Everyday Grace

Searching for goodness in the ordinary

Day 26: Keep Crawling // 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness

Oct
26

photo: Homero Esparza Guillen

Hi there! This is day 26 of a series I’m writing this October called 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness. You can find the entire series here: 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness. 

I work at a local escape room, where people pay to be locked in a room with their friends for an hour and have to solve puzzles to get out. My job is to explain the rules to people, and then sit on the other side of a computer where I can see and hear them, and give them clues when they get stuck. In one of the rooms I take people through, there is a tunnel they have to crawl through to continue the game. Most people get this and crawl through with no issues, but every once in a while, a group will get stuck because someone goes into the tunnel, finds nothing in there, and then crawls right back out again. Of course, they have no idea yet that there is a whole other room on the other side of the dark tunnel. I usually throw them a free clue at this point: “Keep crawling.”

Honestly, sometimes it feels like I’m in one of those confusing tunnels. This season of my life is just plain weird. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost five years, but have not yet reached the point of engagement and marriage. I think this is actually my fault, since before we met I always said I wanted to date my future husband for like six years to fully get to know one another. In my naive youth, I thought that was romantic and sweet. Now I know I don’t possess the thing known as patience, which is pretty important for something like that, so I’m pretty sure God is laughing. And since college I have been an office assistant, middle school teacher, consultant for a fair trade jewelry company, daycare worker, ministry intern, social worker, private tutor to a family in China, worship leader, owner of a home decor and vintage furniture refinishing business, and now a writer, speaker, and escape room employee. So clearly I have a well-developed and concrete career plan (HAHAHAHAHA).

Everything is in an inbetween state for me right now. And honestly? It sucks! There’s some freedom in just saying that out loud, and not trying to smush it down and be artificially positive about it, at least not all the time. I think if we’re honest, we can all agree that it’s hard to be in a position where things are up in the air and nothing is settled yet. I don’t know anyone who loves being in that place.

A couple of years ago, I got to visit Corrie Ten Boom’s house. If you don’t know who she is, you need to get yourself to your favorite bookstore and buy her book The Hiding Place like yesterday. (I get no kickback if you buy it from this link, I’m just sharing it with you because I love her books so much. She has shaped me immensely both in my writing and my walk with Jesus, and I consider her a huge hero of mine in the faith.) Visiting her home in Haarlem has always been on my bucket list, but I just figured it wasn’t likely to ever happen because, well, it’s in the Netherlands. But two years ago, I got to go. One of my favorite experiences ever, to be sure. There was a sweet and kind elderly woman who led our tour through the Ten Boom home and told us all about Corrie’s life and story. At one point, she held up a framed piece of embroidery on blue velvet that Corrie would use as a sermon illustration. The story goes like this: when Corrie was preaching to a group, she would hold up a piece of embroidery backwards, so that the messy side with a thousand tangled threads was visible to the audience. She would then explain that sometimes God doesn’t always give us what we ask for in prayer. Sometimes He says no, and we don’t understand what He is doing because, right now, we only see the underside of the design He is creating. Corrie would then turn the velvet around and show everyone the other side, revealing a beautiful crown. She explained that one day, God will flip the embroidery over and we will see what He has seen all along.

I’m a sucker for a good story, so I’m hoping God is weaving a good one out of what looks like a whole mess of extra thread here. If my life were an escape room, and I’m in the tunnel, I imagine God is leaning in and whispering, “Keep crawling.”

If you are in a tunnel too, you’re so not alone, sister. Let’s keep crawling, little by little, and keep trying to find the beauty in every inch until we see what’s on the other side. Knowing the God we serve, I feel like it’s going to be pretty great.

-c

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