Life is ironic.
As some look at their lives, they see an ever changing work of art with all it’s many shades and colors that often times mean nothing to you if you are not the artist.
As Christians, we know the Painter who’s perfecting our work of art.
However, we may look at our life and feel the work of art is portraying a painting that is very different than we would have imagined.
February 6th, 2017.
A day I will never forget.
The day I received a positive on a test that would change the course of my husband and I’s journey.
With excitement we looked into each others’ eyes as our hearts raced with each glance of those two small lines.
A day I had been anticipating for my entire life.
A day that I had dreamed about.
Growing up, I was often seen with a child attached to my hip or children flocking to my side. It was ingrained in me to be a mother. A trait God wove into my innermost being before I was conceived.
Therefore, I anticipated and longed for the day when I would hold, care for, and tend to my own child’s needs. Although this was the picture I thought my work of art would display, my masterpiece is looking a little bit different today.
The week of February 6th was filled with excitement, plans, goals and dreams that were being fulfilled right before my eyes and my husband’s. We could see the expressions on our parents faces as we told them the news that they were going to be grandparents. The expressions on our siblings faces as they were going to be aunts and uncles. However, the next stroke of the paintbrush looked a little bit different than we had imagined.
The week of February 12th is a week I will also never forget. A week of shattered hopes, dreams and goals.
You see, that week beyond all other weeks, my hope to become a mother in a few short months ended just as soon as it had begun.
Although I never saw a miscarriage in my work of art, I know that my God was not caught off guard by any of it.
At the time, I was in a fog of denial and grief. It was a time when no one understood and no one seemed to help.
You see, He saw it coming and looked at me with hope-filled eyes and hoped that this shattering news would lead me straight to Him.
He saw His children, my husband and I, grieving and waited for us to turn to Him instead of to the fear and questions that would meet us in our heartbreak.
There were days and still are days when fear meets me when I wake, but there is also a God who meets me with encouraging words and calming whispers that quiet my heart and cast out the fear that was ready to tangle me up.
It was in those times, spent with my Father that I realized this trial can either define me or my God can define me through the trial.
One February morning, I sat with my Bible opened praying that God would speak to me so clearly and give me “something”. Have you ever been there?
“Just give me something Lord?”
The awesome thing about our God is that He holds and hears every prayer and every tear.
This is where The Painter cleans His brush and knows He isn’t finished yet…
In my state of grief, He met me and this is what He said….
1.Give up everything (Luke 14:33)
Yes, the cost of being a disciple. Now there are two things that Jesus meant when he tells His followers to “give up everything”. In one instance, yes we must give up any material possessions that are hindering us from Christ. But also, there is the call to give up everything in our hearts that also keep us from fully following Him. These are the things that try to fill our hearts when our hearts are meant to be filled with Him. In my case, I needed to give up my hopes, dreams and goals that I held onto so tightly my entire life and let Him be my hope, dream and goal.
2. Be still, It’s time to say “Enough!” (Psalm 46:10; 1 Samuel 15:16)
So often my mind runs so fast that I forget it is in the stillness, when I quiet my soul that I am able to hear God speak. I am reminded through these verses that it is time to say “enough!” to the world and all its noise and be still before the Lord. Too long have I let the world’s noise run rampant in my mind and in my life and it’s time to say enough and just be still….
3. Step out of the traffic (Psalm 46:10 MSG)
In my bible, I have a split reference from the NIV to The Message. In referencing Psalm 46:10, I glanced over to The Message reference only to find these words in my quiet time with the Lord that day,
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long loving look at me, your High God’ above politics, above everything.”
Wow, what clear and powerful words those were and are to my heart. This world gets us wrapped up into all of it’s traffic that we forget to stop and just see/experience God for who He truly is! The traffic of life is so busy that we fail to realize that we’re swept up into it. As Christians, we are supposed to be the “different” the world is looking for. And until we step out of the traffic our lives are going to look just like their lives. So, what about that looks different?
On that day, my painting that could have turned dark, began to reflect gladness and joy. I can picture God cleaning His brush, smiling as He added some yellows and oranges bursting with happiness as His daughter listened to His still, small voice.
You see, life, as ironic as it may seem, is not ironic at all.
Because God doesn’t see irony, He sees opportunity.
In this trial, I saw His strength in my weakness.
I saw His joy take over my mourning.
I saw His gladness wrap around my sorrow.
It is in these moments that God’s jealous love is more evident than ever.
Not that I am glad this trial was brought into my life, but I am glad that I experienced His love in a moment that seemed so dark to get out alone.
I am so glad God had His paintbrush cleaned, and ready to place yellows where there were blacks.
I can say that I am a work of art, not because “I” have painted anything but because God is still the Painter and I am His canvas.