I wanna know what love is

I wanna know what love is

My six-year healing quilt
While engaged in intensive outpatient care after a second unsuccessful suicide attempt I picked up crocheting again, and learned how to knit and read knit/crochet patterns. Thumbing through pattern books at Michaels I found an interesting pattern. It was rated easy to medium difficulty so I bought the book.

I must have started over at least six thousand times until I felt comfortable with my stitching. The only thing I did differently from the pattern was use a crochet needle twice the size and yarn twice as thick as the pattern recommended since I had a king-sized waterbed to cover.
I never thought I would actually finish it but I did … six years later.
I’m slow
My pace was not set for speed. I was in leisure mode. If I remembered to bring it with me I’d work on it 10 minutes here, 30 minutes there while I sat in waiting rooms, BSF lectures, church, rehearsals, etc. Many commented on how beautiful it was and couldn’t wait to see the finished product. I could wait because it wasn’t about finishing.
Crocheting and knitting, like gardening, had become a meditation. I stitched while He spoke. Sometimes I cried. Sometimes I laughed. Sometimes I got incredible revelation and wisdom. One thing was clear: God wanted me to do this for a reason. He wasn’t in a hurry for me to finish.
Heart surgery and reconstruction
Little did I know I had a congenital heart condition. My heart was broken from the very beginning. Those charged with its care, while they did the best they could with what they had, broke my heart and soul almost beyond repair.
I really didn’t know what love was, especially unconditional love. I was taught early that love always had strings attached. However, the Great Physician had to school me on affairs of the heart. I needed a surgeon and He was available. As I stitched I sensed God saying things like:
  • Your heart is broken, I know.
  • It’s painful, I know.
  • I love you so much I want to repair your heart.
  • Heart repair takes time, and right now you and I have nothing but time.
  • As you knit this blanket together so also am I knitting your heart back together.
  • Each stitch is made with love, because I made and love you.
  • I’m right beside you.
  • You are a part of a larger heavenly quilt and purpose.
  • You are important to me.
  • It’s a lot of work putting this together, I know.
  • Relax.
  • There’s no hurry.
  • I enjoy spending time with you, my beloved.
He was building me up and performing heart surgery. He was my pacemaker. I didn’t quite understand how or why He thought I was worth talking to, much less rehabilitating.
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A feature of this blanket is the hood or foot pocket I created.
It wasn’t part of the original pattern. I call this co-creating.
Going through, not around
I crocheted through some of the absolutely ugliest, blackest times of my life. My husband died. My cousin committed suicide two weeks later, i.e., the day before my husband’s funeral. My uncle wanted nothing to do with me for seemingly no reason. My daughter had a psychotic break and was in and out of outpatient services all over the San Francisco Bay Area. I visited boarding schools across the country trying to find the right fit for my daughter.
Less than two years after my husband’s death my parents lead the charge and colluded with my in-laws to take guardianship of my daughter and NOT my son. Of course, the lawyer wasn’t cheap.
I filed a lawsuit against county mental health and the high school district for negligence and restitution related to my daughter’s special needs. That’s right, I had to find another lawyer.
Once again I searched for an found a lawyer so I could file a petition to conserve my daughter. County mental health, in retaliation despite having absolutely zero standing in the conservator matter, opposed me conserving my daughter and was only too happy to get “the inside scoop” from my parents on why I was not a suitable conservator.
Max was “falling down” and needed professional psychotherapy. He was justifiably depressed. I had medicine checks with my psychiatrist every six weeks. Cub scouts and Boy Scouts.
Significant loss of my husband’s retirement account principle after 2008 stock market crash fallout. Wrongful termination of daughter’s Social Security benefits, which eventually led to bankruptcy and losing my home. New church, new friends. Discovering Bethel Church, Redding, CA.
My quilt is comprised of blood, sweat and tears. It symbolizes the fact that I have emerged from the miry clay. It’s a testament to my perseverance and God’s unconditional love. Whenever I see it I am reminded that just as it is lovely so am I.
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Max as Cousin It.
My first afghan
Want to know what love is?
Crack open the Bible to 1 Corinthians 13. Paul spells it out in detail. I’ve always known about that particular passage, despite my Catholic upbringing where we refrained from touching the book, much less reading it.
I have been given wisdom and revelation around that passage. Now, more than ever, it holds even deeper meaning.
“Love is patient, kind … doesn’t keep an accounting of wrongs.” My mother holds grudges. She can reach back decades and remind you of your transgressions. Forgiveness is not in her lexicon.
God was affirming that I was free of that accounting of wrongs. He found me not guilty. Any debts I had were paid in full by Jesus himself. I am free. It took a while for me to own that but it was worth it.
My blanket has errors woven into it. However, God reminded me that, taken as a whole, no one can really see those imperfections unless they look for it using a fine-tooth comb. There’s no need to do that. He is the only Creator that makes things perfectly.
The blanket is exactly what it is supposed to be. It’s beautiful because it’s imperfect like me and God loves me anyway like I love my first blanket. Woven with love, I can wrap it around me and be reminded of God’s all-consuming love for his beloved who is me.
Boricua Confidential http://boricuaconfidential.blogspot.com
Birth of my daughter’s afghan knit with love just for her.
Sharing the love
I have since crocheted an afghan and am in the process of crocheting another for my daughter. I told my daughter that my love and affection for her are in every stitch. I am making it for her because I love her unconditionally, just as I love my son.

I love the arts and am thankful for the much-needed brain break.

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ABOUT BORICUA CONFIDENTIAL©™
Boricua Confidential chronicles my new life as a single mom of two kids after my husband died from cancer on our son’s seventh birthday. Join me on this journey of change, revival, reformation, discovery and new direction ordered of God. Being a widow ain’t easy, that’s for sure. I refuse to rollover and die. Quite the contrary. I intend to thrive from this crazy life. You can’t keep this woman down. If I’m down, I won’t be for long.

God created me to bounce back. Watch me.

8 Comments

  1. I love crocheting myself. I find it fun and relaxing, not to mention a stress reliever. I need to find some new patterns because I am tired of making the same blanket over and over.

  2. Wonderful post. Brought tears because I’ve been suicidal myself. I love your analogy of the quilt with it’s imperfections and that you can’t see them when you look at the whole. I also crochet and there’re many imperfections in my work, but when it’s complete, you can’t see them at all. One of the greatest revelations for me ever, I learned recently- God understands you fully. He doesn’t sit up above and judge your every wrong move or thought. He knows everything you’ve been through, exactly why you think and react certain ways, from your personality and all your experiences… he understands. And he feels all your pain with you. From the book “God Is” by Rene Schlaepfer

  3. This is a beautiful post. I love how you intertwined it all with God. He did indeed knit you with love. Thank you for sharing His love with us. Prayers for you. I know you will indeed keep bouncing back up!

  4. What a great keepsake for your family to have! I’m sure your daughter will cherish hers when you finish it.

  5. Thank you for sharing. Learning what love is makes all the difference. May God’s joy, peace and love fill the rest of your years. I mean that!

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