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When we are young children, we spend a lot of time imagining our grown-up life. As little girls we pretend with our barbies the life we will have. We are always dressing them into one outfit to the next. We think life is full of parties. We play " house" with our baby dolls. We cook and clean and try nursing our babydolls with our flat breasts. We giggle when having tea with our friends, that came over to play "house" with us. We would lay next to our little boy friends and then put a pillow in our belly. Not knowing it takes more than that to make a baby. the innocence of our play and the dreams we had for better lives. I don't ever remember pretending hard ache, or any kind of abuse we had experienced, or yelling parents. All my play was joyous and full of fun.

   I have said many times, Life is like a puzzle, all the pieces are thrown to the ground and when put together it's a different picture than what was on the box. I always thought maybe the master planner made a mistake for my life. How could he give me a different picture than what I thought life was to look like? I wanted to take pieces from others, but when I did, they didn't fit even when I tried to add that piece to mine. This would make me angry and feeling like I got ripped off in life. Sometimes I would think I had some of the same puzzle pieces of the person next to me, only to notice that once again the piece didn't fit into my masterpiece that God was making for me.

   I remember the first time I felt robbed of a different picture that I got while I was thinking what I imagine would be true.  When I was thirteen, I had a crush on a Church guy, one that everyone else had a crush on too. He liked me for a while and wrote me love letters. Melted the heart of a young teenager, only to realize his eyes were everywhere that a girl was, that I was nothing special. Until a few years later when we met again in the Mcdonalds drive thru where I worked. That day was the starting of a romance that I thought was more special than he did. He was a church kid, with Christian parents, aunts and uncles in ministry, gone to Christian school and college, raised in a Christian home. everything I had dreamed of since I became a Christian at the age of sixteen. I thought that life would fall into place and Christ would be the center of everything we did. I never once suspected I would be marrying a man that couldn't keep his promise of one woman for life. I felt so robbed by thinking I married a Christian man who would love me till death do us part. I didn't understand at the time that his faith wasn't the same as his parents or his family. I didn't know what struggling with faith really meant as I just became a Christian and I wanted to serve Jesus. I really thought I was getting a Christian man like the others in our church. I didn't know that the puzzle pieces of my life would end up so different than those around me. It would take me years to figure out why I didn't get the picture on the box.

I gave another chance for the next chapter in my life that all the pieces together fit nicely and would look like I had imagined life to finely look. There was a family in church that sat two rows back from my daughters and me. During church service they were so lovey Dovey, I was in awe of their affection with each other and thought that they were an example of a Christian marriage I longed for.  I didn't know that six months later this woman and I would be praying together, my prayer for my marriage with my first husband and her prayer for her prodigal son that had walked away from his relationship with Christ. How could I of ever knew that God answered her prayers but, mine I felt fell on death ears as My divorce came final and her son came back. Once again, I felt I got the wrong puzzle pieces, and my puzzle wasn't going together like I imagined.

I knew that this woman's prayers were answered because I ended up dating, pregnant, and married to her son. In this order, we had a whirlwind relationship, this was not a healthy relationship and it ended up being one that destroyed my self-esteem and my soul. I had never felt so beaten down by his abuse, physically and mentally. I could never get his love and always walked around wondering when the next ball would drop. How could this be a piece to my puzzle? How was this part of the plan for my life? How did I mess up so much that the picture on my box was so different than the picture of my reality? How did I again pick a Christian man, to fulfill my dreams of a picket fence life, that I dreamed of in my childhood and ended up broken and desperate for someone to just love me? 

The other puzzle pieces I would never imagine weren't in the right box that I knew had to be part of masterpiece, only to get the deepest heartache ever and finding out my pieces weren't to be found in the puzzle that God had put together for me. That would be the pieces of my children. As a young mother watching other mothers build relationships with their children, I knew i was going to have the best kind of mother and daughter relationships with each one of my daughters, we were going to be phone call buddies and not a day would go by without hearing each other's voices. I longed for that day that we were planning day trips and weekend get aways. That spa day was a monthly thing we just did. The giggles we were going to share as adults and not have days of misunderstandings. Now to me that didn't seem too hard of a picture to have. The puzzle pieces of this scene were supposed to fit nicely together. Only to have my heart broken into a thousand different pieces as those dreams haven't become a reality with all my children. I had no idea that parenting children into adulthood was going to be so hard and trying all at the same time, I had no idea I was going to break their hearts in so many places, that at this time it's not reparable. I had no idea that I would get six different viewpoints and that each viewpoint would bring me further apart from the children that I had longed to protect and not do anything to their frail hearts. I never thought I would be called toxic and not fit to be in their lives. How could these pieces be mine? How could this be the life I was given when I longed for something different? How could I have gotten it so wrong of the picture I would have on my box. I really thought this one definitely was not mine and some changes of pieces should have been made. But they weren't. these were the pieces that I received, not that there isn't time for the rearranging and that prayer doesn't change things. but right now, this is my heartache, and it runs deep.

                    "Every heart has its secret sorrows, which the world knows not, and 

                     oftentimes we call a man cold, when he is just sad."


                    "The dawn is not distant nor is the night starless; Love is eternal!

                       God is still God, and his faith shall not fail us Christ is eternal.

 Both of these statements were made by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I know he saw a different picture on his puzzle box, but he like all of us had to look eternal. We need to understand that life is like an onion. needing to be peeled layer by layer. Tears will fall with each layer, and we need to mourn what we thought we were getting only to find out we would be receiving a totally different thing. We must mourn our dreams and expectations and the reality of what life really turned out to be. once we are able to do that, we will begin to see the master builder. We will give him a chance to allow him to do his work. In the end of life, we will notice that his way was better than ours all along and the pieces weren't misplaced. he was just hiding the masterpiece till the end.  My puzzle box wasn't a mistake, I just wasn't privy to all the details. His plan is higher than my plan I just need to trust the process. 





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Just read this today. I have done many puzzles, and each one does have its frustrations of pieces that should fit, but don’t! And just like life, all the pieces just don’t seem to be right, and I ask myself, Why? The only thing I know is if I don’t keep on going, I will be stagnant and miserable. So, I persevere and try to deal with the cards I’ve been dealt.

Terri-Lynn Ackerman

It hurts to know your sorrow. I’ve been through some of the same and can truly relate
My favorite saying in the word is “But God”. He
Gave you life, sustains you in every situation, feeds you, clothes you, gives you a place to lie your head every night, children and grandchildren who are just the light of your life, a job, many talents, He has seen you through crisis after disaster, given you many Christian friends, allowed you to travel to places most will never see, allowed you for the most part to be a stay at home mom….. many opportunities.
You have so much to be thankful for… you have come out the other side wiser, talented with so many gifts, you are able to discern who really loves you and cares, you have not been touched by infirmity…. No matter what the daily hardships you remain a child of the King.
Your puzzle is not complete, because it’s still in the making! Mourn the past, yes, then put it away. Straighten your crown and March on to find those missing pieces! I ❤️ you, my friend.


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