The other day I watched a time lapse video of someone using pastels to draw a portrait.

At first, it looked stupid. And it definitely didn’t look like a person.

And if it hadn’t been in time lapse, I would have quit watching, because I don’t have a very high tolerance for random YouTube videos.

But all of a sudden, it seemed like there was a person.

And then It seemed like she was nearly jumping off the page.

And then, I thought, “Wow. That’s a portrait!”

And I thought it was over.

But, no. The video went on. I was only about halfway through it.

For the rest of the video, the artist added little tiny additions of depth here and there, and minute details that improved the portrait until it was a living creation.

And I thought about my life and how I have been so frustrated lately with, well–everything.

I had surgery six months ago. I had a baby ten months ago. I had another baby almost three years ago. Three years ago I almost died. And four years ago I had another baby. And another one five years ago, and another one seven years ago. And eight years ago, Joy went back to heaven.

I have had quite the decade.

So, I forget about that. I forget that I have had stuff. And maybe that stuff might have interfered with having the life I thought I wanted to live and all the Great Amazing Things I was going to accomplish with my family.

And six and a half months ago, I thought that BY NOW I would be totally recovered from EVERYTHING and back into the swing of things and on my way to getting my life back…to getting my family back to where I was before, on a fire breathing unicorn exuding nothing but pure awesomeness.

Today, it felt like I was so not that.

When I first started this journey of rebuilding my life, I thought everything I did looked stupid.

Nothing resembled what I wanted to have happen.

And when it started resembling something not totally horrible, I thought, “Okay, I will give it some more time.”

And here I am not even nearly half way through and there are days that I catch glimpses of the portrait of my life and think, “Okay, well, it looks like a portrait!” And I excitedly exclaim to Heaven:

“Hey, it’s looking good! I think we are done here!”

But, no.

Heaven sees where the bits of color and depth and detail need to be added and it isn’t even close to done.

So I stomp my foot and demand that somehow Heaven make this part speed up. My problem is I want these hard parts with the “finish” work to be done in time lapse.

I want the hard parts to be a quick two minute montage in the movie of my life, so I can get to the happy endings.

What I need to do is look back and remember that there have been many happy endings already, after the trial of the painstaking detail work that seems to take far too long.

I know there will be many more happy endings and each portrait in the series that is my life will get better and more beautiful until in the end, it is a masterpiece.

I don’t think I will ever quite give up the fantasy that somehow we could just make the hard parts that quick montage with an upbeat, hopeful song that reassures the viewer (and myself!) that all will be well in approximately two and a half minutes.

I still want that.

But what I want more is the creation of something so beautiful that it will be a masterpiece. So, I will be patient and trust Heaven and not give up on myself halfway through.

You know, I think we are all going to be amazing and gorgeous and wonderful and absolutely breathtaking…and we will get through the hard parts. And in the end, it really will be time lapse and all the hard parts will seem like only a moment and we will see the finished product and be awestruck at what we have become.

You really are.