I’m leading a duct tape life

duct-tapeWhen the fiberglass floor in my upstairs shower cracked due to faulty installation, it was duct tape that kept the water from leaking through to the ceiling below until I could get the whole tray replaced.

When the vacuum cleaner hose split and rendered the vacuum useless, it was duct tape that restored suction and extended old Eureka’s life.

When I realized, going out the door, that the hem of my pant leg was hanging, it was duct tape that made me presentable until I could get home and stitch it up.

There are entire websites devoted to handy and often unusual uses for duct tape. (A friend of mine has been known to put a strip of it over her own mouth. And that’s all you need to know about that.)

It’s patched more than a few holes in window screens around here, and stopped winter chills from seeping in through window frames and door jambs. I mean, who doesn’t have at least one roll of this stuff in their house, car, garage, or office? You probably have some great duct tape “survival” tales yourself.

Admittedly, it’s not always attractive – though it does come in colors now – but there’s beauty in its simplicity. Besides, it’s inexpensive…and it works.

Ideally, we’d never need duct tape. If things always worked the way they’re supposed to and parts didn’t break, we would never have to discover all the ways duct tape can rescue us. Big “if”.

I think of my life as being held together with a kind of duct tape. Far from being a bad thing, this is actually pretty amazing. I’ll tell you why.

Just like with vacuum cleaners and shower floors, life seldom operates the way we thought it would or should. Things don’t go as planned and there’s a lot of improvising and adjusting along the way. That’s when having this kind of duct tape comes in handy.

Here’s what I mean:

Ideally (there’s that word again), my first marriage would have lasted and I would be one of those “one man, one woman, one marriage for one lifetime” people. But that broke.

So God held my life together with a close knit family, and friends who supported and loved me no matter what. That was my duct tape. Not the original plan, but darn effective and beautiful in its simplicity.

Ideally, I would never have had to raise my daughter as a single parent. I would have had the support of a loving spouse and she would have grown up with a strong father figure. But that didn’t happen.

So God held our lives together with an amazing church and other single parents there who became “the family I chose”. They were my duct tape. Eventually He brought me my current husband (a big fan of duct tape) and has given me an awareness of His hand on my life that has never left.

Ideally, the FBI would not have transferred me hundreds of miles from my closest family members (1400 miles away from my parents) and then required me to stay there for the rest of my career. But they did.

So God led me to a charming house in a “Mayberry” neighborhood where we had keys to each other’s back doors and all our kids were safe. If I got called in to work in the wee hours, help was right next door. That’s a lot of duct tape there.

God is so creative and always present, even when it looks like everything is falling apart. I know the way things are now is not ideal but, hey, it’s only temporary and He’s working on a permanent fix.

In the meantime, I kind of like the way this duct tape life of mine reminds me of Him.

How about you? Are you leading a duct tape life? Please share your “survival” story in the comments below.

About Diane Rivers

Diane is a native Floridian whose career as an FBI Agent got her transferred to the North. She's retired from that gig now and "repurposed" as a freelance writer, author, and sometimes poet who blogs about the bumpy, bone-jostling ride of her “workaround” life. She loves Jesus, her family, black coffee, kayaking, biking, and hiking, and she looks forward to eternity with the One who will make all things beautiful. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

8 thoughts on “I’m leading a duct tape life”

  1. Great post! I love the analogy. As an aside, I’ve heard duct tape was invented by a Canadian. I am not sure if that is true,but the Canadian comedian Red Green finds in duct tape plenty of fodder for humour.

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