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The unfinished blanket

November 7, 2023

Category: My Story

Recently, I spent a couple of weeks in West Virginia awaiting the arrival of our second grandbaby.  I decided to make good use of my time and go through some boxes that had been sitting around way too long.  From the top shelf of my bedroom closet, I pulled down a box labeled “cross stitch”.  I opened it to find several patterns of projects completed, a container with yarn carefully labeled and sorted, a couple of different size hoops, and then I saw it… the bottom of the box…..the gray plastic shopping bag…..

Tears instantly filled my eyes as I reached for the bag with a shaky hand.  Very carefully folded and wrapped in the bag was an unfinished baby blanket.  I opened the bag and began to cry as I spread out the blanket.  So many different memories and emotions ran through me so quickly…..the joy as I began the blanket, the hope as I continued stitching through the years, and the heartache as I left it only 2/3’s finished.

The blanket became my project in my very early 20’s when we decided to begin our family.  I recall working countless hours on the blanket as the little animals took shape.  I often carried it in the gray shopping bag to my mom and dad’s.  I would stitch in mom’s kitchen as she cooked Sunday dinner.  The blanket and gray bag became an appendage as I excitedly planned for a baby.

As the years passed, the journey shifted and became one of doctor’s appointments, infertility tests, injections, procedures, and disappointments.  Amid the heartache, I prayed constantly to become a mommy and couldn’t understand why I was being denied.

I don’t recall the day I decided to stop my work on the blanket; when it became too painful; when I folded it for the last time and placed it so carefully in the gray bag at the bottom of the box.  However, upon rediscovering the blanket, I noticed the needle was threaded and in place for the next stitch, causing me to wonder if the decision to put it away was conscious or unconscious.

The timing of re-discovering the blanket was not lost on me.  As I looked at it, through much different eyes and nearly 40 years later, with emotions washing through me, I began to thank God for His constant faithfulness…..for answering my prayers…..for the blessing of my children…..and now my grandchildren.  I praised Him for the reminder that His ways are not our ways…..that His timing is always perfect and best.

My hands, now 40 years older, have once again begun stitching on the blanket.  I am anxious to see it finally completed…..for all the emotions and memories to be captured in one simple blanket.  It won’t reach its original purpose of laying over my babies, but with a joyful heart, and perhaps a tear, I will lay it over my grandbabies.  This blanket will always be a treasure to me and now it will also be a reminder of God’s faithfulness, His goodness, and His promises.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts; nor are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  Isaiah 55:8

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!  Psalm 27:14

Ephesians 2:8 by His grace, Karen

Epilogue:  Recently I have been struggling with a concern and “unanswered prayers”.  I even had a discussion with God about “why not now?”,  “but when?”, “are you listening?”  Then, while in West Virginia, a friend posted a devotion about “God’s timing” and I began to think about that.  I had lunch with my friend, Jill, and during our visit, she referred to “God’s timing”.  A couple of days later, I was walking with my friend, Cindie, and she referred to “God’s timing”.  It was the next day I re-discovered the baby blanket.  When I thought about this sequence, I had to chuckle…..”okay, God, I hear you, your timing is always best”.  It was then I decided to redirect my thinking and my prayer was to focus on God’s faithfulness in my past and trust Him with my current concerns.  It was the following Sunday, during the preacher’s message titled “fear-less”, he said, “take today’s worries but then focus on God’s past faithfulness”.  Once again, I had to smile…..”okay, God, I hear and trust you”.  If you think God isn’t talking to you……..just listen.


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