This little raised cross. Torn marks cut deep all around leaving scars like I’ve felt in life.  But it doesn’t define me. The cross within me remains the stronger beat.

“Raised up, reclaimed, repurposed, redefined, rejuvenated…stronger for the marks. That is how good the Cross is. Redeemed.”

I’ve learned that keeping a positive outlook in life can set your direction. My dad helped form this perspective early on with his ongoing upbeat nature. It was my “pre-faith” faith. The first struggles I had in life were health-related, being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age 18, an auto-immune disease, with no cure or known cause. It was embarrassing and painful many times. I was hospitalized the month before I started college and 2 years later I had to drop out of a college semester. These health struggles, and forced recovery times, when all you could do was rest, helped form my determination. You just keep going.

Sometimes the marks life leave are visible too long, a reminder of the pain. Failed relationships, false securities in economics, loss of those we love, and other things life throws us. But I won’t stay there. It would have been easy to give up, but YOU can’t. There is always more.

The grace of the cross. I now see this positive mindset as a fundamental element of faith. Believe. Hope. Trust. It was part of my faith foundation before I even knew to discover and form my own faith. Starting small with the size of a mustard seed, faith grows.

Tossed aside concrete in the making of something else; a leftover not even removed from the focus of the project. The outcome is the formed in the unformed. It’s a powerful reminder for what the scraps and unintended marks can make — we are an art form in the making.

Raised up, reclaimed, repurposed, redefined, rejuvenated…stronger for the marks!

That’s how good the Cross is. Redeemed.

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