Chipping Away

It’s something I don’t think I’ll ever become accustomed to— this feeling of never reaching completion— the almost-but-yet, running the endless marathon, never quite reaching the goal. Such is what we are given in life, and most of the time, I don’t like it. I don’t like the element of surprise. I like to know what is happening and its greater purpose. I want to be at the end of the struggle with a clear picture of why I had to endure something in order to move forward.

All the while, in the midst of the in-between, I have to carry on. As I do my best to endure, God is using my circumstances to shape me for whatever lies on the horizon. It’s a lot like the season of Fall. Some would say that Fall, although a time of harvest, doesn’t lead to much… except the bitterly cold winds of winter. For the most part, I would have to agree . But sometimes, like the stripping of leaves from the trees, God needs to strip each one of us of the things that are holding us back from growing. Just as the hard freezes of Fall chill the ground and prepare it for dormancy, God is preparing me for another growing season.

As I have wrote in earlier posts, I feel I am in a quiet season here. I am not participating in any Bible studies or volunteering in any programs. My days are filled with rehearsal and preparing for several musical opportunities, but other than that, there is not much else on the horizon. What comes next? I don’t know. As Thanksgiving draws near, I am reflecting back on this year and giving praise for everything I have been given. Much of what I came through wasn’t easy; I had to make some tough decisions, but in the end, I think I am in a good place now.

I think my current circumstances can be mirrored in a recent appointment with an ocular specialist. Some of you may be aware that I have a prosthetic eye, and approximately every five years, my shell needs to be replaced. In between re-fittings, my prosthetic needs to buffed and polished to prohibit the build-up of “gunk.” Hey, I couldn’t think of a better way to describe the “stuff” that tends to build up on the shell. But anyway, I digress…

As I waited through the day-long process of getting re-fitted, a sense of anticipation came over me. Since this was my third go-around, I more or less knew what to expect. A mold would be created and then given time to harden. Then the specialist would paint the shell to look like an authentic eye. I could go into a more detailed description here, but the details don’t really matter. What does matter, however, is the fact that as I waited a new prosthetic was being created just for me. It would be custom-made in all aspects. The fit would be precise to the size of my eye socket, the color of the sclera and iris would match as closely to my existing eye as possible, and the thickness of the shell would fill in the depth. No one else could wear my prosthetic; it was made only for me.

The process of its creation was lengthy but completely worth it. As the shell was formed, hardened, painted, and polished, I sat with my existing prosthetic in place. It was time to let the old go; after all, the fit was no longer ideal and it had out-worn its initial polish and shine. It made me think of how I prayed God was using this season of my life to help me let go. Leaving camp and giving myself space and time to explore my next steps has given me perspective that has begun to come full circle. No, I don’t know where I’m going or what comes next, but God knows. Just like the trees know when to blossom in the spring after the long winter, God knows the time and nature of my Springtime. In the meantime, He is chipping away— chiseling and preparing me so I can bloom when the time is right.

So as the seasons change and the winter comes upon me, I will rest in the warmth of His promise. Spring will come when the time is right, and I want to be ready when He draws me outside.

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