I was out for my 3 mile powerwalk yesterday, speeding along past the perfectly groomed gardens and quaint, personable houses while listening to my tunes. Francesca Battistelli caught my attention among the otherwise familiar songs that played that didn’t require my focused ear. I think it was because of the piano intro. I love piano accompaniment. Nothing beats it. I whimsically pictured myself sitting behind a black grand piano in a field of long, tall grasses whose color was faded from the beating sun. The music video that ensued in my romantic mind captured me playing and singing the words to this song from a variety of angles and movements, being joined only by a violinist who played standing beside me at just the right time. It was beautiful. I should ask God to let me be in a music video when I’m in heaven. I can use my gift of music, and perhaps my piano playing will be amazing by the time I’m there. And I can smile and sing to Jesus. Ah, bliss. Anyways, despite my reverie I paid close attention to the lyrics that contributed to deep thoughts for the remainder of my walk. Although I already gave you a peek inside my head with that whole music video scene, here’s another look at what danced through my mind that day: You may think I’m just fine How could anything ever be out of line?
“Little Miss Perfect.” “Goody-Two-Shoes.” My labels growing up. I can’t say I was fond of them, mainly because I felt they did not allow for progress. I knew deep down I was far from perfect, far from good. These labels told me I’m fine the way I am, I don’t need to change or grow.
I take my time to set the stage Make sure everything is all in place
Of course, I do my part to add to that vision that people see. I make sure every hair is in place, the lipstick is straight, the grades are above average, and the professionalism is apparent. My planner even shows each element of chaos in its perfect place, but that is just my personality.
Even though I’ve got the lines rehearsed A picture only paints a thousand words
But my perfected image can only go so far. The unexpected happens, the world flips and the north pole no longer points north. The tear escapes, the frustration leads to the angry outburst. I find comfort in order and struggle more when I am asked to be flexible. I comply, but the chaos brings frustration and some annoyance. Ah no, I am far from perfect and my true human nature can no longer be hidden. But even still the names remain.
Things aren’t always what they seem You’re only seeing part of me There’s more than you could ever know behind the scenes I’m incomplete and I’m undone But I suppose like everyone There’s so much more that’s going on behind the scenes
“Don’t you see?!” I want to cry out. “I’m a work in progress! God’s not finished with me yet! This girl you see is not the end product. Don't settle for this. Encourage me for something better; I know that I am capable of more, I want you to see that too." I fall so short of God’s glory. I was thinking yesterday that God must be up in heaven giving me a sympathetic smile and saying, “Tabitha, you are so impatient sometimes! Just trust Me, okay? I’m working on it. You say you want My best for your life, right? Well then, don’t selfishly put your wants before Mine.” I’m so glad God’s working behind the scenes on my life. I don’t always see what exactly He’s working on or understand why certain things are happening the way they are, but the part that I do see is contributing to what’s waiting at the end. When I get to heaven, it’s going to be amazing how the growth has prepared me for that moment, and I will be a complete, new creation—fit to sit before the throne of God.
Sometimes I can’t see anything Through the dark surrounding me And at times I’m unsure about the ground beneath my feet If it’s safe and sound
These times are the hardest, hands down. It’s like all of a sudden I’m on my hands and knees groping through the darkness. The stifling silence suffocates me and my again impatient human nature yells out, “Where are you God? Why have you left me? Why are you silent?” Of course I know, there would be no room for the kind of growth received in those silent times if they never occurred. Those times of complete vulnerability and dependency and trust when it feels like the only guarantee I have of His presence is in His word that I have hidden in my heart. I recently heard a sermon message on the Caananite woman whose daughter was demon possessed. She went to Jesus to ask His help and he basically called her a dog. No joke…look it up; it’s in there. The interesting thing I learned about that story was the progression of names used and the change in stance of the woman. At the beginning of the story, she was calling out for the "Lord, Son of David" a term of respect. By the end she was on her knees with the obedient "yes, lord" on her lips. Jesus’ conversation with her brought her to a place of dependence. He wanted her to prove to Him her faith in Him and her willingness to obey. I wonder how many times God brings me through times of silence with the intention of getting me to that place of desperately crying out for Him. Sure the first few weeks of the silence is tolerable. I go through the motions, but by the end I’m desperate. I’m reminded of how much I need Him, want Him, depend on Him, would do anything for Him.
When it’s hard to find hope in the unseen I have peace in knowing it will find me
It is difficult to hope in what we can’t see, but hope does come. God’s word is filled with promises that bring me hope. Life is full of promise and blessings just waiting to be enjoyed. I do have hope. Life isn’t always perfect. It’s sometimes turned upside down and becomes a chaotic mess, but I’m being molded and shaped in those times to reflect the untamed beauty of my Savior. He’s moving me toward a bigger purpose. He’s not finished with me just yet, and this Little Miss Perfect is so thankful for that!