The Missing Piece

You may recall that I have previously discussed in my writings about my mothers love for doing puzzles. I don’t know where this love first started but she’s being doing them for as long as I can remember. I’ve dabbled here and there but as of yet I’ve never fully committed myself to the hobby. 

A couple nights ago my mom finished a new puzzle she had just bought. Or at least she thought she finished. The only problem was that she couldn’t find the last piece of the puzzle. She looked everywhere. In between and under the couch cushions, under the furniture but to no avail. Sometimes she will buy puzzles from used stores and in those cases you’re always taking a chance that it might not come with all the pieces it’s supposed to have. But this was a brand new puzzle that she bought so it was super weird it was missing the final piece. She even jokingly accused me of hiding the piece from her. Which, ok fine, I may have done as a joke in the past a couple of times. But this time I swear it wasn’t my fault. 

Although puzzles aren’t really my thing I could still understand how frustrating it would be to have that one piece that was missing. Putting the time in to put it all together and when you’re ready for the big “reveal” of what the whole picture is supposed to look like, there’s that one piece that has somehow skipped out and gone missing. No rhyme. No reason. No fault of your own. It’s just no where to be found. 

And speaking of those pesky missing puzzle pieces, I think it would be safe to say that this past year has felt like one giant missing puzzle piece! A very naughty, greedy, mean puzzle piece that broke in, robbed the castle and took off with the crown jewels with no intention of giving any of it back! 2020 was just so rude! 

We’re finally at the end of 2020. The year that felt like a bad dream. Or a nightmare. Minus Freddy Kruger. Although I wouldn’t totally rule that out at this point either. Except it wasn’t a nightmare. It was real. Too real.  Which is so much worse. If only we could have chosen to wake up at any second and everything could go back to how we think it should be. 

On nights like this, we usually take the time to reflect back on the previous year. I for one, like I’m sure most of you, would much rather block a lot of it out all together. That’s our normal human way of thinking. Block out the pain. Block out the tears. Block out anything difficult. Block out the unanswered questions. But what if all of the things that we’re trying to block out was part of a bigger plan? What if there’s more to all of this than meets our mortal eyes? What if there’s another hand at play? One that is able to see it all with a birds eye view. One that knows where and how every single piece of the puzzle fits. A much larger hand that is still in complete control even amongst the chaos. 

The thing about any kind of puzzle is that while we’re sitting there putting the time in trying to figure it all out, there’s someone who already has. The manufacturer. The one that made it. They know how all the pieces fit. They know how to solve it. They know all of the ins and outs. We didn’t create it so therefore we don’t have all the answers right away. That’s the point of the puzzle. We buy it, get it home, take it out of the packaging or the box and then spend how ever many hours trying to figure it out. The one who created it already has it figured out. They have the birds eye view from above already. They can see the beginning from the end and everything in between. The same way an eagle can see the smallest little field mouse from miles up in the air. 

This past year started out pretty great for me. At this time last year I was getting ready to sing and play my own songs at a New Years Eve gig. It was the perfect way to ring in the new year for me. Then in January, things continued to look up. The 2 1/2 year court battle that my ex husband had gotten us into finally came to a close. He finally signed the deal that I had originally offered him six months earlier. When I first offered him the deal he refused it. He was convinced that he was going to win and was determined to take it all the way to trial. A couple of months later we were all gathered in front of a judge where she informed him that if this went to trial that it would not go well for him. That the owe ness was on him. About a week later he and his lawyer came crawling back and agreed to accept my original offer. I guess he needed to hear the truth from a judge first to come to his senses. He signed it. And I signed it. And at this point we’re still waiting for the judge to sign it but the important thing is IT. IS. FINISHED! I can’t even begin to tell you about all of the damage that the last 3 years has caused due to the whole situation, on MANY levels but I was so thankful that God brought me through it and it meant a brand new start to a new year.

The rest of January, February and the very beginning of March I was starting to get the confidence to play more of my music live. It seemed that my hopes and dreams were finally starting to look like they could come true. Plans and promises were made. It was almost like everything started to line up, on every level. And after so much disappointment and pain from the previous couple of years, it was exactly what I needed. It seemed too good to be true. And then, just like that…it was. All of it. No more gigs. No full time job. Heartbroken all over again. Devastated. Hurt. Angry. Frustrated. Just when I thought things were finally turning a corner for me, both professionally and personally, it was over. And honestly, after what I had already been through, it was the last thing my heart needed. 

On top of all of that, my relationship with my two precious boys (who are quickly turning into grown men) is still very sensitive and delicate. I haven’t seen my oldest since June and I just recently was able to spend some time with my youngest on a couple of occasions in December. But it seemed that just when things might be moving forward, it took a giant step back again. Christmas Eve didn’t go well like I thought it would. I was in tears. The ugly cry type. I just felt so broken all over again and helpless.

So what do you do with so many things going wrong all at once? When there are so many missing pieces and you can’t seem to find where it could have all went wrong? Well, for me, I did what I always do when my heart is in shambles. I do what’s necessary. I keep my head down and get to work. Literally. I worked. I have been very thankful that I have a job that keeps me afloat during this season. The songs I wrote this past year…the rawness and honesty of it all, I believe have been some of my best yet. Learning not to rely on anybody else to get me to where only God can lead me. Learning to be thankful. Learning to be content. Learning to trust all over again. Learning to let go of what I can’t control and make room for the possibilities of the new. Learning to hope even when it scares the crap out of me because I honestly don’t know if I can take anymore heartbreak or disappointment. 

Most of us, like myself, had no control over what happened this past year. It was mostly someone else’s decision. Which makes us feel like we have no control. But the thing is, we never did. We never had control over any of it. Which to be honest takes the burden off of us and puts it right back where it belongs. Into the hands of the one who DOES have complete control. Always has and always will. God! Nothing that has happened this past year took Him by surprise. It didn’t phase Him. He has the birds eye view over every single one of our lives. He knows the beginning and the ending and we can all trust that He knows where and how every single piece of the puzzle is going to fit. 

I hope that no matter what this past year has been like for you, that you would continue to hold on to hope. That you would continue to trust the only One who is truly worthy of our complete and total trust. And as we step into another brand new year, that we would all take inventory of our lives and get back to the basics of what is truly important. Of who we are and who we were created to be. That we would give all of our unanswered questions, all of our missing pieces over to God and allow Him to put it all back together again. As He sees fit. The final picture might surprise us all…in a good way.