Tag Archives: pain

Floating Pieces

My heart hurts today. It literally. Physically. Hurts. But before you call 911, let me explain…

God is good. That is a fact. He is. All the time. No matter what. But that doesn’t make this world and some of the things that happen in it good. He takes things that are meant for evil and makes them good. He promises not to put on us more than we can bear (with Him). You have to remember the (with Him) part or you will be messed up.

He worketh in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure. He sees that huge puzzle, big picture perspective. We don’t.

We have a puzzle piece that we are given each day. Sometimes the day flows seamlessly and the puzzle piece fits into the big picture and we breathe a sigh and rest to wake up the next day for a new puzzle piece. That is a pretty good day.

Sometimes we wake up and we receive our puzzle piece and fit it in and we get an idea of a little tiny glimpse into how our future might look and we are able to fit several pieces together to create something. Perhaps it is: a relationship, or a new friend, a new home, new job, new mission, journey, project, etc… You get the idea. This is a day we believe we are making progress and understanding our life journey a little better. We begin to see a path laid out in front of us and imagine how we will proceed and dream about the possibilities. I would say this is an ideal day.

Then, there are those days where we are handed a piece of puzzle that seems a very odd shape. The colors, texture, design nothing seems to match what we already know of our existence. We withdraw from it. We try to give it back. We deny it. We grudgingly realize it is not going away, but we don’t want to face it. It doesn’t seem to make sense or fit anywhere. These pieces may take the form of: hurt, pain, rejection, sickness, death, loss, broken hearts, shattered dreams, despair, anxiety, fear, etc… You get the idea.

We shake our heads over these pieces. We don’t know why they were given to us. We don’t have answers. We may not even have a piece of the puzzle already framed out in our life that remotely matches the colors in that one piece. It fits nowhere near to anything we have already put together. It is a floating piece.

Today has been a day of floating pieces. I have cried over things I read about others who were handed a piece with cancer. A young talented mother using her last energy and pain free moments to record songs and stories for her daughter to listen to after she is gone. A grieving father thanking God for the pain free moments that allow her to do so, and saying this is the answer they were given even though it is not the one they wanted.

I have cried as I remember pain from years passed that rises up to hit me and those I love in the face as the anniversary of a tragedy presents itself. Questions are still unanswered. All that is left is to grieve and celebrate the life that was…and to trust.

Many things have caused my eyes to water today. Things past. Things present. Things I know will come. Sometimes I want to hurl the floating pieces back and ask “Why?!” but always there is a gentle reminder about that big picture.

As one who loves puzzles, I can appreciate the big picture. It doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated by the individual pieces. It just means that I understand it is a work in progress.

The good thing about boxed puzzles is you can see the picture before you begin the process. That is what sells these puzzles. It is the finished product. If we could only see the jumble of pieces I am sure our puzzle purchases would be minimal.

It is what the puzzle will become that attracts us and gives us the energy and strength to patiently work until the picture on the box matches what is inside the box. That is how life is, but it is just in reverse.

We already know about heaven. We know the end result, but we don’t have all the pieces to get us to the big picture. We are only given one piece at a time to fill in a small portion of the puzzle and as we experience life, we gain knowledge of the big picture. There is a lot of mystery and a lot of unanswered questions.

I don’t know why a mother was handed a floating piece that will take her from her baby girl. I don’t know why there are hungry people in this world when we have so much excess that could resolve the issue. I don’t know why we are left here with our hearts broken at the sudden loss of a loved one. I don’t know why some suffer physical illness and disability and live in continuous pain as part of every day of their lives.

I just know these floating pieces fit in somewhere. Somehow in the big picture of things, God uses them to create a beautiful masterpiece. I don’t have answers. I wish I did. I just know that a God who was willing to give His very life for mine, so that I could have the hope of a beautiful end result in the puzzle of my life has to know what He is doing.

Floating puzzle pieces make my heart hurt. They make me cry. I don’t understand…but I trust the one who carved the puzzle pieces and laid them out. I trust His hand. I trust His heart.

Today, there are big empty spaces around my floating pieces. Tomorrow may still be the same. Nine years from now, they may still be floating, but I know that someday I will understand and I will be able to see the entire masterpiece and I will say, “I realize you could not have created this without those pieces. I am glad I trusted You with my life and with those days when nothing made sense.”

Until next time,

C.

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Plastic or Pearls?

This has been a week of difficult things, physically, mentally and emotionally, but through it all, I have found a peace that passes understanding.  That is not to say I am oblivious to everything around me, but I have found strength and I have been carried through it with minor bruising.

