“It’s here!” I exclaimed to myself in the parking lot of the post office. My wedding cake topper was finally here!
Planning a wedding has a lot of joyous moments – finding the dress, picking your bridesmaids and the venue, planning your future with your fiancé. And while all that was special for me, finding the perfect cake topper was an extra special step in the planning process for me.
When I first started looking for one, I kept running into the same problem: none of the cake toppers looked like me.
Born with a facial difference — a purple port wine stain birthmark that takes up nearly half my face – I’ve embraced who I am as I am. And while I didn’t need a cake topper that looked one hundred percent just like me, I needed one that honored the natural beauty I felt God intentionally gave me.
It took a while to find someone willing to make one for me. When I googled, “birthmark wedding cake topper,” I initially got naked mole rats wearing a veil and top hat, which wasn’t exactly what I was aiming for. So when I opened the box sitting in front of me, my heart raced with excitement. I lifted up the customized piece made of clay and admired the handmade beauty. My eyes were instantly drawn to my clay face because finally I found a cake topper that looked like me.
Even better? As a handmade piece, the clay captured the fingerprints of the sculptor’s, and they were everywhere. They were on my birthmark, on our clothes, and on our hair. They were even on my flowers!
Instantly, I had a “God moment” sitting in my car in that parking lot. In the midst of wedding excitement, life felt messier than usual. It felt chaotic and busy. There were unkind words thrown our way, a cross-country move, new jobs, and broken relationships.
So as I sat in silence, staring at my new treasure, I felt like God was speaking to me through this piece of beautifully molded clay, giving me encouraging reminders my heart needed in that moment:
Don’t forget. Like the sculptor’s, My fingerprints are everywhere — even in the chaos, even in the busy, even in the brokenness.
As I stared at the sculptor’s fingerprints, I thought about where God’s fingerprints could be found in my life. While there are many more I can see and many I still have yet to uncover, here are a few that come to my mind now:
1. All over my marriage. From the way my husband and I met to how we do life together – what a God story. And what about how my husband loves me? Oh, his love is patient and kind. It shines from his heart and mind!
2. In my own, personal story. Through the ups and downs, from the moment I was born, God has always been here. He has always provided.
3. In my God-sized dreams. He’s provided the next steps, the mentors, the encouragement. I’m confident He has also provided the tough love I’ve needed to push me toward the goals He’s put in my heart.
4. In my unique appearance. Some may see a birth defect that needs to be “fixed,” but I see an opportunity to make a difference with my difference — I see something to be embraced! And boy, has God had His fingerprints all over that ministry!
5. In the family He gave me. Their love and support are irreplaceable. They never treated me any differently just because of my medical conditions, and they never made me feel ashamed of my natural appearance, which isn’t always the story of children born with my condition or similar conditions. But also, they taught me about Jesus and passed on that deep, important heritage so I can one day do the same.
I have a smaller version of our larger wedding cake topper from the same clay artist, and I even ordered smaller ornaments from her for my bridesmaids. Even on the smaller pieces, at times you can see her fingerprints but not nearly as well or as often. In fact, I didn’t even notice they were there until someone else pointed one out to me.
While all of the pieces have been made by her, they are all different sizes and perspectives. The larger pieces give a closer look at the smaller details that often go unseen on the smaller pieces. As a result, sometimes the evidence of her handiwork is more obvious than other times. Yet, she was always the one molding the pieces. She was always the one bringing the colors and clay to life. She was always the one with a plan. God does the same for us.
God is the one who is always molding us, who’s had a plan for us from the very beginning.
Make a list of where you see God’s fingerprints in your life
and share some in the comments below!
His fingerprints are everywhere -- even in the chaos, even in the busy, even in the brokenness. - @travelin_chick: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
What a beautiful and inspiring true story. You are blessed to have family and friends who pointed out God’s beautiful design when He created you! Truly a gift! I have so many of God’s finger prints on my life, I look like a glass-top coffee table lol. He has been instrumental in shaping me throughout my life – in the trials, the joys, the heartbreaks, the doubts, the victories. I look back to where I’ve come from and I see His gentle and loving molding of this clay vessel. So thankful that God doesn’t pound clay, He carefully and tenderly shapes it into the image of His Son. Our job is to yield ourselves to the Master Potter. Beautiful post!
