The phrase, "Gail, what do you see?" has been floating in my head for weeks now. I titled this blog about 6 weeks ago and it has been sitting in my future blogs folder with no content. But God has been continually putting the phrase in front of me through scripture, sermons, conversations and many of my personal thoughts. So today I am going to sit and think about "What do I see?"
In Jeremiah 1:11 God is asking Jeremiah, "What do you see?" C. H. Spurgeon states that, “Before you can make an impression upon another person’s heart, you must have an impression made upon your own soul. You must be able to say, concerning the Truth of God, “I see it,” before you can speak it so that your hearers shall also see it. Jeremiah 1:11,12
I have seen so much in the last four months since Ryan went to live with Jesus. I have been given new lenses to see life with an entirely different perspective. My perspective has been washed with a mixture of pain and beauty. If I ask myself right now, “What is the biggest impression God has made on my heart through this journey?” I would have to say that I see my life as a tapestry that began at my birth and will end with Eternity. The end of my journey wasn’t being married or having kids or owning a home or finding a great job, and it wasn’t even when something tragic happened in my life…..the end will be Eternity. My focus must be Eternity.
Ryan was a strong and bold strand that ran through my tapestry for 20 years. He created some pretty incredible patterns and at times I wanted to tie him off to keep his strand from going off in the wrong direction. But God knew. He knew where Ryan's strand needed to weave and what kind of pattern he was to make. As I was thinking through this whole idea of my life being a tapestry my original thoughts were that Ryan’s strand has ended in my tapestry. But that is not true at all. It is still very present as his life and death is still having a ripple effect. I imagine that will fade throughout the years, but there are many strands coming off of his strand from the lives he impacted in life and death. These strands will always be connected to Ryan's strand but will begin to form their own patterns with perhaps the whisper of Ryan’s strand weaved beside them. I find this line of thinking so freeing and comforting; a tapestry full of experiences and people that never truly end because the weaved whisper of experiences and people will always be a part of who we are and make up this very moment.
I wonder how many moments I have impacted by being in other people’s tapestries. It is important to me that “I see” so that as my soul is impacted, I can make an impression upon other people’s hearts and become a valuable, not damaging, strand in their masterpiece. Doing this will also bring other strands into my own tapestry making it strong and beautiful, vibrant with color.
My tapestry, as of now, consists of some pretty beautiful patterns that were created from both pain and joy. I receive each strand, pattern and color as a part of God’s master plan for my life; the plan that leads me to Eternity as I recognize God as the master weaver in my life.
I was told that Ryan’s last words were, “I am at peace.” That might be hard to read, but it warms my heart. Ryan’s tapestry was filled with strong and weak strands created from many moments of sorrow and joy. But in the end, because he chose Jesus as his weaver, he entered into Eternity with a peace and a smile. Oh that we would all see God as or weaver and truly trust Him with our tapestry, even when it is hard.