A friend and I were messaging online about our stresses and life struggles one morning. I’d just woken up (hehe . . . late sleeper over here) but here we were, having this deep life conversation over the interwebs. I was mentioning the messiness of some things in my life. She simply replied, “well, sometimes it gets messy, but when you bring Jesus into the picture, He turns it into a beautiful mess.” (paraphrased 😉 ) It struck me, even though I’d hear it before: when I am stressed and messed up, all it takes is that one step of surrender to Jesus, and I’m starting on a journey from messed to blessed.
That said, my life is pretty nutzo right now, but even in the craziest moments, Jesus is in the business of pouring out His grace on my life. Here is a list of some of my recent “blessed messes”.
Being able to run and work out even though cross-country is over.
I’m up to 100 pushups and 100 situps in one workout! Running has been tough mentally because I’m not motivated like I was for cross-country. Yet still, it’s something I still absolutely love and benefit from. Thank You, Lord, for letting me run to You with my messes – both in prayer and in physical activity. 😉
I’m beginning to get back into the Christmas card season!
It’s been neat to have an extra dose of perspective this year. Last year, I was just like “WHAT AM I EVEN DOING” but this year, it’s a lot more chill. I have an idea of the amount I need to sell, and a much better idea of how to make a better product. But, even in this, I know I have a long way to go. Still, for some reason that’s okay with me. It’s okay to know I need to grow. A year ago at this time, I wasn’t okay with that. Something in this heart of mine is indeed growing – “there is a plowing that breaks your soul to grow you.” Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way. But more on that in my next blessin’. 😉
Ha, I bet ya figured I was too busy to read since clearly I’ve been too busy to write. Not true! Some of the best books that have blessed me in the middle of messy days are:
- Young & Beardless by John Luke Robertson. This title sounds so weird, but I promise you, it’s a good book. When I closed the book, I sat back and thought, wow, that was worth my time and not just for “itching ears”. He addresses real issues with real truth and a real heart.
- Amy Snow by Tracy Rees. Such a good fiction book! I love the story…and the fact that a sequel is coming soon! 😉
- The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp. This book. Oh my. I started it one night, and was up far later than I should have been reading it. It’s a different concept than One Thousand Gifts, but it still is intertwined with the ideas of surrender and grace. A must-read for sure. Book review coming. 😉
Their poor souls have had an especially emotional teenager to deal with lately. I went driving with my dad the other day and only got through 20 minutes without totally breaking down. All of the things on my mind had built up in my mind, not necessarily in a way I had chosen to be anxious and weighed down, but as with all of my stress problems, it’s likely deep-rooted somewhere in this heart. Honestly, with every new area of surrender to the Lord, there is a new opposition! I’ve seen it and felt it in very real ways this fall. But anyways, after nearly hitting someone’s gravestone not once, but twice (we were driving around the cemetery. I’m sorry, okay?), it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Or my back. Yet whenever I am completely unpredictable and confusing, both of my parents are so patient with me. The way they are with me reminds me of the way my heavenly Father is this way. With each new day, I am brought to a new point of surrender. I am coming to Him as a child, in tears because I do not understand what He’s doing. Here, in these weakest moments, He is near to me. And that is the deepest blessing I could ever ask for. Those who come to Him in child-like faith experience the deepest permeation of His love and the sweet grace of His heart:
“O Father, Lord of heaven & earth, thank You for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased You to do it this way.” Luke 10:21
Peace despite pain.
I found out that my wisdom teeth need to come out . . . before the end of November. 🙁 Like, by the time I publish this post, they’ll likely already be out. xD I’ll update you all for sure, but for now, I’ll say that I am at peace with this. I don’t like that it has to happen, but it’ll be okay. Our insurance is covering the surgery 100%, which is super nice, and shows me that God does have a plan through this. If He can provide for us financially, surely He will provide for me emotionally & physically.
A new lens!!!
I got a 50mm this week and I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!!! Pics to come.
The truth of God’s Word.
One night this week, I was already tired and ready for sleep, but I took one look at myself in the mirror before bed and tears sprung in the corners of my eyes. Just that one glance, at the pained expression on my face, brought back years of insecurities about my appearance.The enemy whispered lies to me. In my head, I replayed the hurtful words people had said to me about my face, my eyes, my teeth. Those words cut me when they were said, and they cut me now. I don’t know how to let go of hurts like that. Will I ever know? Well, I think I came a little closer that night. I let myself cry a little, then it was the craziest thing.
I began to listen to a new Voice over all of the other voices.
When I allowed just a sliver of truth to seep into me, it changed the whole game. “Stop this,” I told myself. “After all this time, do you not see how Beloved you are? How, because of His sorrow, suffering, and blood, you’ve been freed from all this?” I stared at myself in the mirror, my eyes red and glistening with the tears – the tears that are the liquid form of my hurt soul. Even though it was me in the mirror, and this whole battle is about how I don’t like how I look, I saw myself and I thought, “how can I help her? She is in pain.”
The lies I tell myself and allow myself to believe are cruel, and I am more than ready to be done with them. When I saw Aliyah in the mirror, I did not see ugliness. I saw pain, and I saw myself – just for a moment – through the Father’s eyes of love. He saw the pain . . . and then He stretched out His hands on the cross to take the pain. Two verses touched me that night:
“How precious are His thoughts towards you. How vast is the sum of them! Were you to count them all, they would outnumber the grains of sand.” Psalm 139:17-18
“It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
I’m already way over what my word count for this post should be, but here it is. My raw blessed messes. These pictures of His grace are the beams of sunshine in my life that keep me steady. Thanks for listening. <3