Michele Morin says
God never says, “Whoops!”
And his fingerprints are evidence of his love for us, so thank you for prompting me this morning to be mindful of God’s design in my own circumstances, appearance, giftedness, and even this quirky personality that takes continual “management.”
Blessings to you!
Kathleen Burkinshaw says
Crystal, this is such a beautiful blog post. The message God gave you to give to us is priceless. Thank you for sharing these fingerprint moments with us. You point out so well,that we don’t always see God’s hand shaping our lives. But just because they may not be readily apparent yet, it just means we haven;t discovered them. They are there- if we look close enough at our situations, past outcomes, and current moments. Our faith can be the blue light that exposes God’s touch on our lives and in our hearts. Thank you and wishing you many blessings to you and your husband.
I see God’s fingerprints in my life by life. He helped me when I was 15 years old by helping the doctors figure out what was causing my throwing up blood and I had surgery to fix it. Allowing me do go through infertility treatments to have our 2 children. God helped me keep my first son inside for 10 weeks after my water broke and he helped my son to have no major problems with his health. God has fingerprints on my life daily by helping me stay healthy even in a somewhat toxic home environment from our 2 boys fighting all the time.
Good Morning Ladies,
Thank You Lord for the message you’ve given Crystal to share with us this morning. Thank you Crystal for being a vessel for God’s message of love and acceptance and for encouragement. Though my scars and physical differences are not as prevalent the mark I have is of a spiritual nature. Just last night I was talking with my dad and our (“my” identity) became part of the discussion. And embracing my identity as a Christian, I never thought I had an issue with but I realized that as a child up to my maturity, I had regularly questioned my salvation. Once being challenged to tell my salvation story and looking back even in last nights discussion, it was revealed just how much I had not embraced my identity in Christ and how the enemy for so many years tried keeping me bound to that belief. And those fingerprints were the things that reminded me of who I am in I AM. I Am Beloved of Father God. And he’s still trying to steal what God had given. But this morning I woke up with something in my spirit that lined up with this whole process and comforting word from the Lord came just as I was meditating on it through the Verse of the Day (fingerprint) and then I read the incourage.me posting for today and my soul was just as enlightened and I was delighted.
Bev, thank you for reminding us out just how His fingertips touch our lives when you said “He carefully and tenderly shapes [us] into the image of His Son”. This was confirmation that what He was dealing with me on had been addressed and that all is well.
Such a beautiful story! I noted that the bigger the work, the more obvious the fingerprints. That inspires me to step out into things that are bigger than me, so that God’s fingerprints will be all the more visible.
Crystal… Crystal what a blessing to read your post today. What a beautiful,beautiful woman you are and a strong woman. ( Strength of character shown in your attitude)
I love your name… even that shows God’s fingerprints. As you know I am sure. I just looked up what the word Crystal means.
A crystal is a solid whose molecules ( or atoms) are arranged in a repeating pattern …Usually the fluid is a liquid but snow is crystals precipitated from air. Crystallization can be by freezing from a simple fluid or solution. Sometimes heat and pressure needs to be applied to a substance for crystals to form.
So even in your name that your parents gave you. … that knew that you were a gem with God’s fingerprint all over.
Crystal… I woke up this morning to do my bible reading to spend time with God but I got sidetracked and wandered on my email and discovered you…
Thank you God for Crystal’s post. My husband and I are headed to visit our adult son/ daughter ( I am not telling you his/ her name or gender … just to protect ) Well he/she is struggling in seeing God’s fingerprints on his/her life and your post encouraged me in trusting God to somehow trust that our dearly loved child can see God’s fingerprints on his/ her life.
All I can say is “Major Major Goosebumps!!” Our Father’s fingerprints all over me and mine!! Yes indeed!! Loved your wedding topper! Such a beautiful reminder for your wedding party.
