The place between Friday and Sunday that holds the waiting, the wrestling, the overcoming, the almost there but not yet there possibility.
God seemed to introduce a sacred waiting, a wrestling, a place in the middle where the mess segues the miracle.
When I think about the space between the mess and the miracle, I wonder how God felt?
The Lord only knows how long God actually waited. It was much more than three days. God waited since that fateful encounter with a forbidden fruit–that day when the rightness and wonder shattered and fractured and splintered off into a billion different sinful scenarios. Instead of making it right, right then, right there, love let us choose love and so the waiting began.
God waited for our hearts to want relationship and restoration. God created the divine appointment with Jesus to take us where we couldn’t take our selves. God knew the wait. God knew the wrestle. God knew the time and sacrifice that would be needed for love to win.
I haven’t particularly loved the wait and the wrestle in any are of my life until more recently. And even now I’m not sure I can say I love it. I do appreciate it. Because it does something different than immediate gratifications do. It forms us. And it forms hope like nothing else can.
Last year while scrolling Pinterest with my kids, they spotted some tulle skirts a family was wearing. They loved them. They said, “Momma, why don’t you wear a tutu with us?” My answer was easy, “because I don’t have one.” They rebutted, “you need one.”
This little conversation started a project with our friend Kristy and her daughter Tate.
We decided to make this wrong right by:
- Making our own tulle ballerina skirts TOGETHER
- Learning how to sew
- Spending more time together
Did you know that fabric buying is an Olympic sport? The fabric, the zippers, the thread, the closure hook things. Kristy and I spent a good hour just deciding which colors and which kinds of tulles to use. Kristy was used to this routine. She’s outfitted the nutcracker dancers in our town for years and can sew blindfolded with one hand. I am opposite of Kristy. Honestly, the fabric buying was exhausting. There were so many choices and the price was higher than I expected. There wasn’t even a promise that we’d get what we were hoping for because, knowing my skill set, things could go wrong. But we had already paid the price, so now we’d wait with a pile of yet to be transformed tulle or we’d get started with the sewing.
Thankfully, Kristy is my sewing hero. She can do anything. She has special powers that not every person gets so if I’m going to go on an “I have no idea what I ‘m doing sewing adventure” it’s going to be with her. Plus, she is from Michigan. It matters very little where you are from when you sew. But for me it matters that one can survive Michigan winters and long sewing tutorials with me.
We had to have a pattern to be able to form the skirts. It seemed simple, just stick to the pattern. But it wasn’t easy to match. The pattern was so perfect. And my daughters and I were not. Following a pattern isn’t always easy. Sometimes you cut the wrong thing. Sometimes you cut something that was meant to remain folded. Sometimes you have to buy additional expensive fabric to make up for the fabric you messed up. Sometimes small children (and adult mamas) don’t understand that once something is cut it can’t be “uncut”. The lessons we’re pouring over my mama mind as we spent our first two sewing meet ups doing nothing more than cutting the fabric with the pattern.
The Painstaking Work
I thought, if someone’s showing me how, it’ll be easy! But watching something and being able to do something are two different things. There’s one step in making a tulle skirt where you sew two stitches parallel at the top of the tulle. You then sew a stitch in the middle to be able to pull and gather the fabric together. It seemed easy enough. Kristy told me. “Now, you’ll just need to be patient. Gathering takes time. But you can do it. Whatever you do, don’t break the thread. It’ll be okay, you can do this, just don’t break the thread.” At the end of the gathering, I looked up to see what my youngest was doing, I pulled one final time and snap. The thread broke. It had been a few hours of working and I had just undone it. I was thisfreakingclose to being finished. I wanted to give up.
At this point we are months into the project. And the Mother’s Day skirts had faded into the fall, and then into the winter…each sewing session I was able to pull off remarkably impossible sewing challenges for Kristy. She was a champ. She’d say, “It’s fun to sew together because you can help undo each other’s messes”.
There was so much truth in her words.
It was December at this point. A Sunday morning before Christmas. I was walking through my house when I noticed a vehicle in our driveway. I looked on the porch and there, before my eyes, were three finished tulle skirts. Kristy and her daughter had stayed up late finishing the work.
The words “it is finished” on my cell phone reminded me of a work I couldn’t finish. Not just with these skirts, but with my own soul.
I could only do so much. Kristy was able to come alongside me, help me, and give me the divine intervention I needed after I bit off more than I could chew (sound familiar) and didn’t know how to finish.
How long the wait! God waited and walked with us. Sending Jesus was the coming alongside, the God with us moment where we could not only get what we needed but feel comforted in the process. I suppose God could have made things right in a moment but God didn’t. God gave us 33 years of “with us” before the miracle of all miracles–the gasp of air that said–IT IS FINSIHED.
I did for you what you couldn’t do for you. I love you.
How much did God want to speed up the process?
How many times did God want to say “oh well, we tried.”
How many days of the 33 years of Jesus’ life did Jesus want to say “get on with it already.”
I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, but I do know the mess in the middle was the segue to the solution.
It’s the place where we can wait expectant and grateful that the struggle is shared and the hope is provided.
Yesterday my kids and I tried on our skirts. They styled me and styled each other and took turns taking pictures while we twirled and danced. When I look at the skirts I don’t think of the pain I think of the process. I don’t see the frustration I see the freedom. I feel tears welling because I know that they are finished.
And my heart also knows that the love that it took for my heart to be whole has already been shared. The mess in the middle is okay, because the miracle that what we need to change doesn’t change when we do.
On Easter Saturday, and everyday, Jesus waits for you.
I hope you feel the encouragement in this truth, that your life can be patterned after His, even when words and actions fail to match the pattern we set our eyes on, there was a beautiful “it is finished” whispered by the Savior who brings the miracle.
*photo credit and spring styling by Kirra (9) and Mya (6)
*photo editing by no one (that’d take a different kind of miracle)
*tulle skirts made by Kirra, Mya, and Brooklyn (but mostly Kristy Brown, who is a sewing cherub)
*thistle and succulent crown bought at the Tampa Indie flea / by Cotton and Magnolia
*joy in our hearts by Jesus (the author and finisher of our faith)