“If I’m patient, all the pieces of my life come together to make a beautiful picture.”
It’s the time of year when most people are looking both forward and backward at their life-forward toward things they would like to change and backward at things they either enjoyed or regret. I’ve been doing some of the same, and as I look back over the past year, there are things that have changed for the better, but, if I’m totally honest, I felt a bit tired when I really assessed the past year.
It was a year of many changes for our family with Hubby and I both taking positions at the church we attend. These jobs really have changed what our weeks look like. That’s OK, but I often found myself thinking, “So this is what (whatever season or event, pick one-any one) looks like with Hubby a half hour away every day of the week.” I get it. Change isn’t bad, but change is change, and with it comes a whole host of, UHEM…changes. In many ways, this year was one of starts and jerks and restarts and trying something different to see if it would work better than the last thing we tried.
Starts. Jerks. Restarts.
That was 2015.
Back to what I was saying-I felt a bit tired looking over the year. But as I kept looking, assessing, and asking questions, the Lord did a good thing. He showed me places in my life that have been changing and where He’s been growing me in this crazy year. And He showed me where He’s been working in my life that I hadn’t even been focusing on!
Then He did a REALLY good thing. He reminded me about process.
About a week ago, my daughter and I pulled out a puzzle and have been putting it together. One evening as I was working on it, I was getting so frustrated with not being able to find the pieces that I needed to finish a section. I was at the point, you know, of feeling annoyed and wanting to stop, but the dang puzzle WASN’T gonna beat me, so I wouldn’t stop. Yes, that point at which Jesus loves to show me things about how I’m really not seeing the whole deal.
He asked why I was annoyed about not finding the pieces. He asked why I so badly wanted to finish the puzzle. Was I planning to leave it sitting in the middle of the living room all winter to look at after it was finished? Did I want to finish it so I could tear it apart and put it back into the box? WHY was I doing the puzzle in the first place? I had never processed why I wanted to put the puzzle together-I just decided to do it. But as He kept pressing in to my heart, I realized that the only reason I was doing the puzzle was that I enjoy the process-the process of finding the correct pieces and putting them together, watching the picture literally coming together in front of my eyes. I enjoy the satisfaction and celebration when we FINALLY find an elusive piece! (Tay is super good at finding those pieces!)
Folks, this is what life is all about. The process. The PROCESS.
God is always working with us and in us to put together the picture of our lives that He has purposed for us. Sometimes He’s working on one corner, next He’s working in the middle. At times, He leaves out a piece that feels really crucial to us but actually benefits us more at a later time.
He’s always working.
Life is a process, and if we get impatient or frustrated with that, we are missing the point. Joy and peace are found in embracing the journey even when the journey feels ugly, difficult, or pointless.
Maybe you feel like I do looking back over the past year-kinda glad that it’s behind me and hoping 2016 won’t have as many jerks as 2015. Or maybe you hope to have another year as amazing as 2015.
Either way, let’s remember that life is a process, and even if it feels like everything is a mess, there is joy and peace to be had!
How have you learned to find peace and joy in the process of your life?