Time really does change your perspective on things.
About two weeks ago I wrote about how time had changed my understanding of many songs when I referenced the 90s RnB song Who Can I Run To, linking it to deep, spiritual roots. Today I see how time has changed my view on yet another classic staple from my childhood- puzzles.
When I was in middle school I loved puzzles. That was right around the time that 3D puzzles were becoming a thing and I would love to visit the puzzle store in Towson Town Mall just so that I could admire the new puzzles that were out. I remember receiving the Titanic 3D puzzle one year as a gift and it did my heart just right to see that beautiful ship finally reassembled. I loved puzzles! And although I was young, I was not afraid of the 500, 1000, or larger piece puzzles; no sir, I lived for the larger puzzles because they challenged me all the more. In my youth puzzles meant unlimited entertainment and putting together something that had been broken apart for too long.
About ten years ago puzzle pieces took on another identity for me, this time representing Autism and Autism Awareness. I started working with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and that’s when my eyes opened to the uniqueness of differently abled people. I had never knowingly met someone who was differently abled, but working with adults at that day program allowed me to learn and experience things that prepared me for far more than I ever could have imagined.
…like the day when I noticed the uniqueness in my own niece, Sophia.
I promise it was only God who allowed me to see at such a young age that Sophia saw and responded to the world differently. When the diagnosis finally came back and confirmed what I had already known, our world shifted as all worked to abide in the reality of this beautiful young soul. As such, for the past few years puzzle pieces have represented the uniqueness of beautiful souls like Sophia all around the world. It is not uncommon to see me in a puzzle piece necklace, jacket, or even rain boots, thinking of the little girl whose #PuzzlePieceFitsDifferently. She is my entire heartbeat outside of my chest and because of her, I see puzzles differently.
But then just recently (last week, that is), I saw puzzle pieces in yet another different way. I began to see puzzle pieces as a representation of who we are and the people that we connect to. Look at these puzzle pieces for a second and go with me….
Each connection is unique and cannot be shared with another piece other than the intended piece. Likewise, we are all like puzzle pieces; we connect to others on two, three, or four sides. However, those connections are not all the same. The way that I connect with someone on one side is not the exact same way that I connect with another on another side.
I thought of this last Tuesday afternoon as I walked in the beauty of the day. As I continue to grow with and in God, I continue to think about my husband even more. And I guess because I am currently dating someone that those thoughts are amplified even still. I can vividly recall the visions of my husband that God has shown me. I know he is real and I know that he is closer than ever before. I can smell the captivating aroma of his cologne as he enters a room. I can feel the hairs of his beard rubbing against me as I cradle my face in his neck when he pulls me near for a hug. I can hear the strength in his voice as he sweetly utters my name. I can see into the depths of his soul as I look into the heart of his eyes. I can taste the longing desire within him as we share a passionate kiss. My senses are daily heighted by his existence; he is extremely real to me. Is he the man that I currently date? Only God knows that answer for sure, but I do know that that is a desire shared by us both.
For years I thought that my husband would fit with me exactly like my best friend fits with me. I thought that he would be the male version of my bestie and that he and I would romantically pick up where Amy and I could not go. I mean, isn’t this the dream for all romantic relationships? That our mates would be just like our closest friend? After all, our mate is supposed to be our best friend…
However, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and gently corrected me. The way I fit with my best friend, Amy is different from how I will fit with my husband….and both of those connections are different from how I fit with God. My husband was not designed to replace Amy… just as Amy was not designed to replace God. They are different connections- all important and necessary in their own way- but still completely different.
My husband is my husband.
My bestie is my bestie.
My God is my God.
And I’m just the edge piece that holds them all together.