The background to the fiction story The Quiltmaker is based on the below very real conversation. This conversation is between the Holy Spirit and myself and is the basis and inspiration for the story.
THE BACKGROUND TO THE STORY
This message or conversation was between me and the Holy Spirit on August 22, 2010. I got this message while standing against all hell and darkness and in the most horrible circumstances in my marriage for total deliverance of my husband and marriage since April 1998. This conversation came to me after years of mental torment by the enemy in the form of torture, depression, tears, intense pain, wanting to die, wanting the pain to stop, much stress, much prayer, fasting, reading the word of God and then sometimes just pure obedience to a friend who was watching my life and saying “I will stand with you thru this. I will not leave”.
I have heard the Lord say many things to me but nothing as profound as this up to this point. I was really, quite surprised. It seems so natural and normal now to think of it this way but I never saw it like this as the conversation was happening that night. I had been seeking the Lord for weeks to tell me something, anything about my marriage, my life, my destiny, or just my present moment and then it happened….
At 3:00 o’clock in the morning I was awakened and was on my way to my closet to pray. I had not gotten much sleep and I heard the Holy Spirit say these words. “Don’t go into the closet. Sit on the edge of the bed. I want to teach you something about your marriage and quilts.” The Teacher, as I will refer to the Holy Spirit, was about to teach me something. Little did I know that that something would greatly change the way I saw myself and my marriage.
I said, “Quilts? My marriage.” I sat on the bed and the Teacher began to talk.
He said, “You see that quilt on the quilt rack? Your marriage is like this quilt.”
I said, “How?” He said, “What is the purpose of a quilt? What do you use it for?”
I was a quilt maker. I sort of knew or thought I knew so I answered, “They bring joy, happiness, love, comfort, they are special to people, they help them heal, bring love, remembrance, they are treasured gifts.” I was reaching for an answer not even sure if those were what He wanted to hear and I was sleepy but intrigued.
As I answered, I was looking at the fan quilt on my quilt rack. This one above.
He said, “You see all the fabric in the quilt…that is your marriage. If you changed these squares and pieces around you would still have all the same components in the quilt but the total look of the quilt would change. You have been asking me what is going on and what is wrong with your marriage and what am I doing. This is your answer. The quilt sits on the rack and does nothing. It is there folded and pretty. It has a lot of potential but you don’t use it. I have to unfold your marriage to use it. A quilt cannot be on the rack and be used. Who is the quiltmaker?”
I said, “Me???”
He said, “I am The Quiltmaker also. I am making your marriage like you made this quilt. Only I am rearranging all the pieces to your marriage. The main components will still be there, but your marriage will look different. Just like if you took these squares and put them in a different order or arrangement. All the fabric is still there it will just have a different look. So, now how many parts are there to a quilt?”
I said, “3…4..?”
I was wondering if anything I said was right and my mind was reeling with this conversation. I was afraid to answer. I felt utterly dumb.
The Teacher said, “How is the quilt put together?”
I knew if the Holy Spirit ever asked you a question it wasn’t so you could really answer. He was always asking to teach you something. I was ready. I answered what I knew.
I said, “There is the backing, the batting, the top and the binding. Three main parts but four if you count the binding.”
He said, “The backing is the God. I back my word. I have always been in your marriage. I am covenant. Covenant will always be there. Covenant is what is backing your marriage and your vows. The middle is life. All the trials, all the good, the bad, the junk, the private stuff that no one really sees. It is what is contained in the marriage relationship. It’s how you live out your life, it’s how you live out your married life, it’s how you live out my word or apply my word to your life. The top of the quilt is my son, Jesus in all His glory. It’s the beauty of God. It is the beauty of the quilt. It is the beauty of your marriage. Just as He is beautiful. He is what I want everyone to see. I make Him known to the world. It is the part that everyone can see. It is what is on display. It is the wedding ceremony that all came to and see as witnesses. The top is how people see your marriage how the world sees your marriage. Do you know what the stitching is?”
Well by now I knew nothing. Nothing. He began again.
“The stitching or quilting is also my Word. It’s my Son for all to see in your life and on a quilt. You see the stitching on the front and the back. You never “not” see it. The stitching is vital to the quilt right? It is actually not even called a quilt until you “quilt it” or put stitches in it. It runs all through the quilt. It is everywhere. It’s on all parts of the quilt. The more stitching you put on your quilt the more beautiful it is right?”
