‘Ever watched a toddler with that yellow toy, laboring to insert the shaped pieces? You watch, anxiously restricting your hands as he manipulates the same piece at the same spot—expecting some sudden change.
I am that toddler. I just finished expending 1½ years of my life as a square peg, bumping every which way against a round hole. Month after month, I saw changes—but they were mere shavings in the hole and gaping gouges in this (still) square peg. Nonetheless, I kept at it. A friend, referring to her own experience, gave apropos perspective. She called it “letting her fears crowd out God’s voice.” I totally get that.
Today’s reflection has done more than open my eyes. It has elicited a long look back. I see a repeated pattern. Try as I may, in a number of scenarios into which I’ve attempted to insert myself (even over long periods of time), I never could “smoosh.” I’ve often had to finally stop, regroup, and change the status quo.
During each of these bouts of temporary insanity, however, I’m not completely static: I’m learning and growing. But the fact remains: some components are constant: neither the hole nor peg can magically morph. Something’s got to give (and it’s usually me).
So what do I make of all this? Well, first of all, Hello! Maybe having been hit upside the head, in the future I might be quicker to cut my losses. But I also see these episodes have been God’s plan: without doubt, each run-in has taken this sharp-edged peg and smoothed off some rough edges. But most importantly, when in that learning curve, having set myself up for brutal beatings, God is there. When I hit a wall, He heals my bruises. When the going gets rough, I continue in His strength. And when, finally, my heart gets broken–and my repeated attempts have finally worn me to a frazzle–He turns me toward another opening: His open arms.