That looks nice, you say. Love the color. That yarn must be so soft. But . . . what is it?
I hang my head. It’s supposed to be a baby blanket.
I’m really disappointed. I put hours into that baby blanket. My husband stopped at a craft store Just so I could buy some specialty yarn and it wasn’t cheap. I had one entire skein left over from my project and I wanted to do something nice – a baby blanket for one of the new moms in our church.
Then it didn’t turn out.
Have you had any craft or cooking projects that didn’t turn out as you had hoped? How did you feel?
My pseudo-baby blanket reminds me of chunks of my life. Days, months, even periods of years that didn’t come out the way I would have liked. There’s been a couple of ministries that shined full of promise only to end in heartache. Magazine articles and book deals that blew up in my face. Friendships that I wish I had crafted with more care and with a different pattern of behavior. Years of my childhood broken by divorce and dysfunction. Ministry programs that, to be honest, bombed.
So what do I do with my expensive but useless piece of gnarled yarn? I could unravel it and make something different. I could throw it away and move on to another project, chalking it up to a good experience. After all, I often told my girls in their first failed cooking experiences, “It’s the process, not the product.” My process on that blanket taught me how to increase and decrease row by row. I immediately used the same technique on a pair of dishcloths. I – and others at my knitting group – enjoyed the sense of creation and beauty of the yarn while I was making it.
My knitting teacher assures me I don’t have to unravel or throw it away. There’s a third option. We’ve found another scrap of yarn enough to make a knitted edging. (I don’t crochet – so don’t mention it!) If we add a two-inch border, she says, that will hide the unsightly lip at one corner and make the whole piece large enough to be a decent baby blanket. It will never be what I envisioned at first. But it will be bigger and possibly better. It’s redeeming the unacceptable and recovering the lost time.
Unlike knitting, I can’t unravel the experiences of my life and start over again. As much as I’d like, I can’t dump the painful memories into a refuse pile and move on, acting like they never happened. Ask any World War Two veteran how well that technique works. But I can, with God’s help, reclaim the lost years, making my life bigger, better, and more beautiful.
I am amazed at God’s ability to recreate our lives into something He can use. Not usually a fan of the King James version, I do love the way it translates Romans 8:28:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
hat one word, TOGETHER, grabs me. God holds all the events, circumstances, tragedies, crises, and moment gone awry like a bundle of loose string, untangles the knots, and weaves and knits them together into a beautiful life just fit for Him. His glory shines through our cracks, turning the tarnish into glistening gold. He brings His good into my bad, restoring the harvest from the ravages of famine.
He heals the wounds of childhood, rebuilds after the destruction from war-torn marriages and fragmented friendships, and restores discouraged spirits after messed-up ministries. We become stronger for the mending because God has made all things work TOGETHER for GOOD to those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose. For our good and for His glory.
As my friend, Pam, once told me, God wastes nothing. The moments, days and years of our lives are not wasted or wrecked. I love the words of Isaiah 55:10,11:
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, So is my word that goes out from my mouth:It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
God can make something beautiful out of your hard moments. For your good and His glory.
I can hardly wait to show you my completed baby blanket.