Sitting beneath the stained glass windows of the church I grew up in, sharing a creaky wooden pew with my mom and dad, I heard the words that would change everything for me. My pastor preached from Matthew 5:16 that no matter your circumstances, no matter the mistakes you’ve made, you can choose right now to shine anyway. I sat there trembling as tears rolled down my cheeks. I knew those words were meant for me because I had lost my shine.
Ten years ago this fall, I walked away from a life that wasn’t meant for me — a life full of suffering and pain, a life full of fear and insecurities, a life of verbal and physical abuse at the hands of someone I thought I loved. I married him when I was just twenty-one years old, and though I’m the kind of person who looks for the bright side in everything, my bright light had been snuffed out by the pain I experienced.
I don’t believe it was God’s plan for me to end up in that relationship. In fact, it was just the opposite. I pretty much told Him He could sit this one out and that I could handle it myself. The truth was I couldn’t. I was living my worst nightmare, and I knew the whole time that I had made a huge mistake. God didn’t leave me when I was down; He helped me find a way out.
I felt ashamed, embarrassed, heartbroken, and like a total failure. I didn’t come from a divorced family, and there I sat at twenty-two years old feeling like I was disqualified from a happy life and a future family because of my bad decisions. But God said to shine anyway because He had a greater plan.
I ended up running into my middle school sweetheart, Chris Taylor, at our high school reunion. I almost didn’t go because I didn’t want to talk about what had happened in my marriage. My bruises had healed, but my heart had not. We didn’t go on a date for almost two years after that, but when we did, I knew that was where I was supposed to be all along. It wasn’t about where I had been but about where I was going. A beautiful life that God had planned all along was waiting for me on the other side of my hardest season, but it was up to me to dust myself off, show up, and shine on.
Beauty and light can come from brokenness, from mess, from mistakes because God makes it possible.
I see this in my work as a calligrapher. Though I write pretty things for a living, I spell things wrong, I constantly mess up, I write the wrong number for an address, draw an ugly letter, or smear wet ink — I’m especially good at that last one!
Early on in my business, I was too cheap to throw all the colorful scrap paper away because it was still beautiful despite the flaws. I started running all of my calligraphy mistakes through my office shredder and out came the most beautiful confetti you’ve ever seen. Once it was all mixed together, it was so colorful, so happy, and so fun you could barely see the flaws anymore — or if you could, they only made the confetti more beautiful.
I started sprinkling my homemade confetti into orders that people placed online and spreading happiness through my handwriting. Each time someone opened their order, it felt like a party and that confetti was just my calligraphy trash living a happier life.
Confetti is the scrap paper, the colorful mistakes, the broken pieces that were cast aside that have been repackaged and given a brand new job — a job that just so happens to make other people happy. Confetti repurposed brings joy like a person who chooses to shine anyway.
I don’t get down on myself when I mess up anymore; I get excited about the confetti I get to make. I am no longer ashamed of my past or my story because now I can use it to help other people. My story, which like the scraps of my calligraphy mistakes, has been made beautiful in His time. God helps me share this confidently, to shine my light so others can see His glory.
Sometimes out of our greatest pain comes the most beautiful purpose. We do not have to be owned by our mistakes, by our divorces, by our failures, by our wrong decisions, our missteps, or the hard parts of our story. God does not waste our pain. If you will let Him, He can turn our trials into our testimony, our mess into our message, and yes, of course, our mistakes into confetti.
I am living proof.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 (CSB)
You do not have to have good handwriting to have happy hand lettering. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful, and after all, we can turn our mistakes into confetti! There’s a party on every page in Happy Hand Lettering as Maghon walks you through a simple three-step process for turning your handwriting into hand lettering. It includes an alphabet guide for lowercase and uppercase letters, practice pages, as well as practical applications for project ideas such as ornaments, envelopes, gift tags, and so much more!
We want to celebrate and get your creative juices going, so comment below with your favorite Scripture passage, and we’ll choose THREE winners to receive a copy of Maghon’s Happy Hand Lettering! [Giveaway now closed]
God does not waste our pain. If you will let Him, He can turn our trials into our testimony, our mess into our message, and yes, of course, our mistakes into confetti. -@MaghonTaylor: Click To Tweet