In second grade, the cover of my new reading book displayed a peacock made of colorful stitches. Like my previous texts, this one bore a single word.

Tapestry.

A Beautifully Woven Life - Jolene Underwood

We sat around our half circle table in our little chairs and cracked open our textbooks. Miss J. began to read and provide the explanations I needed, about what the word tapestry meant and what it had to do with this peacock.

She explained that in medieval times tapestries were used to cover the open windows of a castle. She shared how these heavy fabrics display a picture created by tedious, careful weaving. Multiple colors alternate at just the right places to create one solid image.

Yet, if you flipped it over you’d see something completely different. You’d see a messy lot of hanging threads and little resemblance to the true creation.

My Christian school teacher also likened a tapestry to the picturesque concept of God’s weaving in our lives. Each of us beautifully & colorfully created, like the peacock.

I would hear similar messages repeatedly over the years. Yet, I continually missed letting them hit home where needed.

Until recently.

In the last few years our family experienced a number of significant trials and changes. My emotions have been rocked and wrecked to the Nth degree. Throughout, God worked on my heart by revealing His presence and showing me things I needed to know.

He’s urged a deeper knowing of personal worth and value. And the treasure of being loved fully and unconditionally by Him.

God returned this stubborn heart to the message of tapestry.

I’ve lived most of my life believing that my feelings, my experiences and my thoughts were out of place, unworthy of attention and invalid. My head knows it’s not true, but my heart is a whole lot more stubborn. I keep trying to get on with life without being truly freed in the goodness God graciously gives.

I’m like a thread getting gnarled & knotted rather than freely flowing where I’m to go.

The Spirit often whispers words of truth to counter the lies I’ve believed. Words my heart needs. Words many of our hearts need. Words that free.

I begin to proclaim praise-filled truths like David spoke.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. - Psalm 139:13

Picture a hand-woven, elaborate tapestry created by a Master designer.

The artist begins with an image; he draws it out. The drawing is put behind warp threads, which are tightly held in place and run up and down. Directly onto the warp, the image is drawn again. The artist works behind the scenes focused on the messy back.

Each small section requires its own color and the side to side threads called weft are woven into place. Then they’re tamped down so they stay where they are supposed to be. Should the threads become unruly the entire picture would be thrown off course and the tapestry won’t turn out as planned. Without the weft tightly held in place, secured by the creator, the tapestry wouldn’t come together at all.

With persistence and hours and hours of weaving, the artist trusts the drawn-on design without seeing the finished work. He knows the final picture, but it isn’t until the project is complete that the work is fully seen.

Each of our lives are intricately woven by the master Creator. Each piece of our story is firmly put into the proper place. Without the dark, the light and the variety of colors used in turn, we would miss the fullness of the intended design. We would have empty places where an important piece belongs.

His tireless work on our behalf brings about beauty we won’t know until the day of completion. [Tweet "The Artist of our soul intimately touches every detail of our life tapestry."]

Father, thank you for reminding us that every thread, every step, every section is needed and lovely. Thank you for showing your delicate hand weaving us together over time until that final day.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous - how well I know it! - Psalm 139:14

 

with love,
Jolene

Oh friend, how glad I am to see you here. I'd love to have you join me in this messy journey of faith. Maybe you could share your stories too.

Together, each day, may we see the God who sees us. Trust the hand that leads us.

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