Thursday, April 12, 2012

When God Changes Your Story

I get hung up a lot in what I used to do, what I used to represent, how I used to live, where I used to be heading, and in general, the person that I used to be. I must often be reminded of the fact that we live in seasons of life, sometimes in the shadows even.

I found this picture on Pinterest with these directions attached in the note:

1) Paint the canvas all crazy like
2) Use painter's tape to create a herringbone pattern with some missing
3) Paint over the canvas in white
4) Remove tape and voila!

For a non-crafty girl like me, this seems doable, and actually, kinda beautiful. The color and the white contrasted together in this herringbone pattern produce eye-pleasing results.

And somehow this reminds me of my life....

God painted beautiful colors.

A great childhood with amazing parents. A dreamer's heart to do the impossible. A sound mind to achieve no matter what. A strong body to work hard towards every dream. A relentless will to always see a way when others saw brick walls. A solid education to open doors both home and abroad.

A dancer. A missionary. A singer. A friend. A reader. A fighter. A lover-of-the-Truth.

The colors of my world bled rich and true and vast and deep, sketching insight and exquisiteness onto my soul.

But as is so often true, we never understand or truly appreciate rare and raw wonder until it is tainted or changed.

So, as the Master Artist began layering slabs of adhesive onto my canvas, seemingly marring the arresting artwork He had created, I lamented the loss of all that "I was." Being the ever-blind and often-ungrateful clay, I raged and tugged against His touches. Yet He persisted still, with a vision in mind that I could not yet see.

Until...finally, at the moment when I could take no more of these repulsive intrusions, He ceased. And I breathed a sigh of relief.

He's done.
He's really done.

And then....

Oh please, Master.
It cannot be.
No more...please do not take everything from me.

I look up, and I see His eyes. The eyes that with gracious intensity, burn through me like fire, patient still even through my flailings.

Unhurriedly now, yet with purposeful intent, the strokes of His brush proceed to wipe away every sign of the loveliness and charm He had provoked from the canvas after years of work, leaving behind a white empty space, void of character and desirability.

And in that space, I render myself useless, unworthy, unloveable, unwanted.

But not to the Master, it seems.
For when I open my eyes, glazed with tears from the loss of my yesterday's glory, I see His gaze still steady and strong searing my soul, my pride, my claim on myself with His unrelenting grace.

Slowly, and yes, even painfully, He begins the process of stripping off the layers He has strategically placed there to uncover a loveliness that would not have been possible without the artistic ravaging.

A beauty I am still uncovering.
A grace I continue to discover.

Daily I am learning still to yield to this journey, to lay myself at the altar of His purpose, knowing that He loves me more than His own life. He proved it after all. Nonetheless, I am so often stubborn, filled with pride, longing to prove myself to Him, to the world.

And still, He stares deeply into the wells of my humanity, causing me to gasp at the weakness there and still more, to sit in awe of the regard He continues to pour over me.

My friend Cara said it like this....

"When you were knit together inside your mother, God made a pronouncement upon you. He made you something. He did not pronounce you an alcoholic or a liar or a screw-up. He did not pronounce you a cheerleader or a missionary or a pastor's wife or a mother. He knew those things might be part of your story, but He made you with a depth that goes beyond your doings and your labels."
{read the rest here}


Cara @ WhimsySmitten said... Best Blogger Tips

Your words are so deep and rich and raw lately. I know it's not a light place to be when the words come heavy, Lindsey. Loving you in what must be a tough time, now. Thanks for sharing my words. Wish I could hug you today, friend. 

Cara @ WhimsySmitten said... Best Blogger Tips

PS - I AM crafty and that canvas looks excruciatingly painstaking. All those herringbones... all that work. Hahah! I'm a lazy crafter, as you can see. ;)

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, friend. It was a bit of a valley for a couple of weeks where I could not write really, and I suppose these words are coming out of those moments. Thankful that He can make diamonds in the rough.... I am receiving the hugs JUST the same!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

LOL! That cracks me up!

Angie Neal said... Best Blogger Tips

I love this post so much. You so eloquently put into words feelings I've wrestled with. Love your way with words and truth.

Howard said... Best Blogger Tips

All I can say is "WOW"

Daisyb16 said... Best Blogger Tips

What an amazing way you "painted" these words for your readers! I love you SO VERY MUCH!!!

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