About 2 years ago my wife started collecting old frames, some flowers and leaves. She pressed them, dried them and would then take the flowers or the leaves and glue them to the glass that was in the frame. The theory being that when you set those frames in the window the sun light shines through the petals and leaves and they would take on a whole new dimension.
At first I was kinda unsure of why she was doing what she was doing. She explained it but I still didn’t really know what she was doing. But my lack of understanding was outweighed by my love for my wife so I went with it. And I went with it for a while without question because she is my wife. If she wants to do something then cool, I am happy to support her. Although after several months of these leaves being piled up inside old text books I started to wonder if maybe I should have tried to understand a little better. But my wife was excited about the project so again, I went with it.
Don’t misunderstand me, I wasn’t in any way upset or bothered by the books and the frames. And if anyone in my home is guilty of leaving things half done or messy it is ME for sure. I am really good at starting things and not finishing them. I was totally cool with the stack of supplies; I just didn’t understand what the end game was. I kinda did, but not really.
When my wife did finally get the pieces sufficiently flat and dry so that she could put them on the glass…THEN I GOT IT. I had to see the finished project to really understand what she meant.
So what does this have to do with anything? There are a couple of things that I want to glean from this.
- We don’t always need to understand the vision to get behind something. Sometimes it is enough to just trust the person that is leading.
- It is important to support the dreams of those close to us. Unless the person is doing something harmful, unethical, etc., it is important to not try and dictate what the other person’s actions are. It is their life; let them live it as God is calling them to live it.
- It doesn’t have to be worthwhile for you, to be worthwhile to someone else. God created each of us with our own skill set, gifting, talents, or however else you choose to describe it so that we could be individuals. My wife likes musicals. I don’t. That doesn’t mean that I should make her to feel as if her interests are in some way not important or lacking in value.
- We are all in the process of becoming something. God isn’t done with us. If He was we would be moved on to the next life.
- No one knows what anyone else is going to be, so don’t try and dictate someone else’s plan for THEIR life. Every day people find themselves in their “sweet spot”. They realize what they were created for and discover that God created them for just that thing at just that time. The way we find out what we are created for is to follow our passions.
- It is ok to get it wrong. There is nothing wrong with mistakes as long as we learn from them. So try new things.
What are your passions? What drives you? Follow those things. As long as you ask God to guide you He will. You will find that the road to discovering who you truly are meant to be will not look like you expect but that is ok. It may seem scary and that is cool as well because that means you are being stretched. Pushing the limit is where you will find that God takes over. This doesn’t mean be careless, but it may mean doing something that seems absolutely ludicrous. Like building an Ark or stepping out on the waves so that you can walk on water for instance.
God made my wife differently than He made me. That is a good thing! We are not meant to be the same. So is my wife’s picture frame flower the reason she was made? Maybe, maybe not. But it gave her something to enjoy along the way. It is the little things along the way that God uses to help us enjoy the process. And the process can be extraordinarily painful so take the gifts.
Growing up I felt that my life was supposed to fit into some kind of box. Go to school, get a job, if you are lucky retire, then die. For me there is nothing in pursuing that where I could say I was living. I wasn’t made to go to college and work a 9 to 5. I was made for so different a path. And now that I am on it I feel so much more fulfilled. Don’t be what someone else wants you to be. BE YOU. And when someone says that they want to do something that seems odd to you…encourage them, pray for them, and support them. Give them some wisdom when asked for. Watch their back but don’t try to force their actions. Build each other up.
One of the reasons I wanted to encourage my wife in her pursuits. She encourages mine. She was ok with me collecting pallets, and the scrap wood no one wanted. Now this hangs in my living room and I thank God for her when I look at it. I know this isn’t for everyone but I like it. And I am thankful she is always encouraging me to grow.
National Director of Mental Health for Celebrate Recovery