When Struggle Becomes…..Gratitude by Rev. Georgia Carney

A package arrived in the mail from a close friend maybe a year ago, though it may be more like 2 years, and I was excited to open it. There was a card in it and some goodies and under all of that was a yellow bag with something soft in it. Hmmmm….whatever could it be? I carefully opened the bag, and wherever you were at that moment, you probably heard the psychic scream! Inside was a lace stole I had knit for my friend when she received her MSW several years before. The yarn is Elsebeth Lavold silky wool and each end of this stole is weighted with knitted-in gold glass leaves. It has an earthy but soft quality that suits this friend well, and in wearing and enjoying it, the stole had suffered an accident. It looked to me like it had simply caught on something and torn, and my friend was quite certain that I could restore it to its original state. Feeling more than a little dazed I packed it back into its “Partners in Caring” bag and prayed for a miracle.

A few days later I searched my studio but could not remember the name of the pattern or where or even if I still had it. I would look at the bag every few days and somehow it got slowly moved away from my worktable and onto a shelf. I had to acknowledge a few hard truths about my knitting self: I am a bit of a perfectionist, I don’t like to ask for help, and I am not good at reverse engineering. I really needed the pattern to preserve as much of the length of the stole as possible. I told my friend I was thinking about how to fix it and mostly tried not to think about it at all. I wasn’t giving up, but I had no idea how to move forward. Time passed and I would have the occasional guilt trip and avoided calling my friend.

Two weeks ago, my husband Mark asked if I could move a couple of bookcases. This meant clearing all of the shelves and sifting through books and papers and deciding what to keep. In the sorting, I suddenly held the pattern leaflet I needed in my hand. Hallelujah! Snoopy Dance! I could move forward now with the information I needed in hand. Grace had been there all along waiting for me to put in the work? Stumble across it? Mostly to just be so grateful in that moment?  In my Lenten journaling, I have discovered a pattern in my life of struggle becoming gratitude, not immediately but over time. Sometimes I do just have to pack things away and wait in faith.

Pattern rows 7-10 of #56 From the Japanese Stitch Bible plus 4 rows of Seed sttich.

Published by Julie Cicora

I'm an Episcopal Priest that loves using knitting as a spiritual discipline.

3 thoughts on “When Struggle Becomes…..Gratitude by Rev. Georgia Carney

  1. Deacon Georgia, You are a balm to my soul. I have similar guilt over a friend request lost in my clutter!! To know I am in good company with a God loving friend is assuring and nudging. I will clear at least one ‘pile’ today with fervent prayer to find grace. Bless you.


  2. Ohh, how I can relate. I have been knitting a toddler sweater for my dear friend’s grandson. It was to be sent in 2019, by child’s October birthday and when not finished, then by Christmas. Ran into some problem’s, finally fixed in early 2020 (Gratitude then!). I was happy to still be able to complete the project by Christmas 2020. Top-down sweater all knit, sleeves on scrap yarn to move on to the very end and an even worse mess occurred. It’s March 2021 now and every day I say I’m going to figure it out, but off I go to do other things. The sweater, if I can get it done will not be big enough for the intended growing toddler.. Waiting for gratitude #2 and my hope for the toddler’s mom to bring forth another new baby!!


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