I read this post by Mary deTurris Poust on her blog Not Strictly Spiritual Friday. Something deeply resonated in my heart, particularly after something I said earlier that morning. In some way I wanted to be part of something, a particular group of people. In an effort to not be whiny I’ll leave it at that.
Mary’s post resonated deeply. I’m also wondering why I didn’t see her column in CNY. She says, “Humility has never been my strong suit, which seems somewhat odd to me because I’m not a bragger or a diva. In fact, I trend toward the low end of the self-esteem spectrum.” Instead of thinking “of my self, less” I often think “less of my self”. This thinking can spiral right down to “I’m horrible, I’m not as good at this as I think I am.” and prayers such as “God why did you give me this gift/talent if You’re not going to open the pathway for me to do it” or “God why did you give me this talent if ???”
I’m thinking in this moment have I squandered this gift by giving into Pride? Have I made this gift all about me? When did this squandering start? What is it I need to do to stop squandering and start cherishing? How do I give this gift back to God? So essentially I’m examining my conscience. I do feel bad that spoke the words of wanting to be part of that particular group, in part because of the way I did it and with whom I did because, honestly, it wasn’t appropriate.
I love this gift of quilt making. I love that this gift has allowed me to enter into the lives of so many quilt makers. To maybe reflect back to them their God-given dignity. I’ve been able to meet so many people who have given me the opportunity to grow in some way. I’m going to share something brutally honest here, it often hurts physically when a quilter tells me that she can’t do something because she doesn’t have my talent. My heart aches because I can see the talent. I long for the quilter to see that talent. Perhaps on my part this is where Pride steps in…thinking I can totally change this perception. Perhaps my job, my part of this work is just to speak the words that they can, show them how, and move forward Trusting deeply that God can do the work, in His Time, in His Way.
Mary shares later “He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” (2Cor 12:9) Do I believe those words, or do I hear them and nod my head, all the while setting out to stake my claim, get what’s coming to me, avoid humiliation at all costs. Yeah that. I sometimes think that I have something amazing coming to me because… I can list a whole bunch of reasons, however when I look at those reasons quilting once again becomes all about me, not about the people in my life, in my path. I keep thinking in one situation is there anything that could have been done differently. Where does my responsibility begin and end. I also think why, oh why??? What the hell did I do to deserve this! And then the image of the Cross with Jesus Crucified comes to mind. It’s not always about deserving what you get, sometimes it’s about something else and while being caught up in something that really has nothing to do with me. I’m trying to figure out how to respond with grace and mercy. I’m failing miserably. Maybe I’m not.
Maybe, just maybe I need to pause, reflect, listen, go through this and trust what I know and have experienced. God writes straight with crooked lines. That I need to show up, prayerfully, and do the work I’m being called to do. I need to trust that the necessary time will happen in the right time.
God’s grace is sufficient.