply to comment

That was beautiful, Julie!

He truly makes all things new and gives us a joy that has no taste of bitter regret in it, but only sweetness and healing grace.

Thank you for letting the light of His grace shine through your words!

Love, Sparrow