Messy Beginnings

I am still quite a bit of a mess. 18 days into the new year and I feel so much more undone than I did in 2012. And in a way quite uncomfortable in heart and spirit. I feel less “holy” (set apart) and more aware of the holes.

I suppose this is all part of the process- not just coming to terms with the fact that I am flawed, but looking into the gaping eyes of my imperfections. I am more aware of when I hear God’s voice and I really do not want to listen. I am definitely more aware of the times when he asks me to be present and I simply want to run- to flee fast and hard, or hide under the covers from the messiness in my life, in my very soul. My soapbox has crashed and the pedestal has broken. I do not want to be the how-to “Pinterest Perfection” blogger that only shares from the highlight reel. I want to be authentic, to get down and dirty, but I fear the cost may be a little more honesty than the world wide community is prepared for.

A recent discussion with friends involved the many ways that we are “marked”. I am most certainly marked by Christian culture. I want to throw off the burden of people-pleasing, step away from words that are only known in religious circles. Like the other day when the words “unwed mother” were whispered and I sat silenced, fragmented by censure in that tone of voice- it was someone I respect who was passing judgement on a very young, horribly broken life. I wanted to speak truth, but I hid my voice. At home, my husband remarked, “Unwed mother? Who says that any more?” My answer, in a pained voice, “Those are church words…” I trailed off into sadness. When did being set apart become a license to segregate? I want to move away from that disjointed, “Us and Them” theology. “I am right and you are wrong” was not what Jesus taught. The God-man lived love, and I want to love like that! In years past I spent much time pursuing purity, but I am hearing that it is time to pursue the heart of God.

This journey seems to me much like building endurance before a marathon. And, when embarking on a long distance race, the training involves pain. The preparation is like ‘Couch to 5k’, which in and of itself is a good starter plan. But what do I do when I don’t want to get up from the couch? It’s not that I lack the strength, or even the desire. It’s that I am afraid. Afraid to be seen, judged, flaws exposed to the world. This God following is not for the faint of heart.

And so I linger at the starting line, though I suspect the shot has already been fired. I want to incubate a little longer. I pray that when my path is directed, I will have strength press forward, like a baby chick pushing out of it’s protective shell. Breaking free is messy business, but I want to emerge, weak and damp, yet trusting that God does have a plan and a purpose. Believing that He can use this broken vessel to pour out hope even through the pain of authenticity.  Praying that somehow, through all my imperfectness, souls will see not judgement, not church-y words and aspirations, but the heart of God and his great love.

~Just Me 

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2 Responses

  1. oh, wow… God sent me here to read your blog (from A Holy Experience, the Multitude links)because I am right where you are and feel so alone in it. Thank you for your honestly, your courage. I come from a background of a sick church and have, in fact, after 16 years away just returned to community worship. I am finding it hard to figure out how and when to speak, how and when to be silent. I feel "poised", always waiting at the starting line, looking to see the direction I should go but scared to start. I will pray for you, please pray for me.

  2. Nice to 'meet' you, Ann! (I checked out your blog to know more about you). I appreciate your prayers, very much and I commit to pray for you! We are in this together, this messy business of sorting out when to speak and when to pray instead. I want to be authentic, but I also want to be accepted, and I fear giving offense. I also know that God is the One who changes hearts. My prayer for us both is that He will give clarity and courage to speak truth as He directs, and always tempered with love and compassion.

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