Pattern of Freedom

Any quilters out there? My hand is raised by virtue of having made one epic queen-sized quilt.If enthusiasm and optimism could make up for skill, I would be set, but alas, I tend to struggle through most of my overly ambitious projects. So, of course, I dove headfirst into a HUGE quilting project on a whim, having exactly zero instruction. I made it through after about a year, but the results are, shall we say, fragile. As in, I doubt it would make it through the spin cycle. It’s stored safely away in the top of my linen closet until… I guess until I no longer have a cat. Perish the thought!

But why a quilt?

Honestly, I love the patterns. For mine, I selected a “simple” basket weave set on a 45degree angle. That was me reining it in. I would have loved something more complex and dazzling, but I took it “easy” on myself, since it was my first one. Patterns are a feature of all quilts, even the crazy quilts: they are unified by patterned stitches and fabrics. That’s what makes them interesting to look at and fun to design.

I’ve heard it said that people always look for patterns, if not actually see them, in all of life and nature. The urge is so strong, we tend to interpret things as patterns even when they might not actually be there. It’s satisfying to confirm what we’ve seen before as familiar, and it’s intellectually stimulating to hunt for patterns among dissimilar things. Patterns are a tangible representation of an order, underlying our world, that we hope is there. If we have faith, we know it is there.

I’ve written several times on this blog about my turbulent work situation, and I have tried over and over to parse out the meaning of it all because I know there is one: turbulent work situations are a pattern in my life. I won’t hash it all out here, but it’s a thing. Trust me. And I’ve been trying to lick it over the past few years.

Sunday morning, during the sermon at church, I felt I got some clarity on my situation, mostly that I cared WAY too much about about it. It just shouldn’t slay me the way it does when things go badly. I believe what they say about me more than what my Father says about me. What struck me was how futile that battle is, the battle for the approval of men. Or in my case, my bosses and work colleagues.

My work presents me with a choice each day: to embrace the truth or to get chewed up and spit out. My work will (again, as it has in the past) FORCE me to choose between the truth and a lie. God is using my work to convince me of the truth. In my case, the way He does that is by showing me how untenable is the alternative.

I’m a practical person. No, really! I’m not going to embrace a philosophy that leaves me crumpled up in the corner… Because LIFE! Faced with the choice, I’ll get it eventually, embrace the truth, and walk in freedom from paralyzing fear. The old pattern will be replaced by a new one, fear for freedom:

Creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption, and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Romans  8:21)


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IMG_7616Joni Butler has called the ‘Ham home since 2012. Officially, she’s here for employment but has found a home here at Breath. Though an avid diarist for years, this is her first writing gig. Jesus is her best friend and she loves pursuing Him passionately.  You can read more about Joni in her Breath Bio. 

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