Messy But Good

 This time of year there’s a lot of anxiety over expectations. Yours, mine, and numerous others. Perfect place settings and greeting cards peer at me through the messy places in my life and I have to remind myself that my journey is different. 

Recently I’ve been encouraged by a number of hearts who also deal with different life situations. Though our journeys are as diverse and varied as our challenges and joys, we all have places where life is not what we expected. There is a comfort in commonality; we remember we are not alone. That so much of our emotional response to difficult circumstances is strikingly normal- even when our lives are not.

I relate to feeling judged when people (strangers or not) criticize when they can’t begin to know the depths of heartaches, needs, or diagnoses. 

I want to get to the place where people’s opinions don’t matter so much to me. I’d settle for getting to the place where their judgements don’t shake me so. Sometimes I have to talk myself down, pray through–striving to remember that no matter how I may disappoint the expectations of others, I am not a disappointment to God. Not ever. No matter what. He does not sit aloft flinging judgements at my broken or imperfect places. He accepts where I do things differently… in fact, he made me this way, and celebrates my individuality.

I wish more people understood that there is One who is always and only a kind and generous judge-much more so than many of his people. No expectations, simply acceptance and unconditional love.

I know my heart, and I know my flaws, and somehow the two mingle together to create not just who I am, but who I’m becoming. God sees the promise, even when I am mired in mess. My life is not a picture perfect painting, a Norman Rockwell scene, or a Thomas Kinkade portrait of light. Real life isn’t, really. A life that is real is more like the disarray and chaos of the painter’s studio. Blobs and blurs and tools scattered all around. A veritable riot of colors, broken and mending places mingled together.

There is a necessary blending in every journey towards greater wellness. An often painful smudging, a pressing, cutting, churning force that is beyond the capacity of my Food Ninja. Sometimes the whole thing spills over, oozing everywhere, chunky parts scattered around. My youngest likes the chunky parts.  He says,”It’s what makes it good.” 

I want to get to the place where I see the chunky parts not as a necessary evil to be smashed out (or covered up), but a sweet and messily delicious part of something good. Life is a process, not a final destination. There’s hope in knowing completion is not a requirement in this lifetime.  Maybe my life is not a portrait of light, but the miracle is that it can be a conduit for it- especially in the messy, imperfect places. 

~Just Me

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