“Why do you seem so unhappy?”
“You always seem angry or sad? You have everything you say you’ve wanted, but seems like it’s not enough.”
And that was how the conversation went…somewhat.
It’s true. I can’t name a dream that I have asked for that I don’t have. I mean…I’d take a personal jet to make travel quicker, but we’re talking practical things, answered prayers. I am writing about the things I prayed for, begged for, longed for…
I have a loving husband who supports and cares for irrational, often unlovable me. Though he may often find himself baffled by me (I baffle myself), he loves me just the way I am.
I have the kids I’ve always wanted. The same ones that for years I never thought I could have. I’ve battled infertility. I’ve wondered, hurt, and cried…before I was blessed. Now through tremendous blessings that I don’t understand, I am expecting baby #5. I have the big family I’ve always dreamed about.
I am a stay-home mom. I’m able to homeschool my children. I’m blessed to be the one to teach them, to experience the joy and excitement as they learn new things. I miss none of their milestones. Not one. I’ve been there for every single “first.”
I have our dream home in the mountains. I can see a mountain out my bedroom window. State and National Parks are our backyard, our playground…
And I still cry.
I still get stressed.
I still fail to see all the gifts that I DO have…and all too often.
How do I miss them? How do I get so bogged down that they go unnoticed, unappreciated?
I was having a conversation with a friend the other day. We were talking about puzzles, how getting them finished was a mission when she had the most profound thought. It was just what I needed to hear…she amazed herself. Don’t you love it when that happens? You know where the revelation came from…no question!
She told me:
You have all the pieces to your puzzle, it’s just not finished being put together.
Like her, an unfinished puzzle drives me crazy. Once I open the box and the pieces are on the table, I have to get it DONE…NOW!!! No sleep until it’s complete. I’m OCD like that…
How true! How right she was, though I’m not sure I have ALL of my pieces. I may have all I need right now, but I’m pretty sure that my puzzle is going to keep growing.
The trouble with my “life puzzle” is that I am so focused on getting started, making them for, moving towards some semblance of order and completion, that I am losing sleep, stressing myself, burning out. I’m failing to enjoy the process.
Am I even supposed to be the one putting it together? It can’t be a job for JUST me. I mean, I don’t even have the ability to see the whole picture. I have no idea what it’s supposed to look like when it’s finished. That doesn’t stop me, I find myself, all too often, trying to grab up as many pieces as I can and force them together as quickly as possible. Patience is NOT my strong suit.
In my haste to get the puzzle “completed,” or at least making some kind of sense, I am forcing pieces where they don’t even belong. I’m stressing my self, losing joy and focus. It’s exacerbating…
I feel like I don’t have any control because quite frankly…
I DON’T have control.
Instead of just sitting back, enjoying the beauty of my puzzle as it comes together, piece by piece, I am worrying myself that the pieces I DO have on the table are going to fall off, get lost. It looks as if nothing is happening, no progress being made because I’m focusing on areas that God may not even be working on right now.
Perhaps He doesn’t put all the border pieces together first. He may not work on similar patterns and colors. He may work a little here, a little over there…wherever He knows needs the work done FIRST.
Ultimately, only He knows for sure.
It’s coming together, piece by piece. I can see evidence when I slow down, take my focus off of what’s NOT done and look at what is.
I pray that in life, I can not rush the completion of MY puzzle. I want to enjoy the process. I want to watch slowly as it pieces together. After all, once it is finished and framed, doesn’t that mean that my journey is complete?
Isn’t my framed puzzle a memorial, a collection of ALL of my pieces? Me, a completed picture? And when I am complete, isn’t that the end?
Once my puzzle is hanging, it is a reminder of my life for those behind me to view…
I want to enjoy my construction, as fast or as slow as it takes place, and I pray that I leave behind a beautifully framed piece to inspire those who travel in my wake.