Light peeked in through the upstairs flat, casting soft shadows upon the face of the young girl sitting quietly at a sewing table. Though physically present, the emptiness of her deep brown eyes made it seem as if she was lost amidst her thoughts, the motions of her stitches becoming as unconscious as breathing in and out. Her nimble hands crocheted quickly and effortlessly as she sat there, greatly contrasting my own. Frustration welled up inside of me as I hunched over the row of stitches I was one by one ripping out with the small head of a faintly rusted pin. The morning sun had long ago begun to fall in the sky, and I was having to begin the simple sewing of a headband over again for the third time. What had seemed so simple in my mind was taking much longer than I had hoped. One stitch. Another. The silent motion of ripping and breathing and ripping again. And then the Lord, softly and quickly, whispered something in my ear. “You cannot always produce what you want immediately. This is what I do to you each and every day. I rip out the stitches of sin you sew. I rip out the stitches of fear you sew. I rip out insecurities, lies, and disobedience. Growth takes patience. It takes time. And if I rip them out all at once, the fabric of your heart will be damaged.” I sat there staring into the room across from me, listening to the laughter that I know took months and months of time to manifest. We’ve always heard it said that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was a ministry. Neither was a teacher produced, a disciple made, or a heart stirred. I have the tendency to want fruit to be produced immediately. I want to feel close to people upon meeting them, a ministry to grow the moment it begins, and people to give their life to the Lord the moment the good news is brought to them. In my own life however, and in the lives of the beautiful girls that have begun to see the stitching center as a safe place, growth takes time. What we wish to be produced will not always be produced as quickly as we might like. The Lord’s timing, however, is good. We must know that he is constantly preparing our hearts, our heads, and our hands for the next project or the next step—but we must focus on the stitches being sewn at the moment—doing our best to ensure that they are sewn straight and close together—that no gaps exist between each stitch. In the end, this produces a straight, strong, unbreakable seem that will last for years. It will not easily be broken. Anita’s eyes glance up at mine, “You know how to sew?” She asked, tilting her head to one side and wearing a pensive stare. “I’m learning slowly,” I said with a smile, and continued ripping each stitch, one by one.