Seam ripping – a lesson in patience

If you begin sewing, at some point in the near future you will experience seam ripping. There’s no getting around it or avoiding it. Fact of sewing – seam ripping happens, often. I’ve been sewing most of my life and I still seam rip. Every time I sew something.

This is my seam ripper, Thelma. She’s there to help me with the wonderful task of taking things apart that I may or may not have screwed up in the first place. It’s a good thing Thelma doesn’t have ears.

Today as I was seam ripping, again, I thought about how necessary it is. I was taking out a button hole (one of the more difficult things to take out) because it didn’t look right. Call it OCD or perfectionism or whatever you will, but I wanted it to be right, good, whole. So I spent a half-hour taking out one button hole.

There are seasons of life like that button hole. Something isn’t quite right or more frankly, something is wrong. You could just leave it, but the gnawing inside doesn’t just go away. Some combination of conscience, a guilt-complex, and more creditably, the Holy Spirit whisper, prick, and call you towards wholeness.

I dread these times of life, just like any seamstress in their right mind doesn’t jump up and down singing “I can’t wait to seam rip, I can’t wait to seam rip!” It’s painful. Things break. There’s an unlearning/relearning process. Cussing may occur. It’s messy. Headaches happen. Giving up becomes more and more inviting.

But isn’t it necessary? Don’t we want to be living more and more into the people of God we were created to be?

The Thelmas of life come in all shapes and sizes. Family. A friend who speaks the truth in love. A story. Lyrics of a song. God.

While I don’t look forward to fixing my mistakes on the next dress, vest or button hole, Thelma and I will fix them. Why? Because that is what’s right, good, whole.

And I don’t want to end up an odd-looking button hole.


  1. Sarah,
    I really like this blog post. You said very well and concisely what I have felt before. Would it be alright if I shared this with some of my friends?
    Merry Christmas!

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