I was in the first grade and wanted handwriting like Jodi Pitts. Her papers were always neat and beautiful- just the way I envisioned mine.
I’d go home and practice writing my name over and over and over again trying to make it beautiful. Mine never looked like Jodi’s. Finally, I asked my friend to give me handwriting lessons. Thankfully, we were 7 so that wasn’t quite so weird. I probably wouldn’t have many friends if I asked my friends today to teach me to be like them.
I’m no longer 7, but that same insecurity lingers. It’s a valid insecurity. Adults are kinder than kids (usually). Instead of coming right out and telling me that my handwriting is illegible, they will gently ask me, “What’s that letter?”
When the fact becomes obvious that – yes, I have awful handwriting and I know it, friends have said, “Your handwriting doesn’t match up. You seem like you would be careful and meticulous, but you’re not.” No, I’m not. It’s embarrassing.
I don’t receive handwriting grades anymore, so I shouldn’t really care. And my children have neater penmanship than I do, so I don’t think it’s an inherited problem.
I had to sign books recently and became painfully aware, yet again, that my handwriting is a problem. Looking for a way to fix my problem, I went to Target. Target just seems to fix my problems from time to time. Surely, they have now invented a pen that can make anyone have beautiful cursive. Did you know there is an entire aisle of nothing but pens? I expected a 10 second aisle scan, and 10 minutes later I was frustrated that I had so many choices. All the pens claimed to be groundbreaking and revolutionary. They can even prevent signature fraud they claim. They have pens “perfect for lefties.” They have pens that are made from recycled plastic bottles.
So I fell for it and bought the pen. Turns out they don’t have a pen that can make your writing look beautiful.
Sometimes I just want to fix my problems. I want to fix what doesn’t look right in my life and make it look the way I envision. I want things to be beautiful and neat. I don’t want messy and illegible. I want to buy the pen that can write me a more beautiful picture than what I currently have.
Perspective. It’s often overlooked, yet it’s so crucial to how we interpret each moment. If I am focused on the ugliness, I obsess over my own control of the situation. How can I make this better? How can I make this the way I want?
When I shift to God’s perspective, I can see the beauty in the mess of the moments. What does God have to say to me in this mess? How is God growing me into godliness through this? How am I being made beautiful on the inside even if the outside doesn’t shine the way I would prefer?
I have the new pen. The one I thought would make it all better. It failed. But God doesn’t. This pen reminds me that He holds the power of the pen. His writing is always beautiful. And He can take my illegible work and turn it into something marvelous, despite my inabilities.