Am I the Only One with a Messy Life?

News flash: My life is messy. Oh, you already knew that? Well here’s a good example just in case you doubt me:

One night this week, head on my pillow trying to go to sleep, I said to God, “What the heck? Haven’t I suffered enough in my life?  Hasn’t enough happened to me? Why can’t I have…?” And I began to list several things that I felt were really not fair for me to have to endure. So there you have it.  Pity party – check!

The next evening, as my husband and I sat at the table finishing our dinner, I told him about my conversation with God.  And then, I had to qualify it, as if I am not allowed to have “a moment.” I tried to rationalize it, justify it, blame it on being tired or on being emotionally drained.  I decided that I must expend more emotional energy during the work week than I am aware of and that is what makes me so emotional as the week wears on. As if there’s something wrong with my having a little pity party? It’s not like I have them every day! I needed a perspective check.

I’ve been reading Brennan Manning’s book, The Ragamuffin Gospel recently.  It’s a classic and I had read it maybe 10 years ago and decided to pick it up again. This past week, I read some of the most profound and moving words from this book.

“To be alive is to be broken. And to be broken is to stand in need of grace.”

Recently I read Elisa Morgan’s book, The Beauty of Broken. I swear this book was written just for me! (You should really read both of these books!) I follow her Facebook page, and she was speaking at a conference this past week. The theme of the conference was based around her wonderful new book. I loved the pictures she posted where she had women breaking plates and creating mosaics as a word picture for our broken lives recycled in to something beautiful.   I couldn’t help but think about these pots my son’s fourth grade class made.  They are beautiful and a frequent reminder of how God takes what is old, used up, and broken, and recycles it into something purposeful and beautiful.  (I say that a lot, because truly, that is how I see my life.)

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Fast forward to Saturday morning, and I’m planting new flowers in those mosaic pots. Beautiful, recycled receptacles for fresh soil and pink flowers. New life grows there (except when I forget to water) and reminds me that there truly is beauty in the brokenness of my life.  It’s not what I have had to endure or have yet to endure.  It’s about finding the grace-filled moments in the midst of the brokenness.

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To be alive is to be broken.  And to be broken is to stand in need of grace.”

I am reminded that everyone is broken in some way.  If we we weren’t, we would have no need for God’s grace.  And to have no need for God’s grace means that my own self-sufficiency is all there is in life, and that is just a sad thought to me.  Because if I’m honest with myself and others, I acknowledge that I am needy.  I don’t ever want to put on a face or fake that I have it all together.  It’s such a relief that God has so much grace for me and doesn’t expect me to. He doesn’t expect you to either!

Rather than worrying about the choices my kids make, what if I spent each day looking for subtle grace-filled moments instead?  What if I committed my work stresses to prayer before letting anxiety provoke me to be harsh or unkind.

Can I acknowledge that I am broken AND beautiful? Can peace reign in the MIDST of chaos? Can I trust that in the end, He works ALL things for my good?

Yes.  A resounding yes! Because of this:

I’m absolutely convinced that nothing – nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable – absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” – Romans 8:38-39 Msg

All of my worrying, my trying hard, my successes and failures, my sleepless nights, hopeless despair – none of that can get between me and the God who loves me most.  I don’t know about you, but standing in need of his grace because I am broken is really so much easier than trying to make it all work on my own.

So this week, as my emotions wear thin as I approach the week’s end, my prayer is that I would be mindful of the small, subtle grace-full moments that are there if I will just open my eyes to see them.

May you have eyes to see and ears to hear the great love Jesus has for you.  Nothing can separate you from his love, not even your own fears and failings.  Accept his comfort.  Accept his love.  Let him bring the beauty out of your brokenness.

Tell me what you think

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