My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned
He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him. – Corrie ten Boom.
Corrie ten Boom is one of my Heroes of the Faith. I got a copy of her book The Hiding Place when I was in 6th grade, and I think I have read it 50 times in my life so far. In fact, I am sure I am due to read it again soon!! By the way, did you know Corrie’s full name was Cornelia?? If you know me, you may know why that strikes a chord with me!! 😉
Corrie traveled and spoke publicly after she was released from concentration camp, and she is often quoted. One of her illustrations is of a lovely embroidery of a crown (shown above). However, when one only looked at the back side of the cloth, all you could see were knots and threads and a big mess.
Oh how I wish I would just leave the choices up to Him like Corrie says at the end of her poem!! All too often I want to take the reigns of my life and turn things in my own favor – all the while making things even worse!!
I shared recently that last year – 2016 – was a really difficult year for me. Starting with choosing to leave my job in June after my position was down-sized, things just kind of spiraled out of control. It was during this time, I was also talking with a Christian financial counselor about what to do about our debt that just wasn’t going away very quickly. Unfortunately, the news on that front wasn’t very good either, and it isn’t really resolved to this day … but just remembering why and how we ended up with so many financial problems brought back so many memories of the other hard year 2013 when my husband gave up his beloved job; and we went through unemployment, his injury, not being able to sell our house, living apart for 6 months, and eventually moving to another state. There were several days last summer that I just had to lock myself into my little office or the bathroom and just sob. I haven’t felt that brokenhearted and hopeless in a long, long time!
Looking back, it probably wasn’t all that horrible as I imagined it to be, but at the time, it rocked my world. I finally had a job I loved and was looking forward to a summer with more time for my kids … and instead, I plunged myself into a new full-time job that took me away from my kids even more than ever.
I think I knew even before I started working at the home health agency last July that I wasn’t going to like working full-time again. And I was right. Granted, my attitude didn’t help … and I entered my new secular, corporate world with a judgmental, negative outlook.
Now, of course, the embroidery is turned over, and I’ve caught a glimpse of what God was doing with the tangled mess of my life. Granted, I am still a work in progress, but what a time of lesson-learning I’ve had these last 8 months.
Recently, my old pharmacist/boss called me – not to offer me my old job back (although we’d talked previously that he wanted to hire me back but just couldn’t) – but to tell me that the owner of a medical equipment company that he knew of had seen my resume on indeed.com – and called him to ask about me as a medical equipment (DME) biller. So, my old boss hooked the two of us up … and the most interesting things began to be revealed.
First of all, this man who owned the medical equipment business had an employee who is an alumni of the very same little Christian college that my husband and I graduated from!! Now that’s a small world because very few people have ever heard of Tennessee Temple University! Secondly, he himself went to a similar little Christian college in the same denomination for a semester, and he knew of many of the same preachers and other aspects of that circle of colleges that I know well. So, immediately, we had a connection. And not just the Christian college connection, but this man is a true believer – a Christian businessman who puts his faith and family before his company.
And then we began to talk about a job offer … He needed a biller – and it just so happens his company uses the same computer software that my old, down-sized position used. So, I already have the advantage of knowing the computer program. AND lastly, he was looking for a part-time biller …. and he was offering flexible hours. AND he was offering a slight pay raise from what I made at the home health agency.
I met with him and his wife one night about 3 weeks ago – and we immediately connected, not just about the job – but about our faith and our families.
Oh, and I got the job …. and I start next Monday, February 20th. Somewhere between 8 and 9 a.m. … I can start and I can leave somewhere between 3 and 4 p.m. … and I can take off 2 hours or 4 hours or whatever, if I need to run errands or go to my kids’ program or just have my hair done.
And so, at least in the job arena, God has shown me the beautiful picture He was working on while I bided my time in the “wilderness” of a secular job … where I learned a lot about myself – mainly that I can be extremely negative and judgmental and pout-y. I spent the first 2 months or so at this job just being angry that I had to work full-time and feeling sorry for myself all while judging my non-Christian co-workers for their worldy life styles.
Yeh, some Christian example I was!! Then I heard this sermon at a church we were visiting, and the speaker mentioned how some people just hated the job they were in … but instead of wanting to escape, they saw it as a mission field. And while I didn’t become super employee of the month, I did repent and started seeing my co-workers as people who needed Jesus. People who didn’t know what it was like to live godly or to know the blessing and hope of having a Father to trust in. And I hope that in my last few months at my job, I was a little bit more salt and light than the little black rain cloud I had come in as.
I am leaving my old job with (I hope) a few new friends … people who did not grow up like me, who don’t live like I do, who don’t even believe like I do … but people for whom Jesus died. People who are trying to find purpose and work hard and deal with all the things life throws at them. Maybe I showed them just a little glimpse of what it is like when you let go … and let God take control.