I have been working on a project. Slowly but surely, over the past few months I have been collecting things that have meant a lot to us during this season. Prints people have given to us, pictures of sweet Gideon, things to remind us of what God has done. Things to remind us of our baby. God sent me someone to help me capture the beauty of it all.
I mentioned her a couple weeks ago, but I have a very dear friend. This wonderful, beautiful, and talented friend challenges me to take risks. To not worry what people think, but instead to care about what is meaningful to me. I looked to my inner Myquillyn Smith, planted her mantra firmly on my brain, and set out to do a gallery wall in my home. “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful…” I’ve run her saying over and over again in my mind the past few years, and it has always meant a lot to me, but as I stood with her hanging pictures on the wall of baby Gideon its meaning came alive.
These past few months of our lives have been anything from perfect. “On paper” I could make a huge case for all that has been lost. All the pain that has entered our lives and the tragedy of death all seem far from perfect. But God does not give as the world gives and His perfect does not look like our “perfect.”
I was walking into Homegoods last week for one final frame I needed to make our gallery wall complete. As I walked in I had this calming sense that God was going to bless me in that place. What I found greatly surprised me. It was a huge disco ballish, mutli-colored, and flashy PEACE. Surely I was looking for something to represent PEACE on my wall…but this? Its kind of, well, ironic at best. But there is no way I could leave that store without it. Never in my life have I seen anything like it and it was the only one of its kind in the store. So out I went. With my loud, boisterous, and glittering piece of PEACE.
Myquillyn hit the nail on the head as she gracefully hung it on my wall. She said, “You know, it represents the kind of PEACE that is in your home.” That’s it isn’t it?! God’s Peace, His perfect Peace, His real Peace…its often in the wake of the most difficult times in life. True Peace came when we needed it most. True Peace came when nothing looked peaceful. It came when you looked at ours lives, at all that was happening and thought “truly how can this be? Where is the good? Surely there can be no peace here.” But there it was. In the middle of our pain, in the middle of our loud, in the middle of our messy, in the middle of our inadequacy there it is. God’s perfectly imperfect PEACE.
I am not an interior designer. I don’t feel very artistic. Part of me wonders if I am color blind I am so bad at matching things. But my home is not about those things. I am so thankful for the gift and the calling Myquillyn has. To show women, to remind them that it is not only about making things look perfect, tidy, and put together on the outside. Myquillyn writes in her book “The goal for our home is to be a place to connect with others, foster rest, inspire, and to be a welcoming place to come back to.” Thank you dear friend, for teaching that so gracefully.
And for me, for our home? May we connect with people in our home remembering that relationships in this life are the only thing we get to take with us to Heaven. May we find rest in each day, soaking in what every moment holds. May we inspire people to embrace and to find God’s perfectly imperfect peace. And may those whom we love come back over and over and over.
So as I sat there admiring our PEACE wall, I prayed. I prayed purpose and blessing over our home. I prayed for what that wall represents, for what it means, and for what it might remind people of every time they see it.
Today I pray for you too. May you find hope and joy in God’s perfectly imperfect peace.
Lord, as I sit here and look at this beautiful wall, I cannot help but look back and reflect on all that you have done. My heart yearns for Gideon, I cannot but think of him and miss him so. But my heart clings to you Lord, and I am thankful for the many things you have taught me. You re-molded this stubborn heart of mine and I will forever be grateful. Lord Jesus I pray, that whenever I look at this wall I would be reminded of all you have done in us. That I would remember that you are good and that you do not leave us in our time of need. That it would hold dear the life of my son and that I would hope in my forever with him someday. That the banner over this home would and forever more be PEACE. That we would stand firm, living for what we know to be good and true. That yes, the things of this life will distract us from you, but we will always remember whom we are founded on. Father may this wall always remind me of answered prayers and redeemed dreams. May I remember that your will for my life is always greater than my own, and that I prefer your plan. May I remember the smiles a midst the tears, the way Gideon’s cheeks felt against my lips, and the sweet surrender of his life to you. May our family devote ourselves to a closeness with you that only comes with full submission and may we never fear what tomorrow might bring. In this moment Lord, I am in awe of you. Jesus, may this family be yours for the holding, yours for the molding, and yours for truly living. May this home, this family, this life…be yours.”