Life's A Puzzle

Life's A Puzzle

And I'm just waiting for the pieces to fall into place.
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puzzle:

verb: to exert (oneself, one's mind, etc.) over such a problem or situation.

Have you ever experienced an event in your life where you just can't seem to understand why it happened? But then after some time has passed, you look back and finally realize why it occurred and how it propelled you to the place you are right now?

Welcome to the puzzle of life. Pull up a seat, empty your box, and start sorting.

For me personally, some of my favorite childhood memories involve days spent working 1000-pieced puzzles with my sister and grandfather. I can still picture the wooden table we would sit at with thousands of tiny, colorful pieces scattered across it, and the look of steady contemplation across my grandfather’s face as he would peer over his glasses.

Even though we would concentrate on working the puzzle, that didn't mean we were always quiet. Working puzzles created a perfect time to have some of the best conversations with my grandfather and sister. Puzzle pieces weren't the only things exchanged during those hours, but wisdom and life advice as well.

If you have ever worked a puzzle in your lifetime, you understand the challenge that comes with putting one together.

First, you must pour out every precisely shaped piece into an array, being super careful not to lose one, for each piece is essential to the puzzle’s completion. Next, you might group the pieces based on color and build separate sections of the puzzle. Then comes the time, patience, and dedication you must apply to inspect and combine all of the pieces to create the final result: one big picture.

In many ways, this puzzle assembling process can be compared to our lives. Yet the difference is not knowing what your big picture looks like, not knowing exactly what you are working towards.

The pieces of your life puzzle are every moment you have ever experienced and have yet to experience in your lifetime. They represent life stages, memories, and events. As life goes on, our puzzle slowly comes together piece by piece, section by section.

We can’t choose how our life puzzle is going to fit together. I believe that God has already designed and predestined our complete life puzzle exactly for us. He is the only one who knows what our big picture looks like.

Sometimes we get frustrated because we can’t find that specific piece that would help us understand, or we try to fit a piece into our lives that isn't meant to be.

Yet we press on in pursuit of finding the right fit, finishing the next section of our life, and getting closer to the final, big picture.

Friends and family and those who are significant to us help us build our life puzzle. Their advice guides us through obstacles and challenges. They are always there, right across the table, to offer you a new piece of wisdom.

At times we find ourselves in the unknown as we wait for our puzzle to come together. The fear of unknown can become prominent as we anticipate what our big picture holds. For me personally, being the type-A college student that I am, I always long to know what the future holds. But that is where our faith and trust in the Lord must kick in to endure the contemplation and questioning of our life pieces.

The challenge of our life puzzle is waiting for those pieces to fall into place.

We don’t know what tomorrow holds. We do not possess the ability to foresee our future. Maybe you are unsure about what you are going to do after college. Maybe you are struggling with understanding why a certain event took place in your life. We all long to make sense of the pieces and see how they will assemble to reveal what our big picture looks like. Just like a puzzle, we must work through these questions and challenges of everyday life with time, patience, and diligence at hand.

We must never let the challenge of our life puzzle make us impatient. We must trust that in their own time, the pieces will fall perfectly into their place of purpose.

So here’s to right now. Here’s to the present day that is in the works of forming our life puzzle. Be excited to see how God has planned for them to interlock and establish the story of your life. What a glorious day it will be when the pieces have fallen, and the puzzle of our life is complete. Because then and only then will we finally understand why the pieces fell exactly the way that they did.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Why You Should Bring Your Close Friend As Your Formal Date

Before asking that cute girl to formal think about asking a friend

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Every year since I was a junior in high school I have always looked forward to homecoming or prom. When I got to college I began to look forward to my fraternity formal. I was never concerned with what to wear or the expense of formal but rather who I was going to ask. It can be difficult to make a decision. If you ask anyone friends with me they will tell you how I am one of the most indecisive people out there. There are so many people I am friendly with or have a close relationship that it can feel difficult to make a decision. But let's look at that phrase again. You might think why does he want to bring someone who is his friend to his fraternity formal rather than someone he likes or is dating. To answer this question, some of the girls I have liked I have not been able to be the true me around and that also applies to the girls I have dated as well. I am different around my friends and I want someone to know the real me rather than me just having to pretend.

Maybe I am still experiencing the effects of a fun weekend but I have noticed that every formal or prom that I have brought a date with not only was a fun formal but interacted and connected well with my friends. That is the main thing I look for in a formal date, they need to be liked by my friends and many of them are still pretty friendly after the formal. You are spending the weekend with them and the drive down for you formal. There will be a lot of time spent with your date so it is important to bring someone you know you will have fun with. I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with bringing someone else but I always found it best to bring a friend if you are not dating someone.

Think about the people you know you will always have fun with. This can be an indication of who you should bring and why but you should also think about the positives in this situation. Your fun and the time spent with the people should be prioritized before anything else. This event is about you and you should have someone with you that you know is fun to be around and someone you can enjoy yourself around along with your friends. Friends know you as well as you know yourself so there is not an idea of having to pretend to be someone else. The good thing about friends is that you do not run out of things to talk about and there is always something new to learn. Take your formal as a trip that you get to experience with the people closest to you. That is my take.

The key for me is to know that I will have fun with my date at formal. The drive to formal can be long and you are sharing a hotel room with your date along with spending time with them during the trip. I talk a lot. I want someone I know who I can carry a conversation with and will not just respond with words such as Yeah or Sounds good. I have always been able to remember not only my formals but specific parts of it as well. I think this is possible because of who I have brought and the memories I made with them.

Formals are important to everyone so think about who you want to spend that moment with. There is nothing wrong with bringing someone who you like but there also is nothing wrong with bringing a friend. Some people might bring someone they are dating but you should not have to compare yourself to other people. Do what makes you happy but remember this weekend is about you and you deserve to bring someone you will have fun with.

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