You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. Psalm 139-3
I have a bird feather that rests on the sill of my home-office window. Its white edges that I stroke from time to time, are smooth between my fingers and I remember the moment of its rescue. It was early in my Christian journey of just about 6 years ago. At the time I read one of my first Christian books, a contemporary modern day drama of love and restoration. The main character would find bird feathers drifting on whatever path she had taken, a sign from God for her, affirming and comforting.
At that time, every day I would take a half hour walk in my neighbourhood, Christian artists like Switchfoot, Casting Crowns, and Chris Tomlin blessing my ears through my headphones. It was a transitional period for me, and I would find myself talking with God, bringing Him my past memories that wrapped me in sorrow and regret. But then He would interrupt me.
Lynn, remember that speech you wrote for that fifth grade contest? That one about people? That one that your teacher wanted printed in the local paper? It was insightful, real, and showed how much I, the Lord, wants others to love and accept each other like I do. You were that quiet, shy child, and that high sensitivity helped you understand what I wanted those people around you to hear and know.
"Ahh...maybe Lord," I argued back, "but that speech never got published in that paper. The teacher said she would but she never did try. I guess it just wasn't good enough. I'm not good enough."
What are My words, Lynn? For you (we) are My (God's) masterpiece. I (He has) created you (us) anew in Christ Jesus, so you (we) can do the good things I (he) planned for you (us) long ago. Ephesian 2:10 You are always enough. Every memory, every path I have placed you on is a orchestrated by Me to lead you to your unique purpose. What you always must remember, dear one, is who you are in Me. Break those lies from those past memories that leave you in shame. Break those lies with the truth of Me.
It was on one of those walks, on one of those days that I found myself wrestling with my truth on how I had interpreted those memories of rejection, of not being good enough for a teacher to follow through on a promise. Or getting that C on my first university English Essay. Or that grade 12 teacher telling me my short story was just a mess. Sure, those memories are followed by many A's and many encouraging comments to continue writing. Yet, the shame stuck like gum to a sidewalk. Only intense heat might melt it away.
And then there it was. A bird feather suddenly on the sidewalk, in the centre of my path. I almost stepped on it, making it dirty from the mess collected on the bottom of my shoes. But I stopped, picked it up, and twirled it between my fingers, the white pure as fresh snow. I tickled my cheek with its soft and cool feathers. I took in the moment, The new memory.
And looked up.
Yes, Lord. You make what is meant for harm and turn it into to good.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 20:11
May you see God's working in all your memories and all your steps to where you are today. And maybe pick up that feather that shows up on your path!
Lynn J Simpson-Website