Looking at Life from Underneath

Yesterday a widow from Florida and I were talking about the question that all of us ask when our husbands die.  Why was this his time to die?  In the course of our conversation we discussed how God’s ways are not our ways and how muddled God’s ways look to us.

Have you ever looked at the back side of a cross stitch picture?  It looks like a jumbled mess of threads and is not something that you’d want to frame much less hang on a wall.  We are standing down here on earth looking up at the picture of our lives from the back side and it just doesn’t make sense to us.  Not only does it not make any sense, but there are times such as at the deaths of our husband that it looks ugly.

For awhile things looked pretty good, but then the threads start crossing or hanging loose and our life picture starts to look rough.

God created a plan for our lives before we were ever born.  He’s looking down at the picture of our life from above.  The messed up looking back side doesn’t worry Him or surprise Him at all because He sees how all of those threads are coming together on the top to create something beautiful.

It takes all of the colors of life to create our life story.  We don’t like those dark colors because they represent times of sorrow and deep pain and if we had the opportunity to choose what colors God could use to create the picture of our lives, we would choose nothing but bright, happy colors or maybe even the softer, subdued colors.  We would throw the dark colors away and never look at them.  But, God knows that it’s those dark colors that define those bright colors and make them stand out.  It’s in the dark places of our lives that the depths of our souls are illuminated and the person that we really are comes out.

This is where HOPE comes in – the hope that we have through our faith in Jesus Christ.  Hope that all the colors that God is using to cross stitch the story of our life are working together for our good to create something more beautiful than we could ever imagine.  HOPE that some day when we stand next to our Lord looking down at the story of our life, it won’t look like a jumbled mess or like mistakes had been made.  HOPE that our life will finally make sense to us.

Take a look back on your life thus far.  Can you see the threads that God has woven together to make you who you are at this very moment?  If so, please share with us what you find.


11 responses

  1. Hi JoAnn. Stimulating conversation yesterday. Thanks for bringing this to mind to help remind myself that even though I am looking at life from underneath the cross stitch hoop, something beautiful is being made from the top. Thank you also for reading and for commenting.


  2. Amazing writing Candy. The Lord has certainly blessed you with a wonderful gift that encourages other widows. I like the analogy of the thread and our broken lives. It so speak to me.


  3. Candy, this so clearly hit home with me. I need to think about all of the threads that God chose for me. Here I am at 55 still trying to sort out my life, still needing so much growth to help me plod through this heartache and attempt to discover what God is asking of me. How I wish that I knew what He wants of me? Maybe this process of self discovery is what he wants from me. Maybe that’s the only way that I will come to grow into a new person or a new role for Him. He is my spouse now. I have to rely solely on Him. I have to surrender my anxieties and fears and my former hopes and dreams to Him.Please, God, show me the way.



    • Carol, I have found that self-discovery is what becoming a widow is all about. I’m not the person that I was as a wife. I am now a new person who has never lived alone nor made all of the decisions ever before in my life and I just turned 60 nine days ago. I struggled for a long time trying and trying to figure out what God wants of me until I recently realized that all that He wants right now is for me to be still. He will show me what I need to know when I need to know it. That takes all of the pressure and anxiety off of me. He will show us the way, Carol, in His time. Thank you for sharing your heart.


  4. Congratulation Candy that God has added another year to your life. That already is a big testimony that the plans of God in your life are to give you a future and not to harm you. Thank you very much for sharing and reminding us that the dark areas of our lives are for the Masters use as well.


  5. Candy- you are so right! It’s like a light bulb going off in my head. God wants me to be still. I have been searching and reading and talking and running around trying to discover His plan for me… and now you’ve said it, “He wants me to be still”. Thank you so much. That lifts a huge weight off of my shoulders. I do NOT have to get involved in things that I do not feel comfortable doing. I do NOT have to push myself to go, go go. I am allowed to be still and wait and just listen. I am allowed to be quiet.
    Thanks so much for this insight. It was right before my eyes but I am just now able to “see” it.


  6. Carol, I know what you mean about that light bulb going off in your head. I have found that happens in God’s time and I can finally really “get” a truth that I may have known in my head for a long time. So glad you can quite struggling now like I was. It’s exhausting, isn’t it.


  7. I came upon your blog when I was doing a search for images of the backside of a cross-stitch 🙂 Why such a random search? Because I found a poem that goes right along with your beautiful thoughts…
    My life is but a weaving
    Between my God and me
    I let Him choose the colors
    He worketh steadily.
    Ofttimes He worketh sorrow
    And I, within my heart,
    Forget He sees the pattern
    While I see only part.
    The dark threads were as needful
    In the Weaver’s skillful hand,
    As the threads of gold and silver
    In the pattern He had planned.
    Not till the loom is silent
    And the shuttles cease to fly
    Shall God unroll the canvas
    And explain the reason why.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your blog!


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