Welcome To The Mess

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It’s Metaphor Monday at One Thing, a blog I regularly read, so here’s my contribution.

On Friday night, B and I went out on a date. After putting the finishing touches on my outfit for the evening, I sat down next to Bella while she ate her supper. I watched as she relished each bite, smearing stuffing and veggies all over her face and hands. After a bit, my red-headed beauty turned her mush covered face toward me, stretched out her smeary hands and opened her arms in a hug.

“I yuv you, Mommy.” she belted with gusto.

And immediately I shrunk back from those messy hands. After all, I was wearing my dressy clothes. “Oh, honey, don’t touch Mommy, you’re all messy.”

Then it hit me what I had just done, and I looked at Bri.

“I wonder what it would be like if God said that to us.” I said.

Bam!

What if God told us we were too messy? What if he said, “Sorry. You go clean up your act and then you can come to me.”?

In case y’all haven’t figured it out yet, I am a perfectionist. I want to do everything right. I want to be the perfect wife. I want to be the perfect mom. I want to be the perfect daughter and friend and homemaker. I want to have perfect relationships with people and with God. I want to have the perfect walk with God and perfect spiritual discipline.

And in case y’all haven’t figured it out yet. I am NOT perfect; in fact, I am far from perfect. Frankly, I am a mess. I am self-consumed and proud. I place expectations on myself and others that can never be met. I fail. Often. In my walk with God. In my roles as wife and mother and friend and daughter. In my relationships. I am messy. Very, very messy.

As I long to abide more and more with God, to go deeper with Him, part of that process is seeing more of my sin. It’s a good thing. It’s a necessary thing. But it’s a hard thing. It’s hard because instead of being consumed by my Savior, it’s easy to be consumed by guilt. The accuser wants me to focus on the sin and the mess and become even more self-consumed. And in turn, he wants me to become messier. He wants the mushy, smeary face and hands to get mushier and smearier as I shovel in the lies of the world, the flesh and the devil. He wants me to lose sight of the unsearchable riches of Christ.

But God doesn’t look at me and say, “Don’t touch me. Don’t reach out to me unless you’re clean.” I am already cleansed because of Christ, and nothing can change that. His love for me isn’t based on anything I do or don’t do. He doesn’t look at me and focus on my smeary hands and my mush-covered face.

He looks at me and sees beauty.

He looks at me and see His child, His daughter.

He looks at me and He sees my mess.

And He reaches out to me.

And still He says “I love you.”

10 responses to “Welcome To The Mess”

  1. Thank you for that beautiful reminder of our Savior’s Marvelous Grace!

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  2. Oh how sweet the name of Jesus sounds to this sinner’s ears and heart this morning…thank you for once again reminding us of the greatest need for today…the Gospel.

    Love and miss you…

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  3. “It’s hard because instead of being consumed by my Savior, it’s easy to be consumed by guilt. The accuser wants me to focus on the sin and the mess and become even more self-consumed. And in turn, he wants me to become messier.”

    OOF! What incredible truth you have spoken here; thank you so much for your eloquent words! I will be musing on them all day.

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  4. My sweet Angie,

    I see His image coming through. The treasure in you is shining brightly and revealing His glory. You are a treasure to all of us. I love you deeply.

    In Him we are one,
    Judie

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  5. Oh how I love a good metaphor. And this, my friend? Simply beautiful. I can SO relate and I’m so thankful for this reminder today.

    Just yesterday my pastor was saying how he has these mountain top experiences with God. Where he sees Christ for exactly who He is and then He sees Himself through those loving eyes. He said his temptation then is to cower, to feel so unworthy, to get stuck on looking at his sin, the ways he’s “messy.” So he turns his face from God saying “I don’t deserve this.” And then he said it…the thing that struck me in the gut…”and then God says, this isn’t about YOU.” Yow!

    Yes, we need to see our sin and repent, trying to improve, but if we focus on that and get all guilty, we’re taking away from the One it’s really about.

    I heart this post.

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  6. thanks for this Angie. I may not be a perfectionist, but I do like to “appear’ like I have everything together so that others will not see the mess in my life. In church we’ve been going through the book of Judges. Last couple of weeks have been about Samson. Talk about a mess! Him, Deliliah. Eating the honey out of the Lion. But right before he dies, Samson calls out to the Lord…and the Lord delivers Him from the evil Philistines.

    “God is DETERMINED to deliver us from evil,” my pastor emphasized. Even if we are messes like Samson. Self-centered and only caring for our own well being. Even then, if we call on the Lord, he will not not hear our prayers. He is DETERMINED to save His people. And that’s not even the end of the story. Then, he did something even bigger. He gave us Jesus. And now I realize that through Jesus, our mess is beautiful to God.

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  7. Beautiful post! I love it and needed it!

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  8. This is a great metaphor! What a great post. Very beautifully put angie!

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  9. What a beautiful object lesson, and much needed reminder of just how great the Good News really is!! Thank you for this, Angie!

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  10. Angie, this is the most beautiful post. What a reminder! Thank you.

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