There are a lot of things in my life, and I am betting in yours too, that work together to build a picture. A picture of me, or at least a version of me.
Each piece of that picture calls different things to the forefront of my life, each one encourages different traits and strengths. And each one carries its own baggage that must be dealt with before anything else can be done.
I am finding that how I order these pieces of my very own personal LAURA puzzle makes a huge impact on how I go about my day-to-day, and how I end up feeling at the end of the hustle and bustle.
Sometimes, I am MOM. I place my identity in the hands of my children, so when they mess up, or when they get frustrated, I feel it as if it were a personal attack on me. I see their success as my own success, and find myself placing a burden too large on their tiny shoulders. It’s an important piece of my life, but not the most important one.
Sometimes, I am WIFE. I place my identity in the hands of my husband and my ability to honor him and our vows. When he gets frustrated or anxious, I feel it as if it were a personal blow on my ability to keep things steady and even. I allow his happiness to dictate my own, which is unfair and unasked for. It’s an important piece of my life, but not the most important one.
Sometimes, I am WORKER BEE. I place my ducks in a row, whether it be with my business or my writing, and if they don’t stack up correctly, or are not as big as THOSE ducks over there in my neighbors yard, I consider the whole thing a lost cause, something that I could never measure up to. And just like that, my identity becomes a black-hole, where money and energy goes in, and nothing comes out. It’s an important piece of my life, but not the most important one.
And sometimes, I am a CHILD OF GOD. And my worth is found in absolutely nothing I do. It is found in a low and constant murmur in my ear, that says again and again, You are Mine, You are Mine. It is found in a plan that was not my own, it is found in a sacrifice that was not my own, it is found in a redemptive power that is now my own. There is absolutely nothing I could do to either bolster or diminish this particular piece of my puzzle. In fact, this piece is all edges, a puzzle all on its own. I stand back, and for a moment, I am dismayed because it looks nothing like me. I worry that it strips the importance from the other pieces, waiting on the side. And yet, there in the complete picture of this piece is me, being blessed with the chance to breathe the air of this world and know the love of its Creator. There is me, being shown glimpses of this whole and complete love in the broken, but still beautiful, loves that I am surrounded by. There is me, being offered time and time again, chances to breathe this broken love into other people’s lives, all the while pointing to this other picture who is NOT ME, but HIM. Because it’s Him, it’s Him. It’s all Him.
This world is constantly handing me pieces that it thinks should be a part of my puzzle. And so a puzzle I remain, always on the edge of losing everything. But I must persist, must constantly remind myself that it is ME that is holding out my hand, waiting for the world to tell me a little bit more about myself. Because I FORGET. I forget that I am whole, I forget that that wholeness is found in something Other. I forget that any pieces that this world gives me only serve to cover up that which is already complete.
Sisters. You are already complete. Enjoy the beauty of this world, enjoy the moments of genuine love that you find, but don’t let it cover up your true self. Your true self that was swept up in the great love of your Creator. It was whitewashed and made anew in a moment where this world revolted against its own Maker. Don’t forget the simplicity and absolute power of the only piece that matters in this puzzle of your life. See yourself as whole, because you are. See yourself as beautiful, because you are. See yourself as loved, because you are. See yourself as precious, because you are.
You are, because He is.