As most of you may know, I am a relatively new blogger for Stitches. I am both honored and humbled to be asked to join all of these other ladies who are regular contributors. I think what most intrigued me about this blog was the name, "Stitches - Watching how God stitches our lives together". What a great thing and it so perfectly aligns with what I am passionate about - stitches, or more correctly, knitting. If you know me at all, you know that I am a knitaholic. I always have a project with me, and have multiple projects in progress. I have a stash of yarn which is embarrassingly large - just so I can grab a new ball of yarn and start a project at a moment's notice. Going to the movies - great, grab a hat. Carpool - maybe a chance to work on at least a row or two of an afghan. Cartrip - yeehaw, but don't ask me to drive because that is perfect knitting time. The greatest thing about my passion for knitting is that, over the years, God has used this passion to bless others through Yarns of Hope, a charity knitting/crochet group that makes hats, scarves, blankets, etc. for cancer and pediatric patients.
This fall, our Yarns of Hope group has started a bible study called "Knit Together: Finding God's Pattern for Your Life" by Debbie Macomber. What a great truth that God has a pattern for our lives! How much uncertainty this fact alleviates! And, of course, this goes perfectly with the whole idea behind the Stitches blog as well - isn't that amazing how God knits (pun intended) all of this together?!? Let's think about that for a minute.
When you first begin any project, whether it be knitting, crochet, sewing, painting, home improvement, literally anything, to be successful you need a pattern or plan. Now, it can be elaborate or simple, grand or small in scale, detailed or just general guidelines, but to insure your success in the project, you must have an idea of where to begin and what the steps are along the way. I love to make chemo hats and most often use a very simple rolled brim pattern. I have used it so often that I don't have to refer back to the pattern now but there most definitely is a pattern that I use every single time. If not, the hats would be too large or too small, too loosely knit, too long, too pointy - something wouldn't be right and the project would be a failure. If I am starting on a sweater pattern (something I love to knit for my niece), I may spend hours picking out just the right yarn and pattern for her. Then I will read through the whole pattern very carefully, making sure I have all of the supplies and that I know all of the stitches. I may even knit a test swatch to make sure my tension is right and that I am using the right needles. When I finally start, hours of preparation have gone into it beforehand and it is such a relief just to cast on those first stitches and begin the first few rows. As I progress, I will have to pay close attention to the pattern and change my stitches according to it's direction. I may even have to rip out a row or two if I don't like how it's looking or I missed a step in the pattern. When it's finally complete, I have an immense sense of satisfaction. Everyone else will see the finished project and how it looks on my niece. Only I will know the planning, concentration, ripping out and all of the hours it took to complete.
By now, you may be wondering where I am going with this? To me, in my very visual way of learning and thinking, this is a perfect example of how God creates a pattern for our lives. He tells us in Psalm 139 how he has known each of us intimately before we were born.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 tells us that God has a plan for us:
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
So, God has a plan for us, a grand pattern for our lives. He has known what it is before we were born. Now, we can still deviate from this pattern or go off track - that's when the pattern has to ripped out or has a flaw in it. But what a great comfort to know that God loves us so much and won't leave us alone to our own human frailties and faults. And, just like my sweater for my niece, when our patterns for our lives have been completed, nobody will see all of the snags, loose threads, mistakes or wrong stitches that we made along the way, All anyone will see is the magnificent creature that God created to glorify Him.
My prayer for each of you is that you will find God's pattern for your life and experience the thrill of following it!