"Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me."
I love words. I love writing. God made me that way. I love words written across walls, words that will adhere to this and that, and words on plaques. I love yellowed pages written in calligraphy, block print, cursive, type...all the above. Words say things. Describe things. Convey messages of love or hate. Words. They're everywhere.
So, when we started redecorating our back room, I bought a package of "words" in the little bundle themed "family." I could hardly wait until my hubby finished with the fresh coat of paint so I could start "wording." (Yes, that's my idea of working!) I placed the large, horizontal frame containing a crocheted rendition of our family's last name at the very top. Then, under that, I placed pictures of my three, jean-clad children when they were between the ages of about 5 and 9. Under those pictures, I placed another picture of them taken more recently. And, of course, I included canvas pictures I was given for Christmas of my two wonderful grands. I stepped back to look at my arrangement and smiled in satisfaction. Then came time for the words to be added...
Heart. Smile. Kind. Strength. forever. Devotion. Laughter. Traditions. HOME. Hug.
I won't bore you with all the words I began to creatively place here and there. However, as I began placing those words amid the pics, my mind began to remember, my heart began to feel moments from the past. After placing several words, I turned to my husband and said, "We worked hard for this wall!" I wasn't talking about the work we were doing currently either.
Kiss. Treasure. Love. Together. adore. FAITH. honor. HOPE.
As the memories flipped through my mind, I smiled, I laughed, my heart was filled with joy. Then, I became more serious. I held a tear back. My heart ached. Bittersweet. The truth is...there are some words left behind in the package that I couldn't place up on that wall. Simply because life happens.
My thoughts turned to other families who might open this same word package I did. What words would they include in such an undertaking? What words might be eliminated? What words might bring joy or painful memories? I dare say, the creators of this package just stereo-typed the family ideal. They had good intentions. A family should consist of all those lovely words. Yet, we all have our own stories. I thought of more words that I would have included in this package...
Restoration. FORGIVENESS. Scars. Redemption. 2nd Chances.
Are you feeling me? I'm sure you have your own list of words you'd use as well as ones you'd omit. We all do. There are some words we run away from, some labels we'd rather not claim...
The beautiful thing is, the author of our story has words which are just waiting to be added to our life wall. It's true, we work hard for our display walls. During that work, however, the Lord patiently teaches, woos and tends to the wounds left behind by the ugliness life brings our way. He takes the wounds and touches them with His healing balm and turns them into scars. Trophies of moments we've made it through only by the grace and mercy of God. He mends and puts back together. After all, it's really His story we're living out.
I can now look at my wall in complete satisfaction and rejoice as I remember. Here's a little secret though: I haven't always been able to do that. It's taken time and healing and much heart searching and releasing to the One who cares and is in the business of making all things beautiful. It might not look exactly like we dreamed it would. There might be scars. However, God has His own set of words not only for us but for our situations...
Set Free. DELIVERED. Righteousness of God. FRIEND. Justified. WHOLE.
Don't let those words you left behind in the package define you or your situations. God has His own set of WORDS He longs to proclaim about you and your circumstances. He has your name written down on the palm of His hand. Hold on to His promises and display every word possible on your wall for all to see the goodness and faithfulness of God. When you share your story, you're sharing His story.
Be encouraged. There is beauty in brokenness. Now, grab you some WORDS of hope for you and yours and hold on tight. God sees your walls.
Share a bit of your story in the comment section if you'd like.