Founder, Refined Family
Kerry Tittle is a mother of 10 children and a 20+-year homeschool veteran. She is the founder of Refined Family. Her desire is to honor Christ while comforting others with the comfort she has received from the Lord.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Those words have become so beautiful to me. They are a secure reminder that a sovereign Father wrote my story long before I was ever born, and I can quit striving for a different story. He has prepared beforehand for the works He has for me to do. I am His masterpiece.
But it didn’t always feel that way for me. For most of my self-sufficient Christian walk, whenever I read those words, I would imagine a group of sandal-wearing men standing on the dusty roads of Ephesus. Formed in a circle around a letter from their imprisoned friend Paul, they would be encouraged and changed by the words that told them who they were in Christ. I was simply an onlooker following the story. For some reason those words seemed to be for other people.
I can’t remember a time in my life I ever felt like I was enough. I always felt there was more to do to be accepted, both humanly and spiritually. I was never the best student, the best friend, the best daughter, the best wife, the best employee…………I constantly strived. But who imposed those standards on me? God certainly didn’t. It was me.
I set my standards so high and unachievable that I could never reach the criteria that would define beauty or worth. I devoured books that would help me become……..quiet spirit, better mom, better wife…..whatever it was I felt guilty about at the time.
After the storm, the fire of suffering brought up the dross of my true self and it was as unattractive as ever. I spent much time pondering who I was and it was hideous. Even the vain side of me would look at the physical scars that were an awful reminder of that night.
But something quite unexpected happened. The Lord began to lead me down a path of rediscovering who He was. Not who I imagined, not who people told me He was, but the True God of the Scriptures. Just He and I. I began to discover a different Father. He wasn’t glaring at me from His Holy place in disgust over how I imperfectly walked this road of grief. He wasn’t angry at me for all my failings. His Word told me He wanted all of me. The bruises, the scars, the brokenness……..all of it. I didn’t have to be afraid of Him anymore. I was His Masterpiece. Even now I still feel uncomfortable typing those words because I still feel very much like a “catastropiece” (I borrowed that word from a precious 5 year old friend of mine).
The climax of this journey happened at a meeting. A friend that I was collaborating with on a project showed me a short film he made several years ago – The Masterpiece. As I watched this short 10 minute story, it was like the icing on the cake of my journey. This story presented who we are before God.
Please take a few minutes to watch it now:
I walked away from that meeting not thinking of my own project but the revelation that I am where God has me in the sanctification process. The film perfectly illustrated for me that I can’t be compared to another’s walk. I am a work in progress; complete with scars, brokenness and failings. But He calls me His.
I have been clothed in righteousness that is not my own. He died for my sins and has given me a beauty and a worth that far surpasses any that I could achieve in my own striving. How do I know this? Because He said so.
Christian, its not for you to decide what is worthy and what is beautiful. Our perception is terribly flawed and we should never usurp what God has already established. Rest in the promise that you are His workmanship and His masterpiece and He has put unique beauty and worth in you.