I said, “Yes” that is true. He went on.
“The stitching is so pretty that it is seen even thru to the back and is beautiful even there. Because I hold everything together by my word and my covenant is my word, and heaven and earth will pass away before my word does, my word will stand forever. Your marriage is held together by my word just as this quilt is held together by all the stitches. “
“This or any quilt is only as strong as the stitching you put on it. The same with a marriage. The more word on your marriage, the more word you live by, the more word you put into your marriage the stronger a marriage will be. A quilt is very, very, very hard to take apart because of all the stitching. Isn’t that true?”
It is very true.
He began again, “What is the binding? The binding is my Holy Spirit. Binding covers all 4 sides of a quilt just as my spirit covers all sides of your marriage.” “My Spirit is a protector, comforter and power. I uphold all things by the power of my word.”
He continued, “What is the purpose of the binding?” I couldn’t answer. I was in shock to all that I was hearing.
He said, “It holds all the quilt batting in and to give the quilt a finished look. Just like my Spirit. He covers your entire marriage. Every part is covered by my Spirit. The Spirit keeps love from falling out of your marriage and keeps the enemy from getting into your marriage. My Spirit keeps your life from falling apart or escaping my presence. You can never ever present a quilt without the binding because it is not finished. It is not presentable right? I cannot present your marriage without the binding also, until I am finished working on it. For you only put binding on the quilt after you have finished putting the quilt together and quilted it. I will reveal your marriage (the quilt) to people. I make your marriage (the quilt) what I want it to be.”
Wow, wow, wow. I just sat back on the bed and looked into the night shocked beyond all my belief. I just saw quilts as a quilt. NOTHING like this. I have made them for years and never heard this anywhere.
Then the Teacher said, “Are you supposed to take a quilt apart?”
I said, “No.”
He said, “Do you take it apart if there is a tear, rip, gets dirty or a few stitches come loose?”
I said, “No.”
He asked, “Why?”
I said and I knew this answer, “Because it is way too hard, too much work, too many stitches to unravel and you probably ruin the quilt.”
The Teacher said, “Now, when my people get divorced it is like taking the whole quilt apart. It is never the same. You damage the fabric of the quilt almost beyond repair in many places. The creator of a quilt, NEVER NEVER EVER means for a quilt to be taken apart.
He said, “If a few stitches (the word) come loose or some batting (life) comes out you just fix that part of the quilt (marriage) and you reinforce that part so it won’t come loose again. You don’t throw the quilt away. You don’t take it apart. You don’t put it in hiding in a closet or drawer. You don’t say it has no more use.”
He continued with telling me, “A quilt is handled and made with care because they are passed down to generation to generation. They are made or should be made in such a way that they last the lifetime of the person it is given to and beyond. A quilt (covenant marriage) should last a lifetime, til death do you part, and it should show all my glory and splendor (the beauty of the top of the quilt) for all to see in the earth.
People should come to your marriage and see my love (Jesus), my beauty (Jesus), my glory (Jesus), my wonder (Jesus), my stitching (my Word). They shouldn’t really see much of your stuffing coming out and loose stitches. All these things in your marriage (in the quilt) should be passed down from generation to generation. Just like people pass down a quilt from grandmother, to daughter to grandmother, etc. you are to pass down your covenant marriage. Do you understand?”
I thought I was hearing the most incredible conversation of my life. I was electrified and amazed all in one moment.
He continued. “I am the backing of your marriage (the quilt). I have always been in your marriage. I am there as soon as people enter into covenant marriage. The back of the quilt is still on a quilt even if the front looks torn. I never leave a marriage. I don’t divorce you or leave you.
You had the top part of the quilt. It looked good on the surface. You had some life part (the batting), and you had some stitching on top and the backing. But, you didn’t have all the stitching you needed. You tried to operate in your marriage with just the top part showing and some backing and some binding, but you were not finished. Most people are not.”
Remember a quilt is NEVER presented to the person (or to my people) until you are finished. I need to finish you, to present you to the world and finish your marriage and I will.
I sat there in awe and quickly wrote all this down so I wouldn’t forget. I cannot repay God enough for these words that night and because of them I will forever be a covenant keeper.
So, this is where the idea for the book The Quiltmaker came from. No more and no less. Enjoy.