Your testimony reminded me of our old and dear friend who has gradually over the years lost his pigment (vitiligo). When we first met, its it’s what stood out but now some 25 years later we just see him a great friend and his heart.
Thank you for that reminder again of the Father’s touch in our daily lives and what He leaves behind and we need to look for and see…His fingerprints. Awesome!!!
Becky Keife says
Crystal! This is so beautiful, as are you! I love how God reaches into our tough moments, our celebrations, and every ordinary circumstance to remind us of His with-ness, His intentional care and goodness. It’s a joy to host your words on (in)courage today. xx
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
God made us all beautiful in his eyes warts and all. We are daughter’s of the King. That is something to be proud of. Even if you were born with handicap. It does not matter what Man thinks of you all that matters is what true king of this world thinks of us. That true King sent Jesus to die for us that how much he loves us gave us our own finger prints. Our own beauty. Thank you for a beautiful reading. You are one beautiful young woman. I can see why your Husband loves you. It took me along time to think I was beautiful as I was bullied when at school when yong. I am 48 now have wonderful Husband. Who is saved. Glad to be saved. Know I am beautiful in God eyes no matter what the world might have said about me years ago. It is only what God says that matters. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxxx
Wonderful story, Crystal; I believe I will forward it to my daughter. We adopted Annastasia at 2 months of age. We had a 4 year old son, but really wanted a daughter to complete our family. I was told I would not live through a second pregnancy and in all probability the child would not survive either, so we chose adoption. The adoption agency had very little information on the birth mother, just that she was a 22 year old college student and the only info she gave on the father was that he was a musician.
We didn’t notice Annie’s hands and feet until she was about 4 months old. When I asked our pediatrician what the callous like skin was I could tell he was mystified, too. He suggested taking her to a dermatologist when she was older. We did that sometime between 4 and 6 and he said, “Ichthyosis” and gave us a skin cream to use. It really had very little effect.
Her condition would not have b bothered us at all, but it was noticeable and it distress her when she got older as other children were apt to make unkind remarks. I recall taking her with me when her brother began swimming lessons. A small child came over to see the baby and said, “Yuck” when he touched her hand and felt the thick callous.
One of the worst part of the affliction was that the tough skin absorbs dirt like a sponge. We had to soak her hands/feet in a bleach formula to get them to come clean. No little one likes to sit still that long for that sort of treatment.
We also learned later that the condition could be carried to any children she might have and there are some types of Ichthyosis that can be fatal. So we advised her fairly early not to plan on having children. As it turns out her godchildren more than fit that bill and she can send them home when she is busy.
Her birth father must have indeed been a musician. Annie began playing at 2 – on her own, without any nudging from us. She plays mostly piano, but is also proficient on other instruments and has a great career in Seattle. God has certainly been good to us and our wonderful daughter.
Beth Williams says
God has gifted you with a unique situation. It has come at an appropriate time. Children today need to hear that they are uniquely made. There is nobody else like them. Need to hear who & whose they are in Christ. Getting the bullying & cyber bullying conversation going is essential. So many children today feel inferior or less than because they aren’t with the “in crowd”. They get teased about the least little things wrong with them. A lot of them can’t handle the teasing & brush it off. Thank you for starting that conversation & using your God given talents. God’s fingerprints are all over my ears. I was born with two punctured eardrums. I couldn’t hear so for about the first two or so years I didn’t speak. Finally tried surgery. Right one took first time left one never did. Later in life I got a hearing aid for that ear. Years later, surprisingly, they are both healed. God thing. Sometimes you can’t shut me up (ha ha!!). Through that & trials with my aging parents I have grown spiritually. I readily trust God to know what He’s doing in my life. He has molded me into a beautiful woman who cares deeply for aging people. Using my cooking talents I make meals for my in-laws who are going through health issues. Most people who knew me when I was younger wouldn’t recognize me now. I am more outgoing & talkative than before. It is all due to God’s handiwork in & on me.
Such a beautiful and (en)couraging story! Thank you for sharing it.with us. Such precious perspective & revelation for all.
Francee Strain says
Beautiful…just like you.☺