I found myself wondering this morning about what you thought about me. Yes, you, dear reader. I found myself wondering if I was portraying myself differently than how I really am. I wondered if I was painting a picture of a woman who had it more together than I do. I read my blog through the lense of reality, fully aware of all of the weaknesses and incapabilities that you may not realize are there.
This idea of “having it all put together” brought to my mind an image of a jigsaw puzzle. The pieces are all scattered across a card table, but one little corner is put together. I wondered if that was the corner I was showing you. It's impossible for me to know how you see me. You read this blog from your own perspective and color in the gaps from your own experiences.
I have been in a phase where I am desperate to believe that there is an actual picture at the end of this process. I know that I'm young, but I don't always feel like progress is being made. Sometimes I feel particularly scattered, and right now is one of those times. I believe that grace and the work of the Spirit are similar to puzzle pieces. We already have everything that we need. All that Christ is and was is already available. It just needs to be put together. (Some of my favorite Bible teachers refer to this as “appropriating grace.”)
Our Father doesn't leave us to put it together ourselves. It may feel like we're doing it all on our own, but He's right there, whispering over our shoulders, “You have the right piece, but you need to turn it around,” and, “Do you think that piece goes there? What about this one?” And sometimes He gently pulls the pieces out of our hands and starts putting it together Himself. He's the One doing it all, but there are times when He kindly allows us to sit on His knee and participate in His work in our lives.
How I feel about myself depends on where I am focusing. When I focus on the parts that I have figured out, the little corners that reveal the smallest piece of the picture, I feel pretty good, pretty put together. Then there are times when I am disoriented by the number of pieces that just don't seem to fit in anywhere.
I keep asking for a glimpse of the box. Just for a second, I want to see what He's putting together in me. He shakes His head and tells me to sit next to Him. “Right now we're going to focus on these pieces. But don't think for a second that I don't know what I'm doing. I made this puzzle. I'm the One who painted the picture. I'm the One who cut it into just these pieces. I know what it'll look like when it's all done. I know how long it's going to take to put it together. I know the process. And you know Me. That's all you need to know, dear child. Just remember this: This puzzle that we are putting together is really just a bigger piece in a bigger puzzle. One day I'll put it with the other pieces that I'm putting together in your brothers and sisters. Until then, you won't see how it all comes together. But you can see Me. That's enough. I'm enough.”