When life doesn’t behave, we can trust that our Creator – the ultimate repurposer – has a plan better than we could have hoped for. Inside: Hope if you’re facing difficulties in life.
“It’s amazing how you can get so far from where you had planned,
and yet find it was exactly where you needed to be.”
I pinned this quote to one of my Pinterest boards. It leaped off the screen one night in between “40 ways to tie a scarf” and “31 organizing tips to get your life under control.” I pinned them all. Don’t laugh. I bet you’ve pinned something similar.
Well, depending on who you are or where you live, you might not be as interested in scarf origami (which, let’s face it – that’s what anything beyond the three basic knots becomes).
But I bet you would have paused on the organizing tips and lingered on the quote. How do I know? You have a pulse.
We all have visions of that moment in time when we will have mastered the art of living, complete with the stuff of life completely tamed and under control. #PerfectLife
How about: #NotEvenClose
The Repurposed Life
I initially planned to name this blog “The Repurposed Life.” At the time, my life had taken some unexpected turns and things didn’t look anything like what I had expected. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t the plan I crafted.
I went with a different name, but I did a lot of research on the concept of repurposing. In almost providential preparation for what lay in my near future, I learned all about “trash to treasure” and “upcycling.”
I began to realize everywhere you look — old is the new “new.” Junk is in. The more extensive the rust, the higher the price.
What was once in the backyard rusting is now in the family room under a lamp. It’s being reclaimed, revitalized, and renewed.
Four months after that research, I lay in a bed recovering from an emergency and rusting inside. At the time, I would have given anything to go back to the previous “unexpected” version of my life. At least it had purpose.
It was a downward spiral; one that left me feeling completely useless and used up.
The circumstances aren’t important. Those vary significantly between us all. But this core sense of questioning if life still has meaning when things don’t turn out like we planned and we’re facing difficulties in life? Well, that’s something we can all gather around and unite over.
You thought you were the only one?
Oh, dear weary traveler ~ pull up a chair and let’s talk.
Facing difficulties in life
Chippy Paint and Rusted Parts
Every time I open up about the hard stuff of life, I receive emails, messages, and comments from many with similar thoughts:
“It’s like you were in my head.”
“You described exactly what I’m struggling with. How did you know?
“I thought I was the only one who thought that way.”
Most are surprised that someone else can put onto a screen the regular narrative running around in their head. Like we think we’re all alone in our doubt and discouragement while everyone else sails through life.
I imagine the enemy likes to convince us that’s true, but it’s not. For most of us …
The goals we prioritized a decade ago are now just a source of joking about “little did I know.”
The talents and passions we offered up to the Lord in the bright-eyed days of our younger years aren’t being used quite like we imagined.
We’re battered and bruised and worn and weathered. Our paint is chippy and our parts are rusting.
Sometimes, it even feels like we’re stuck in the backyard of life.
On the junk pile.
Without a shelter.
In a freezing hailstorm.
Purpose is elusive and value seems to be fading.
Can you relate?
Raise your hand to amen.
Now keep it there in praise and hallelujah ‘cause I’m about to testify and I could use a witness. (~smile)
What you need to know:
The Author is also the Authority
Let’s start with this:
We don’t get the final say on our lives or what is valuable, beautiful, and purposeful.
Life is one big repurposing act and the Lord God – the Creator of all — is the Ultimate Repurposer of lives.
This is true in the most important sense of the idea — as the gift of salvation transforms a life destined for eternal separation into one certain to be lived in the presence of Jesus.
And it is true also for the life lived while we still have breath. God is not only the Author of good, He is the Authority on good. And His goodness is neither created by our faith nor suspended by our doubt.
Where we see rust, our Redeemer sees a seasoned life less full of self and more primed for His purposes.
“Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are
yet inwardly we are
being renewed day by day. …
We pick at our chippy paint while our Creator notices we are finally acknowledging that perfection is not the goal.
… For our light and
are achieving for us
an eternal glory that
far outweighs them all. …
We sit in the rain, certain that all value is lost … until … we look up and feel the hands of the Universal Picker, gently lifting us up, taking us inside, and placing His light on our lives.
… So we fix our eyes
not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen. …
Just like the repurposed stuff of life is given new meaning, restored value, and a refined use it couldn’t have ever conceived, so the Master Craftsman works His plan with our broken dreams and surrendered goals.
… For what is seen
but what is unseen
(2 Cor. 4:16-18, NIV)
And we come to the place of embracing this reality:
“Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.”
Because it’s in the middle of brokenness where we truly reflect His power.
“But he said to me,
‘My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made
perfect in weakness.’
Therefore I will boast
all the more gladly
of my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ
may rest upon me.”
(2 Cor. 12:9)
Dear friend, God is not finished with you.
He’s never undone and never out of options.
You don’t have His perspective, but you have His promises.
He has purpose for your pain, grace for your weakness, and glory for your future.
Our mission here on earth may not look like what we hoped, but it will look like what He planned. And isn’t that what we desire most?
[Oh, you can put your hand down now.]
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Combat feelings of discouragement and brokenness when facing difficulties in life with survival-grade faith.