Recently my mom cleaned out her attic and loaded me up with boxes of things of mine she had saved over the years. It took me hours to look through all of it – there were countless journals, pictures, poems, song lyrics, artwork, schoolwork, church bulletins, trophies, certificates, letters received and letters I wrote and never sent. Years of memories flooded back, and the experience was like watching a movie of all of the bits and pieces of my life with all its youthful hopes and dreams. The first 20 years of my journey with the Lord was laid out before me. But over the following days I noticed a sense of unrest had come over my spirit. Why had my glance over my life, so to speak, become a point of stumbling and brought a feeling of loss? Instead of feeling blessed by what has been primarily a happy life, I felt grief, and I found myself asking the Lord a question I had asked in my spirit many times, but never put words to before.
“What do I do with all of this, Lord? What do I make of this?”
Many times it feels like I am sitting down to do a puzzle, with purpose to try to make something meaningful of the random pieces. Yet, each piece of my life seems incongruent and ill-fitting with the rest. A strange conglomeration of experiences, giftings, interests, pains, gains, denominations and people… that somehow all add up to make me, me. I often think the Lord has revealed how a certain piece will fit in the picture of my life only to find I am wrong, and it doesn’t fit the way I think it should, or could. Sometimes I anticipate Him redeeming a relationship, experience or loss in a certain way, but it doesn’t look like what I expect. It’s like looking at myself in a mirror that’s cracked. Though my question of the Lord was made in earnest, I have realized it is the wrong question. Or at least, there is a better question to ask.
When some area of my life feels, lost, wasted, or confusing, it’s an opportunity for the Lord to put a spotlight on my heart and point out the areas where I have wrongly placed identity and confidence – an opportunity for me to instead ask, “How can I experience You in this, Lord?” This slight reframing of the question leads to peace instead of confusion. It takes away confidence in my flesh – my feeling of control and what I have known. It places my trust in the only Place it is truly found – Christ. His Cross is where all of humanity’s fragmentation and incongruence meet. The perfect fusion of law and grace, loss and gain, failure and triumph, sin (ours) and perfection (His), glory and shame, time and eternity, authority and submission, longing and fulfillment, God and man – to name a few.
“For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth, or in Heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.” – Colossians 1:19
We are fragmented, but He is fullness, and when we subject our experiences not to our “own understanding” (Prov. 3:5), but to the goal of knowing Him, we find His peace in every conflicting place.
May we surrender every piece of our fragmented lives to His glory, as we wait in hope for the day when He redeems all things!
Bio: I’m Lindsey Martin, wife to Roger, and mama to Hosea and baby #2, due in August! Roger is a Gladys native and we lived there as newlyweds for almost 3 years. We currently reside in Culpeper, VA where Dayspring is our home church. Roger works for Golden Rule Builders, and we live and help out at a Christian kids camp called, Camp Red Arrow. Some of my favorite things are music, decorating, coffee, and ministry to the elderly. Speaking of coffee- I plan to contribute some cold brew coffee for Refresh attendees!