1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…” (NIV)
Puzzle-making involves turning disorder into order…much as the verse from 1 Corinthians tells us God does. It can be a frustrating process but the end result is worth the effort.
I am a puzzle lover who enjoys working on Sudoku puzzles or Logic challenges and more recently, Wordle has been added to the mix. But overall my favorite challenge is assembling jigsaw puzzles. During the pandemic shutdown months of 2020, I completed a minimum of four 1,000 piece puzzzles.
Confusion reigns when the puzzle box is upended and the pieces fall into a disordered heap on the table. It takes time to sort out the edge pieces but that is what creates the framework for the puzzle. It is soothing to find just the right piece and to see the picture come together; but as any avid puzzle lover would agree, a missing piece can easily derail the joy found in the process.
That elusive missing piece is usually the one that will complete the picture. The piece that no one can find…either in the box or on the floor. We rant and rave and bcome frustrated that with all the hours spent it comes down to one missing piece.
Piece of my heart…
I experienced similar emotions in January of 2020 but for a different reason. Due to the complications of diabetes, my husband of 41 years passed away, and my Facebook post the following day shared these words: “I woke up this morning missing a piece of my heart. My beloved husband, Wayne, walked into the arms of Jesus yesterday afternoon…”
My identity was now different…I was a daughter, a mom, a grandmother, a sister… but a hole existed where my role as a wife had been. A piece was missing. I felt too young to be a widow so I did not want to fill that hole with that word…so the hole remained. The puzzle of my life no longer looked the same.
Three years have passed and I still pause when using the word “widow.” I usually circumvent it by saying “my husband passed away.” The meaning is the same but I can use those words more easily. Over time, I realized how important it became to spend time with friends but as an introvert, I have often had to talk myself into going to social events. I was no longer part of a couple so spending time with other married friends was difficult. It was easier to say “no” than to face them in a social situation.
The love and support of my friends has slowly changed the shape of that hole for which I am grateful. My journey in grief has not been a straight path and often times, I tried to fit a piece into my life that was not meant to be there. In the end, God has brought peace to the disorder of my life through the love of friends and family. The puzzle of my life has taken on a different look as the pieces fit together in a different way, but I feel God’s hand on each and every one of those pieces.