This is my seam ripper. Well, not my exact seam ripper, this is the picture from Amazon of my seam ripper. But this picture was more convenient and not taken with the background of my messy dining room which is currently serving as my sewing room.
Ask any seamstress what her favorite sewing tool is and I’m guessing not one will mention the seam ripper. We all love the fancy feet on our sewing machines, our sergers, maybe a particularly good turning tool, but no one LOVES their seam ripper. Because most of the time you only pull out a seam ripper when something has gone wrong.
(Caveat: I do use my seam ripper to pull out gathering stitches. Which is satisfying in and of itself but that’s about the only positive thing I use it for.)
Sewing can contain many life lessons. It teaches perseverance, creativity, and an ability to think outside the box. But the most important thing I’ve learned from sewing has to do with my seam ripper. Because sometimes in sewing, as in life, you fail.
Sometimes things go horribly wrong.
Sometimes you sew the bodice to your skirt with the wrong side to the right side, serge them together, and then realize your mistake. Sometimes you don’t read all the instructions because you think you know what your doing. Sometimes through no fault of your own you sew an entire hem without noticing your tension is all messed up.
And in each of these situations you face a choice. Throw the whole project away and start a new one or pull out your seam ripper and start the arduous task of undoing what has been done.
Grace is a lot like the seam ripper. God promises that the good work he began in us he will finish. Even when we willfully walk into sin, even when we make the same mistake over and over again. God doesn’t just toss us into the heap and start on a new project. Instead he gently picks us up and patiently begins pulling the threads out of our hearts that have us bound and lovingly gets us to a place where the good work can continue.
Some of my favorite dresses are ones in which I had to rip out whole seams. I loved them enough to not scrap them but instead get out my seam ripper and get them to a place where they could go on to become something beautiful. This dress was the one I sewed the bodice to the skirt wrong. But I fixed it. It took nearly an hour of carefully pulling out threads but I fixed it. And the finished product is lovely.
Satan says,”Your failures are too great, you can never amount to anything worthwhile.” God says “I started something beautiful and no mistake you make will keep me from seeing it finished.”
Even if it means getting out the seam ripper.