I’ve always had a God-given gift and desire to create beautiful things out of nothing. It’s something I was born with. I remember when I was about eight-years old my parents had some friends over and while they were visiting, I found an old tuna fish can, covered it with scraps of felt, glitter, and cotton balls and made a Christmas ornament. My face beamed as I showcased my creation to my parents and their friends.
I started sewing when I was ten. Creating was my passion. As I grew older, people told me over and over and over and over that I should be a designer. Despite the constant accolades from friends, somehow, making a career of design never grabbed my soul. It never compelled me. Drove me. Never pushed my passion.
So I went to college and got a degree in finance.
But the gift didn’t fade. It was for a time yet to come.
Though it lingers, wait for it. It will surely come to pass. Habakkuk
After my kids were born and money was tight, garage sales were like Saks Fifth Avenue to me. When friends would ooh and awe about my decorating, saying thank you for their compliments was not enough. There was a tale behind every treasure I redeemed. They had to hear the story! The story was the beauty.
“This was only a dime!” I’d exclaim.
“The handle was broken but I fixed it!”
Repurposing was a delight. The trinket was only the physical manifestation of the beauty. Story was the treasure.
Over and over and over and over I heard, “You’re so creative, Christy! You should be a designer!” I tried a few craft shows and wholesaling some of my designs, but nothing took off. I either didn’t have the momentum or motive to make things move.
Sometimes it felt selfish. Why did I have a gift if it wasn’t to be shared? Hide it under a bushel? I wanted to let it shine! Why would God give me such creativity without the capacity to make it manifest?
Though it lingers, wait for it. God had a purpose greater than what I could imagine.
For years, He used garage sales as object lessons. God used things in the natural realm to refine my vision and taught me how to see beauty in the midst of what others would see as junk.
He was training me for the day He’d showcase His glory in a supernatural realm.
It was an unexpected day. The day of my 20th high school reunion. My ex had my two boys, Garrett and Jake, for the weekend. They were going fishing.
They never made it to the lake.
“Jake didn’t make it,” the doctor announced.
Words etched into my soul.
The doctor delivered her report, but the Great Physician had another report—joy.
Oh, it didn’t make sense. How could God do that? How was it possible that He could create beauty out of such a tragedy. But the glimpse of heaven God revealed changed me as He poured out His joy in the midst of my sorrow.
Some 20 years later it still doesn’t make sense. I don’t know how it’s possible. I can’t explain it, but He took a tragedy and refashioned it. He created beauty out of ashes. What the enemy meant for harm, God turned it around for good. Like a discarded trinket in a Goodwill pile, God re-purposed my pain.
It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen or felt or imagined. And I had to tell the story. I can’t stop talking about it. The story is the treasure. The story is the glory! As long as I live, I’ll share the hope.
Jake’s life may be over but his story is not!
After years of wondering, God illuminated the purpose and reality of the giftings He put in me. I finally understood. I discovered my purpose the day Jake died. I wasn’t born to design objects others could see. God called me to design with a different medium—words.
Words that create life.
Words that create hope.
Words that instill value in women.
Ladies, the purpose of our life lasts much longer then the day we leave this earth.
It used to make me upset when people said I’d never get over Jake’s death because I felt like I failed to help them understand the story and feel the joy that God gave me. But now, I get it.
The way I deal with the pain of his loss is by pouring into other women. If I couldn’t do that, I would shrivel up in misery.
That’s why, today, on the 21st anniversary of Jake’s homecoming, I want to ask you a favor. I’m not celebrating with cake and balloons, but I am having a party with a purpose.
I want to invite you to partner with me, either with prayer or by making a donation to Living Soul, the nonprofit I founded to empower women to live soul-healthy lives. Today I sense an open heaven, like God showering kisses from above to usher Living Soul into greater works.
If you know me well, you know I hate to ask. But I’ve learned I’m not asking for me. I’m asking for the women that God called Living Soul to reach.
For the women like these that I was able to minister to at Hope is Alive, a program that is radically changing the lives of those affected by addiction.
For women that God has called Living Soul to mentor and coach through online coaching programs.
I can’t do any of this alone, however. The vision is growing and we have more women to reach. Please consider making a tax deductible donation to Living Soul.
Women like Jen who said this after completing Let go and Thrive, an online coaching program to empower women to break the bondage of bitterness.
I’ve been a product of life-long counseling since childhood, but through Let Go & Thrive I’ve grown, developed and gotten more insight than all my years of counseling.
Women like Sherlene.
This course is way more than just about forgiveness. It’s for all women who’ve ever been a people-pleaser or who thought her identity came from anyone but God.
Jake was going fishing the day he died. And as his legacy lingers, that’s now my pursuit. I’ve never really like fishing…for fish anyway, but today I’m committed to reaching the multitude and fish for women. Won’t you join me?