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Puzzle Pieces

Sometimes it feels like God dumps a thousand-piece puzzle in the floor of your heart. ~Susan Stillwell

I read this quote this morning and it resonated deep in my heart.

I have ADD. Literally and spiritually.

Here’s what I know about ADD and me. If I am presented with a very large task, I have to break it into small, manageable pieces or it won’t get done. For example, when I know I have to “clean the house,” instead of feeling overwhelmed by the vastness of the task, I consider each room individually, or even parts of each room (making the bed, cleaning the closet, dusting, vacuuming, etc.). I do the same thing when it comes to writing anything over a thousand words.

I’ve always done the same thing with puzzles. I’ve never been a big fan of jig-saw puzzles, even though I used them often as a counselor. In that setting they were a tool. I could learn a lot about a child by the way they went about putting a puzzle together. They were also useful with adults for group activities.

But to sit an work a puzzle was not enjoyable for me.

So when I read Susan’s quote…I felt a heaviness in my heart. My life looks a lot like a 5000 piece puzzle, spread out before me. And I don’t want to put it together…but I don’t want to leave it undone, either.

As I got quiet before the image of the pile, I remembered a verse in Psalm 139: You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me (verse 5).

The best way for me to begin to tackle a large puzzle is to find the edge pieces and assemble the frame. God wants to be my spiritual frame.

The next thing is to find blocks of portions that go together: a house, a tree, flowers, or a quilt. In my spiritual life this looks like finding the identifiable parts like fellowship, worship, study, prayer and making sure those parts are put together and active in my life.

Finally, I have to trust that the rest of the pieces will fit together. It works the same with God in my life. It often takes time and even trial and error to put all the pieces together–but nothing happens until I try.

Then, what seemed overwhelming at first, becomes something beautiful and amazing.

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I wrote all that but somehow I just couldn’t push the publish button.

I was so in my head…so Madame Counselor…so preachy…I nearly made myself sick. (Maybe that’s why I was throwing up in my dreams last night…and my house was overrun by cats…or maybe I should have taken my omeprazole.)

It was truth for me. It is how I do puzzles. When I do puzzles. But I don’t like to do puzzles.

And I don’t like when God dumps a puzzle in front of me. Especially not a 1000 piecer.

And the ones I really don’t like are the ones that are all one color, or designed on both the front and back so you can’t hardly tell where anything goes. And I can’t ever imagine tackling a 3-D one.

I want the 25 piecer, or better yet the wooden frame or cardboard kind that have the pieces outlined. You know, the no-brainer type.

That way I can’t mess it up…and I might get it done. God knows to do that, doesn’t he? He knows I get bored and tend to give up easy. He wouldn’t call me to something bigger than myself…would he?

To be continued…

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4 thoughts on “Puzzle Pieces

  1. Tina, this really touched me. My life’s been a dumped puzzle for as long as I can remember – several years. I’ve tried putting it together, making some sense out of it. Over and over I’ve tried. As I read your post, I realized that I’ve tried everything except let God put it together. It’s time to hand the pieces to Him. I’m so thankful you did hit Publish!

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  2. Needed that too Tina, thank you!! Juggling job opportunities, losses, etc. today and you described exactly how I’m feeling. Oh yeah and trying to clean house today…LOL…you definitely resonated with me today. Bless you for sharing 🙂

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  3. Thanks for this Tina! It really brought a clear picture into my brain and heart! Our lives are all a puzzle. I too HATE putting together puzzles. We used to do this as a family activity at Christmas time. I never liked doing it because there were SO MANY PIECES and I simply could not wrap my brain around it! I wanted it to be done right now. Like in our lives, God holds the pieces. He knows EXACTLY where each pieces fits. He knows EXACTLY WHEN each piece should be put into place. As we put our puzzle pieces of life together, we struggle, we try to find the right piece, we try to fit the pieces in place, we want them to go into place quickly and easily and until we look to God to see WHICH piece to place next, our life is a mess! We look like that pile!!! Then when we finally allow God to guide the pieces into place, we start to see the beauty of the WHOLE puzzle. The picture starts to take form and we SEE what it supposed to look like. God has a plan for us all. He expects us to follow His lead to place the pieces in place to work for His purpose and not ours. The sooner we allow Him to place those pieces where He wants them, the more beautiful our puzzle becomes. He is the master and creator, we are simply the pieces that when we fall into place create a beautiful picture of what Heaven will be. People we see God in us IF we allow Him to put us together the way He had planned!!!

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