There was this little girl who grew up broken. She didn’t know she was broken because she didn’t know anything different than brokenness. Her family was broken. I think there was a generational brokenness that manifested in many ways. Broken because of alcoholism and addiction… broken because of incest… broken because broken words were spoken that bred brokenness. Yet she knew she was loved, it was just a broken love.
Because of the brokenness she was shy and insecure and felt worthless. She often referred to herself as a wallflower … on a wall covered with floral wallpaper she was the single little flower lost in the sea of flowers.
But one day there was a knock on her door that changed the whole trajectory of her life. The knock was from a local church who had started a bus ministry and was visiting homes to ask children to ride the bus to church. The church was Calvary Baptist Church. The little girl was me. And that encounter changed everything.
God had his eye on me all along.
They knocked on my door on a Saturday and that Sunday I started riding the purple bus to church and I learned to sing, “Oh I like to ride the purple bus, the purple bus, the purple bus. I like to ride the purple bus so early Sunday morning” and it was through the unconditional love of these people that I found Jesus (or he found me…he rescued me) and he began a good work in me.
“I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has began a good work in me will continue to work on me to perfect and complete me right up until the day of Christ Jesus… the time of His return.” Philippians 2:6
And he is STILL working on me.
He NEVER gives up on me.
He takes the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful of our lives and weaves it all together creating a beautiful masterpiece.
The people of CBC never gave up on me either… they mentored and discipled and loved me. They gave me a strong foundation that I’ve built my life on that still today holds me strong.
My healing started the day Jesus found me and in all honesty, still continues today. See, I am His masterpiece… he is weaving a beautiful tapestry of my life.
“ For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT
And while the tapestry of my life may look incomplete, it is in process. And there is this amazing thing about a tapestry, (I remember one my grandmother had) if you look at the backside, it can be a mess BUT GOD creates beauty out of the ugliness of our lives and that is what he is doing In me. He gives us beauty in place of the ashes of our lives. Until I see him face to face, I’m still in process.
“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.” Isaiah 61:3 NLT
I was just a young teen when I first sensed God’s call and the life I’ve been blessed to live is attributed to God’s amazing grace and the faithfulness of Calvary Baptist Church to reach out to the community and to this broken, insecure, shy little girl and show her Jesus.
As I grew in that church, I started working in the bus ministry. Our small town was built around cotton mills and they were beginning to close down so the area (the mill hill) was rapidly going downhill. The children we visited and picked up for church lacked much. They got themselves up and on the bus for church.
I can still see the face of one little girl with the jagged hair-cut, a dirty face, a faded, stained, worn pink dress — hair matted, dress dirty and unbuttoned with sash dragging behind her. I often think of her … Where is she today? Did the purple bus bring hope that impacted her life?
The impact this made on me forever imprinted on my heart the importance of reaching out to our local community.
Through the years, God brought so much healing in my life through my relationship with him and from His Word. He spoke His powerful, living Word to my heart.
He tells me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that He did a marvelous work in creating me and that I need to know and celebrate His work of me.
He tells me that He chose me, he picked me out as his very own and that I am His masterpiece, His tapestry … and the healing continues to flow in my life.
I’ve worked side by side with my husband through the 41 years we’ve been married in ministry — doing children’s ministry, youth ministry, worship ministry, Missions, Family Ministries, marriage strengthening, young adult, mentoring, leadership training, and lead pastor roles.
My greatest loves other than Jesus, are my husband, my kids, and our grand-babies! NAMES PLEASE! Crystal, David, Isaac, Aaron, Abigail, Amber, Ed, Aubrianna, Annaliese, Lillianna, Eddie, Alex, Emilianna, Jamie, Sunny, Christian, Carson, Chloe, Skyler, Layne and Piper! They are my greatest legacy.
My passions today are seeking God with all my heart (that never changes) … then,
• my marriage and my family …
• Missions here in the local community and abroad (especially encouraging, equipping and training Christian leaders, building families, and marriages)…
• writing (working on a couple books) …
• and helping young girls and women become all that God has created and purposed them to be while continuing to work along side my husband.
One of my life mantras is “Choose Joy”. I believe God did a complete, finished work on the cross and it is up to us to choose to walk in it. No matter what we face in life, in the midst of devastating circumstances, we can choose to consider them an opportunity for great joy.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
James 2:1-4 NLT
We are all in the process of becoming … His tapestry … His masterpiece. We are His masterpiece in the making.
Today I encourage you right where you are…
• you are greatly loved …
• you are a masterpiece in the making …
• you are fearfully and wonderfully made…
• you are chosen…
• He picked you out as His very own.
No matter what kind of mess you might be in the middle of, God can weave a beautiful tapestry of your life. He will never give up on you but we have to choose to stay in the process. We are each His masterpiece in the making…
In the Process,