Beautiful Tapestries

My daughter began to learn a valuable lesson last week. It is a lesson she will process the whole of her life. I know this to be true because I continue to struggle with the same deep message…

We arrived at the ballet studio for a Saturday afternoon Christmas party. Ella and her ballerina sisters gathered to paint pointe shoes as decorations for the tree. The girls received their instructions, and the festivities began. My daughter has a creative soul and relishes in the artistic process. She had been talking about this party for weeks.

The idea of a reindeer pointe shoe became the vision. Thrilled her reindeer would be fabulous, Ella rushed to paint the shoe. But plans change. The discovery of no brown paint led to immediate frustration in my daughter. She took a deep breath, sighed a deep sigh, and began a redesign.

An angel. This was the newest design idea. Acceptance of the newest creation was difficult, but she moved forward. Until…until there was no white paint. I believe her foot actually stomped on the ground. With eyes big as saucers and lips pursed, she decided, begrudgingly, on a gold angel with white wings.

Alas, the gold couldn’t erase the earlier penciled in reindeer. Disaster loomed. I tried to calm, assuage, persuade. Her plans dashed against the floor. All hope of saving the artwork seemed lost.

Finally, a light. Flowers became the saving grace. A pointe shoe garden. Tiny rose buds filled the toe, covered the penciled-in reindeer. The flower garden surfaced more beautiful than the caricatured Christmas icon would have ever been. My ballerina delighted in her beautiful creation. A lesson began to form for both, mother and daughter.

Life doesn’t follow our plans. It weaves threads of challenge and pain into our life-tapestries. Brilliant tapestries that hold our stories while a myriad of threads seem to darken the patterns on a whim.

Frustration builds when ideas for our designs do not match the Weaver’s ultimate plan. What do we do when the tapestry of our lives begins to look so very different than we believe it should? What happens when the unplanned threads of life mar our perceived picture of the beautiful?

But what if there is a vision for beauty we can’t see? What if our tapestry is to be more amazing than our minds could ever begin to imagine? What if the dark threads are needed for that beauty?

Imagine, for a moment that the dark, unexpected threads come together to produce beauty unfathomable. Plans change. Life is altered in a breath. The Master Weaver begins using a new thread, weaving into you something—something you may push against. Heaving with all your strength. Shoving back in protest.

We yell out, “Don’t change my tapestry! I didn’t ask for this!”

We forget. We forget to expect. We forget to expect the beautiful.

But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9

You see, my sisters, the Master Weaver already sees the finished portrait of our beautiful lives. He also knows what it will take to get us there. Like my daughter, we sometimes plan tapestries filled with cartoons. These caricatures could never compare to the beautiful, garden-filled tapestries the Creator of the universe has planned for us.

Our eyes cannot begin to imagine, our ears cannot begin to fathom, our hearts cannot begin to comprehend the beauty of the life God has planned for those of us who love Him. We may never completely understand the heart-wrenching threads we must bear in order for our tapestries to display the glory He intends, but we have hope.

Our hope lies in the finished glory that our life-tapestries will one day become. Our hope breathes the knowledge that God has not completed our stories. Our hope resides in the Savior of the universe and His power to create beauty in us. We plan simple cartoon reindeer while the Master Weaver has designed intricate gardens draped in beauty for the portrait of our lives.

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12 Responses to Beautiful Tapestries

  1. Kim Peterson says:

    I cannot even tell you how much this applied to my life, particularly today. You are such a talented writer. Thank you for helping me see God’s perspective through your writing.

  2. Shannon carter says:

    Had to share this one on facebook immediately! The way you take verses & apply them is amazing!

  3. brandy says:

    Beautifully written. I love it. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Shannon "Bree's cousin" says:

    Wow! You did it again!! Plans certainly changed for my marriage in the beginning and I questioned and pushed back on a VERY difficult challenge–even questioning if the marriage was the right decision. Others questioned why I held, as steadfast as I could, to “in sickness” line of our wedding vows. I hoped (and sometimes struggled to believe) that there was something greater and another failed marriage wasn’t part of God’s plan for me. Aunt Carol believed too!! Now just look at my FB page and the proof of my life-tapestry is there. Alan is healthy and committed to his recovery and we now have God’s greatest blessing in Andrew!

    This is a hard lesson to learn and one that we may know deep in our hearts as Christians, but having a conscious reminder of “God has a greater plan than you can imagine from this pain” is what makes this devotional so powerful.

    Thanks for sharing your life with us Heather!

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Shannon! I have goose bumps! God is definitely walking right beside you, holding your hand, weaving your beautiful story! Because of you, other women, wives and mothers, will be encouraged and strengthened. Your walk inspires others too. Love you, friend!

  5. candiss fortenberry says:

    I love reading your post! It’s like having a heart to heart with you over coffee….and that makes me very happy! Oh and I’m so glad I can’t predict and even more, control life’s twist and turns. It was after all an unexpected change that brought me to a Florida town and gave me my most treasured friendships……. That would certainly include you my friend!

  6. Lea says:

    Oh, this was wonderful and such a great reminder for me. God can make all things beautiful in His time, truth but oh, so hard to remember when the way looks so bleak. Christmas blessings to you!