God always comes through for me. Not always when I think I need Him. And certainly not always in the ways I ask or demand.
And often when I’m fairly convinced He won’t. But He does, in His own way, His own timing and always in my best interests, even if I’m certain it’s not.
I attended a few days of what was entitled “Respite.” I tried not to build expectations. This was the pilot for a new opportunity being offered. I didn’t know what was planned. I thought I knew what I needed and clearly what I wanted. God had other plans. He so often does when it comes to me. How maddening that He always knows what’s best for me. And really — how comforting.
During the retreat we were offered a basket of fabric strips. There were plain strips, long ones, shorter ones, and a variety of patterned ones. We were to choose 3 or 4 that “spoke” to us. I chose a yellow strip, a long black strip, a white strip with a childlike print and a darker print with my favorite colors of jade, purple, magenta, and turquoise. We were invited to each join our strips in a way significant to us. I braided them together, placing the yellow and black strips as one to represent the places evil has entered my story. The white childhood print represented me as a little girl and the dark, bold colors represented my father, whom I’ve never met. The childlike strip didn’t go very far, and my braid ended with a long black tail.
As I shared the meaning of my creation, the question arose of what happened to the child with the piece ending early in the braid. Several thoughts were offered to me and then one sweet opportunity was suggested. I could add to the piece. The child didn’t have to end there. There were no more strips of the white, childlike fabric. There was a fairly long piece of the bold, bright colors. With a great deal of intent, I chose that piece and tied it to the child’s short piece. It represented to me a continuation of the little girl. Yes, the story continues.
As we closed our time together we were invited to stand in a circle and tie our strips to the person to the left and right of us. As I reached for their strips, they offered me their bold colored strip that represented the continuation of my story. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Again God showed up to affirm a conviction I had held to earlier in the day: accept some things that “I know that I know,” even though I have no proof of the truth.
Somewhere I may have a biological father I have learned about only recently. Some investigation points clearly to that possibility. I don’t know the man’s identity. My inquiries tell that I likely won’t ever know for certain.
What I do know is that I have a Father God who chose me and who continues to show up for me in sometimes wild and nearly indescribable ways. He’s been like that for me — Always.
Valerie Avery treasures the journey of embracing all God has gifted her with including creating art and beauty using fibers, beads and nature. The bond of 46 years of marriage has created a legacy as mother to 5 and “Grammie” to 20. She is venturing into the world of writing and is grateful for a place to share stories of growth and hope. You can read more here.
I love your awareness of God has and does show up for you. Your life has been full of amazing places which you have chosen to engage with a heart hungry and ready to see where God is in the midst of it all.
Such a God-incidence that the photo you chose for this piece is very similar to the one Dane and I enjoyed on the beach last evening. Coincidence? No I don’t think so. Thank you Tracy for affirming words that God is with me always and often in very unique ways. Ways that are totally unmistakable as God’s sweet kiss.
Dear Valerie, I love that the strips offered to you by those to your left and to your right in the circle were the bold ones that represented the continuation of your story! It is a continuing story that has connected and been “tied” to my story and offered kindness, goodness, friendship and love for which I am most thankful. Yes, the story continues with rich, bold color and the beauty of God! I love you, friend.
Such a beautiful and agonizing image. I have done story ropes, and the fabric often tells me it’s own story even as I am “picking” it. It is so vivid the image of the short white strip and the long black tail/tale. And such a huge shout that you went back to continue in this child story.
I feel sad and mad for the bio dad who you may not know. What a precious gift he has missed in your child/woman heart.