Welcome to our summer series Grow Your Faith! I CAN NOT wait for you to meet some of my friends, hear their sweet voices for the Lord and hopefully have some fresh inspiration for the stagnant heat of summer. I am praying that each message in this series will speak to you, or maybe it’s exactly what a friend needs to hear. If you feel that nudge don’t be afraid to forward on a message. God’s word never returns void. I know many of us can relate to my friend Elizabeth’s confession below. I was blessed to meet her two years ago and have continued to be inspired by her gift of photography and truth telling words, you will love her. Be sure to pay her a visit and say hi!
Stitching My Scarf
I am struggling with a burden I shouldn’t be carrying.
Someone I know hurt me with her words and I felt tossed aside and grace-robbed. I quietly began to tend my gaping wound. I begged God to put stitches in it, and He did.
But before He could finish, I took the needle and thread from His hands. I kept stitching on my own and created a woolly, heavy scarf.
I stopped stitching my wound for healing and started stitching for self-protection and to justify my anger for this woman. She hurt me! She went after me like a predator! So every time I remembered that wound, I slipped on another stitch. Every time I heard her name, another stitch. Every time I heard how she wounded someone else, another stitch.
My scarf is unnecessarily immense and I keep gleefully adding stitches, simply for the sake of knitting and not for practicality. Here’s the thing about scarves: they’re good for winter, for protection from cold. But in summer, they are stifling and can put us in danger of strangulation.
God is helping me see the absurdity of wearing a scarf in summer. He’s asking me to allow Him to unravel some stitches by showing me what forgiveness looks like. The theme keeps appearing in conversations, texts from friends, books I’m reading, and songs on the radio. At first, I bristled at the idea of forgiveness. Wouldn’t that make what she did right?
“No,” God says. “Forgiveness doesn’t invalidate your hurt or sanction her attack on you! I won’t unravel and erase your hurt, and I won’t negate what she did to you. But could we make this garment into a shield of protection for you instead of a scarf that strangles you? Can you remember that I alone will cover you and hold you? Take off your scarf and let me heal you.”
Very intentionally, through prayer and submission, I’m asking God to take the needle and thread from my hands. I’m asking Him to transform my scarf into a simple scar. A scar reminds me wounds are real, but a scar won’t choke me like a scarf could.
Stitches are for wounds and garments. The healing my heart needs is the kind that comes from Light shining in my darkness, not the healing that comes from a needle and thread.
I am small-minded and judgmental when I’m operating under my own power. But when Jesus gets a hold of me? All bets are off and He sets me on fire. I say things to friends I might not normally say, and write things I might not normally write. I take photos as if He’s the eyeball in my eye socket and, whoa! He shows me some breathtaking glory through my lens! I am wounded and limping, which frustrates my perfectionist tendencies to no end until I am vulnerable enough to share those wounds with someone else. When I share, I find others who remind me trying to be perfect is a lonely place to be. The broken spots are the ME TOO spots, where the rest of the wounded limpers hang out and lock arms with each other. Anyway… I know what you really want in the “about me” section is a more demographic description of who I am, so here it is: I am a transplant from Marietta, Georgia to St. Louis, Missouri. I am married to the smartest, most challenging, and most loving man I’ve ever met. I am the mother to two kids and we have an adorable dog named Smokey. I am a photographer (aka “visual worshiper”) and aspiring writer.
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