I am reluctant to observe that it has often been the challenges and the trials that have formed me most into who I am. The times of joy and enthusiasm offer strength and healing relief from the times of true forming found in the trials. This makes me gravely thankful for the hard times for they form me. And deeply appreciative for the mercies that come in the seasons of relief for they help me heal and give strength to then implement the lessons learned through the previous fire.
I would gladly exchange the pain for joy on any day. I don’t like being sick; I don’t like being sad; and I really don’t like lose. Like most, I would much rather laugh than cry. But it seems only with these tools is the well dug for deeper gratitude, peace, and contentment. These trials seem to expand the hands which will eventually hold the blessings yet to come.
There are many people I deeply respect who have modeled this truth to me with their lives. While I’m quite sure they didn’t plan for their lives to be an example in how to hold pain and loss well, they nonetheless have taught me so much of grace in times of tears. And one who stands out to me today is my dear friend, “Jane.”
Despite the tearing and the ripping of hopes and dreams, she walks faithful… gracious.. and beautiful.
I’m not sure if chairs can ever effectively model life lessons, yet it seems to be my current mode of communication. And so here is the process I used to symbolize such formative loss through the upholstering of the Jane chair:
Taking loose scraps, I quilted fabric to form the yardage which would clothe this chair in beauty. Salvaging discarded remnants, a new piece of cloth was born.
And while one would most likely much rather have just been made with the fabric in the first place and not have to go through the season of being set aside and seemingly forgotten, nonetheless… the piece is somehow– mysteriously– made more beautiful through the time of stretching and discomfort. And so it seems, out of the times of life being torn to shreds, beauty can appear. Unexpectedly; uniquely.
Much love and respect goes out to those currently facing trials of a unique making. While hope does live, so does the current pain. And for that the tears roll…
May grace be present in your journey. And hope be your reward.
And may the scattered pieces of your life slowly transform into a radiant cloth covering you in beauty in the end.