Kat Mills considers the importance of putting the right pieces of our lives in the right places.

Figuring Out The Jigsaw Puzzle Of Life

My son recently had an obsession with jigsaw puzzles - it all started with a Christmas present. He spent hours putting it together, pulling it apart and doing it again. So I trawled the local charity shops and before long my lounge floor was littered in Peppa Pig, Thomas the Tank Engine and Solar System jigsaws. These puzzles became a daily routine, but I wasn't being stretched by a 35-piece Peppa Pig puzzle. So I treated myself to a more complicated puzzle of the solar system. He was delighted with the picture and would come and sit next to me as I puzzled over it.

It was a painstaking process - goodness knows how long I spent on completing the border! There were moments when I impatiently wanted the final picture to materialise. I forgot that the idea is to have fun, enjoy the process and to revel in the accomplishment of completion. My son amused me during the process and at times when I was struggling for a piece he would stand up and start dancing around with delight: "I found it Mummy, it was under my bottom!"

Once I'd completed all the easy bits it became much harder. There were times I stared and just couldn't see the piece I was after. I went away and came back to restart the search. At one point my neighbour came round and couldn't resist slotting in some of the pieces of the puzzle - you can imagine my frustration.

Something struck me about how life is like a puzzle. Sometimes we're so desperate to get to the end result that we forget to enjoy the journey and the beauty of each stage. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut and despite searching we can't work out how to overcome a hurdle. It's at these times, just like my neighbour's help, that we need someone with fresh eyes, or a different perspective to find the missing pieces and slot them into the puzzle.

Are you in a place where you feel there is a piece of the puzzle missing? Maybe you've searched, but you can't find that next piece. Do you need to stand up to see that you were actually sitting on the answer all along? Sometimes we need to identify a piece that is in the wrong place; we are so desperate to fill that missing spot that we jam the wrong thing into the empty space and although we know deep down it's the wrong piece, it gives the illusion that we are completing the puzzle.

This was the story of my life for quite some time. I was so desperate to meet the right person that even when I met someone that I knew wasn't the right fit, I tried to fool myself that he was. At other times I would try to be everything to everyone because I hadn't understood or accepted who I was and what made me me. My busy-ness didn't give me time to look carefully at what was missing. The cost of running at this pace for me was several years of poor health. My life has been transformed since I stopped trying to ram in the wrong pieces and take stock. I have found a freedom and peace as I have found the right pieces of the puzzle in my life - my calling.

I am passionate about encouraging people and about music. There is something so wonderful for me about writing songs, sharing them with people, encouraging choirs through music, and seeing people grow in confidence to express themselves through music and song. I have needed to trust God and sometimes to wait patiently to find that next piece of the puzzle. The other things I was doing weren't wrong, but they were the wrong fit for my life.

When I accepted God and trusted in Him and realised that He loved me, that He knew me by name and that He cared for me, it was like I was being led to missing pieces of the puzzle - pieces that I had been striving to find.

At times everything slots into place, piece by piece, in our journey of life jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes we can stop and celebrate the little victories along the way. At other times we need patience or perseverance to keep looking for the right piece. Sometimes we need that helping hand and outside perspective.

Remember to enjoy the journey and remember you are not alone. I believe there is a God who is there and loves everyone and is willing to help. All you need do is ask. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.