Messy Masterpiece

Botticelli - The Birth of VenusFor we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. — Ephesians 2:10

I am a mess.  Are you?  In the depths of trying to conceive I was a complete mess, a raw, ugly mess.  I am so sorry that you are in this place of distress.  It stinks.  It really, really stinks. I know it does.  I recall the pain all too well; its still quite fresh which is why I am here writing.  I hope that each devotion and post slowly heals me but I know I will never be who I was before I was trying to get pregnant.  I have learned so much about myself, my husband, my marriage, my walk with the Lord and in dealing with daily life.  I still hold my breath when I drive past my fertility clinic. I usually say a prayer for those women and couples who are having to utilize its services. “Dear Lord please have mercy on those women who so desperately want a child. Comfort them through these days. Amen.” The words: : Life isn’t fair. doesn’t even begin to express the difficulties of conception.  I can apply those words so many other situations in my life but truly they sank into my inner most depths when I was trying to conceive.  I do not know why you are aren’t pregnant.  I am still an undiagnosed statistic, but I can tell you I couldn’t get pregnant naturally and I was an ugly mess.

When I read scripture I often like to make it more personal so that it resonates within me.  Reread today’s scripture in the first person: For [I] am God’s masterpiece!  He has created [me] anew in Christ Jesus, so [I] can do the good things he planned for [me] long ago.  WOW. Much more powerful.  I don’t skim over a single word when I read it like that.  Each syllable explodes inside me.  Reread it slowly, emphasizing on the personal pronouns of I and me.  Seriously, do you feel it?  Does it make you breathe deeper and inhale each word?  YOU are a masterpiece!  You ARE a masterpiece!  You are HIS masterpiece!  It doesn’t get any better than being God’s own masterpiece.  Even in your mess, your ugly, beautiful, crazy mess he is calling you his masterpiece.  Wallow in today, in this moment and allow yourself this time to be whatever you need to be: an unorganized, clutter filled person with baggage who cries when a leaf hits the ground or when a clown makes you laugh; its your life, your celebration, your mess but its all his masterpiece and all part of his plan.

Dear Lord, thank you for creating me as your masterpiece.  Although I may find days difficult to handle I trust that you are cradling me in your love and grace.  Please continue to guide me in my journey and peel back the layers as I learn to embrace the plan you have had for me so long ago.  Amen.

Do you know me?

hands reaching out togetherBe still and know that I am God.  –Psalm 46:10

Our next door neighbor’s 4 year old son was playing on top a pile of rocks we had in our driveway to even out our grade.  We were just newlyweds so child’s play wasn’t really part of our vocabulary.  At one point he looked up to see another little guy on his bike with training wheels riding next to his dad. “Hey! Do you know me?” our neighbor hollered across the yard.  His sincerity oozed from the question.

Children and their innocence can teach all of us to let our guard down; step out of your comfort zone and meet someone or something new.  He wasn’t worried what this boy or his dad might think or say or not say.  He reached out and in his own way.

As I reflect on times of loneliness or despair I wished I had sought out a friend as my 4 year old neighbor did that day.  I do not know where you are in your journey to conceive, but I encourage you to reach out to the Lord, to dig a bit into your faith and seek out a friend or counsel to talk to.  Look around you when you are waiting to see your doctor.  All of the women and couples are there for the same reason like you trying to have a family or grow family that they have.  They are aching like you.  You may be surprised that you know them better than you think just because you are sharing similar trials.

You may be wondering if the boy on the bike stopped to talk to my neighbor.  No he did not.  He looked up to see who was yelling but he never stopped pedaling and passed on by.   Our little neighbor didn’t seem bothered and went right back to his heap of rocks.    Don’t allow an opportunity to grow a relationship pass you by especially your personal relationship with the Lord.  He does not ignore those who love him.  Sometimes his plans don’t coincide with our own and we feel forgotten.  Be patient and strong as he reveals his plan for you.  Its always better than what you had planned for yourself.  Lean into him and his word so when you hear him ask “Do you know me?” you can answer lovingly and boldly, “Yes Lord I know you and I trust in the plans that you have for me.”

Dear Lord, thank you for allowing me to know you, love you and trust in your ways.  Give me the strength when I am in the pits of exhaustion and disappointment to reach out to you and lean not on my own understanding but into you.  Amen.