A long time ago I heard this story and it came to mind again this week.  There are many versions online and I had barely typed in a few of the words to search for the story when it appeared.  Maybe that is a God thing, or maybe it is just that we can relate to the story so very well that we have copied and pasted it too many times.  I will let you decide:

The Pearl Necklace

A five-year-old girl bought her very own plastic pearl necklace with her very own money that she saved all year long. The little girl loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Her mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green. The pearls weren’t real but it didn’t matter to the little girl. She had bought them herself!
The little girl had a very loving father. One day he said, “Sweetheart, do you love me?”
“Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you.”
“Then give me your pearls.”
“Not my pearls! You can have my toy horse.”
“That’s okay, Honey. Daddy loves you.” And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
About a week later, the little girl’s father asked again, “Do you love me?”
“Daddy, you know I love you.”
“Then give me your pearls.”
“Not my pearls. You can have my baby doll.”
“That’s okay. Daddy loves you.” And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.
This happened over and over and the little girl wondered anxiously, “If he loves me, why does he want to take away something I love?”
Eventually, the little girl nervously and teary eyed walked up to her father and held out her fake pearl necklace. “Here, Daddy. This is for you.”
The father reached out with one hand to take the imitation pearl necklace and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to his daughter. He had them all the time, but was waiting for her to give up what she had to give her something even better.

The End

~Author Unknown

I have never owned a strand of pearls, or even a pearl ring, but I have always thought they symbolized beauty, purity, and endurance through much pain and hardship.  The irritation that is felt by the oyster creates the beautiful pearl.  The more irritation, the more beautiful and special the pearl.  Many of us have “pearls” in our lives that we treasure.  Sometimes when we need to give them to God it is very hard to let go.  I don’t know what it is about clutching something or touching someone that seems to anchor me to that object or person.  Maybe it is like the comment one child said when asking if he/she talked to Jesus about whatever was bothering him/her.  The child responded “Yes, but I need to talk to someone with skin on.”

God sees so much more than we see and trusting Him with our priceless treasures is the best way to keep them the safest.  In His hands they are always protected.  It is only when we try to hold them and work things out without His help that we end up losing them or decreasing their value.  Surrender is one of the hardest things to do.  Maybe we associate it with defeat, but that is not always the case.  Surrender just means we are letting go of our control over the outcome of the situation, or over the person or object.  If we surrender to God then we are actually just recognizing who already has control and who wants to “…give us a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11~My favorite verse).  How can we go wrong with this?

What plastic pearls are you clutching?  Open your hands and your heart and God will provide you with the beautiful pearls that you have been dreaming of while you have been clutching those plastic ones close to your heart.  Do you trust Him enough to let go, or are you still holding on to plastic?

Until next time,

C

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Battleground…

Swords clash and the clang of steel echoes in my head causing my temples to pound and the pain to increase.  The palpable atmosphere of spiritual warfare permeates the air and blow for blow each side engages in battle.  In my mind, this scenario plays over and over again.  God, Round One.  Devil, Round Two.  Will there be a Round Three? The sides are tied…What will happen? Will this end in a mutual agreement to retreat?

The stronger opponent? Why, God of course.  There is no doubt, but there have been many battles lost to the dark side in the past, and I cannot help but wonder about the outcome of this one.  Sometimes free will comes into play over the right choice and this could mean defeat for this particular battle and more casualties than I care to admit.

I am weary today- battle weary.  The blows have rained down on me and I am suffering with several serious wounds. This has been the bloodiest battle I have ever faced in my life, and I don’t say that lightly.  However, I am not the only one wounded and this hurts more than dealing with my own wounds.  The carnage is everywhere and I cannot fix it.  Some things will heal with time. Some wounds will close, but will scar and be forever present as a reminder. There is a possibility that some will be reopened in future battle engagements, a.k.a. Round Three, and some wounds may be fatal-only time will tell.

Hemmingway said, “There is nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”  I have found this to be true.  Some of my best writing has happened in the most painful moments of my life.  However, today I believe the blood is pouring so profusely over the typewriter that I cannot see the keys.  So, I am going to Pray  instead and let Sanctus Real  voice my heart’s cry. Then I am going to ask for direction and let Sidewalk Prophets speak the words for me through  Help Me Find It.  For I truly believe that someone must have bled when these songs were written.

I have met the requirement I have placed on myself and posted today.  While not inspiring and possibly not contributing to my writing career, I did post and I will write again…when I can control the bleeding.

Until next time,

C

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