“Oh, my aching back!” I carefully weaved the needle into the top of the cloth and laid it on my lap. Whew! Stretching and rubbing my eyes, I sat back and inspected my work. I’d been working on this cross-stitch for a long time now – over a year actually! Sometimes even I wonder how in the world a craft can take that long to finish. It was going to be a beautiful framed picture when it was finished. As I inspected my work, I noticed each detail, each half stitch, and each mistake that I had tried to hide, and I remembered the hours and hours of repetitive poking and pulling of the needle through the cloth. Cross stitch can be a very repetitive passtime, but with the right pattern it is both challenging and rewarding.
Now I had finally arrived at the part I liked the most - backstitching. Until this point much of the project was really quite a blurr. Many of the colors blended into each other and it was hard to tell even what the picture was. The amazing thing about backstitching is that as you follow the pattern very carefully, suddenly things begin to leap out of the picture. The little blob in the corner turns into a lovely flower. The spot of color over on the other side becomes a beautiful bird. Once the backstitching is finished, it truly becomes a work of art - all thanks to a master's design. I could never create this on my own, but all I had to do was follow the instructions step by step.
As I prepared the single strand of darker thread to begin the backstitching process, I was reminded of how similar this project was to my life. My days seemed to run into each other and sometimes I couldn't see much purpose to it all. The tedious monotony at times discouraged me and I wish I could escape for a while. Some of the things that happened to me in my life didn't make much sense at all. How could God use these things and make good come out of it? But somehow I know He will. One day when the project of my life is finished, my Lord will take the single strand of thread and begin to outline my life. He will show me each detail and how it relates to the whole. Suddenly, out of the confusion of my life He will bring clarity and a dawning of understanding. My imperfect half-stitches will be covered up with the backstitching and all attention will be drawn to the beauty of the whole. My heart turned to my God as a prayer rose to heaven. "Lord, you know the plans you have for me. You know exactly what you are doing though I so often do not understand. Help me trust in you as you work out your design in my life one step at a time."
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Ah Donna! You're speaking my language. I've had cross-stitch projects that have taken years to finish (I always go for the big and intricate - sigh!) ;-) I loved the way you brought in the fact that the backstitching brings everything into focus. Very good connection! Well done, as always. Love, Deb