If your answer is “yes,” I hear you. We all hear you. It’s that kind of an era.
My short response would be: Don’t fear — God is excellent at putting things back together if you’ll just let Him. But, while I have lived long enough to know for myself that this is true, sometimes a story helps. So, here one is…
At the beginning of this summer — when we were still feeling bruised from more than a year of living COVIDly — our first-born daughter and I were confronted by a pile of what looked like laundry.
What it really was was the physical manifestation of an idea I had when our daughters were wee babies. I’d saved bits and pieces of clothes that were too worn out to share to someday turn them into memory quilts. I envisioned (and made) one for myself out of their baby stuff. It’s pink and literally ruffled in places. I flop it across my lap if I’m watching cooking shows in the deep of winter. Cozy.
But, I also wanted to make a quilt large enough to wrap up in for each of them when it was time to launch. Fledging is exciting, but so hard. I imagined their quilts being a tangible connection to the comforts of home and family no matter where life might take them in those early years of adulthood.
That was all well and good until we hit this summer and daughter No. 1 actually reached that point of near adulthood when decisions must be made. Big decisions that I’d love to gloss over as ever tweakable, but which I know will shape the rest of her life. (Does anyone pray like the parents of teens do?)
We began unfurling pants covered in tiny butterflies and PJs covered with a sheep print once dissed by a fellow middle schooler as “babyish.” The freed arms and legs suddenly morphed into chaotic tangles that couldn’t possibly be sorted out.
Could they? Could this random mess possibly turn into anything of value?
It could, as it turned out. The summer progressed. We wrestled the clothes into flat pieces, traced out four-inch squares and methodically cut out what were now recognizable as quilt pieces. It took a couple of months just to finish this part of the project — and tuck away random arms and legs to do it all again when daughter No. 2 reaches this same stage.
At the end of the summer — just as the grace of God began to reveal a path that’s a remarkable match to who my daughter is — there came a day when she sat on her bedroom floor just like she did when she was little. She moved all those squares here and there, finally reaching a point at which she was pleased with the pattern of things.
As we’ve progressed into fall, that assemblage of squares on the floor has transformed into tidy stacks of quilt blocks that I’m now joining with long strips of cloth leftover from our mask-making stint of spring 2020.
It’s true. That pile of laundry, wild thing that it was, turned into pieces. And, those pieces turned into orderly blocks. And, by the grace of God and in time, those blocks will turn into a quilt top that will eventually be stitched over with a combination of figurative love and literal scripture.
That’s how God works, dear daughter. You can count on it, dear readers.
He moves from chaos to order. He moves from pieces to peace. Just give Him the time and space in your life to do so and you will learn this for yourself. Which is, of course, the very best way to learn anything.