I sat in the pew of my church today, my coffee held lightly in my hands in my lap. It was the first time I had been alone, without the livelihood of my three children under my direct care since they were all happily at Kid Church for the duration of the service, in a week. My husband is away for work, and will be until the end of the month, so the idea of sitting alone in the pew for a whole 45 minutes had me skipping gleefully out the door this morning with three kids in tow. I will totally admit that two of the three were not excited to be going, one going through the first tremors of withdrawals from the Nasty Electronics that have been rotting his brain all week (did I mention that we got Hand Foot Mouth when dad left:: No:: Well, we did), the other not excited to be peeled from mom’s side and handed to the wonderful volunteers that man the Littles while parents actually LISTEN during the sermon (What a novel idea!!). But skipped we did… well, at least, I did.
As I sat and listened to the sermon, a thought popped in my head, and it was one of those thoughts that definitely was not of my creating… I had no ownership to this thought… I was only housing it for the time being. It skipped and sang through my entire body, sending chills down my arm and that little stinging sensation you get when your eyes try to create tears too quickly.
Even so, it sang.
It might seem like a small thought, one that wasn’t Big enough to create such an intense response in me. But that it did. That small thought dropped in my head and started a ripple, a ripple that picked up hitch hikers as it rushed through me, growing bigger and louder as it went. And when it crashed on the beach of my heart (that sounds totally romantic right!! YOU CRASHED ON THE BEACH OF MY HEART! I should write greeting cards!)… Anyway… WHEN IT CRASHED ON THE BEACH OF MY HEART, it was as if my breath got stuck in my throat, caught in suspense, waiting to see what I would do with this Little Thought.
And so I let it run. I should apologize to my pastor because I think I missed a good portion of the sermon today, as I retreated to my mental writing desk that sits in the corner of my head (you have one of those too, right!!).
I can be such a mess. I struggle with so many things as a mother, as a wife, as a HUMAN. It’s interesting, because as I have grown into the woman that I am today, I could say that I fit into a nice little category in people’s minds. We all do it. I was a stay at home mama for years, I worked in the church, I love Jesus, it hurts my heart to walk past someone panhandling and not give them money, so I usually do. I am gentle in spirit, and I can say with confidence that Mercy is my spiritual gift. If you messed up big time, come to me. I will be your friend as you find your way back to the arms of Jesus. DON’T I SOUND NICE!!!!!
Even so…. Even with all that… I am constantly warring with a hair-trigger anger. If things aren’t going as I expected them to go, I can get really flustered, and how I deal with that feeling is to snap out at people, ESPECIALLY the kids. I am also incredibly flaky, and commit to all sorts of things with the best intentions, only to have life not go as planned (GASP!) and have it all fall through my fingers. I feel ashamed and embarrassed, and react with frustration and panic, or just ignore it until it goes away. And for as much as I love people, and love to help when they are hurting, if they hurt ME… I can really talk a big talk but it’s hard for me to let that go. It would be easier for me to truly forgive a person sitting in jail for murder than it would be for me to forgive someone who has come into my Circle (which is small) and broken my trust. That is a problem!
Even so, God is using myself and my family for his Plan. His Purpose drives our lives and our choices. He takes my mess and he breathes new life into it. As he breathed new life into Sarah’s womb… as he breathed new life into Mary’s womb… he breathes into my life… something that is incapable of creating Life on its own, and he makes it fruitful. It is through his Grace, his Mercy, his Love that I can rest in the simple fact that God Will Do It. Whatever It is. He will do It. In spite of me.
I take great comfort in the fact that I am not the first Hot Mess that God has had in His story. The Bible is full of them. Noah. Abraham. Moses. It’s chock full of Hot Messes that were used in spite of themselves.
So I will take my crazy days, my toddler who is committed to make me all kinds of insane, my laundry list of Things To Do That Shall Remain Undid For All Eternity. And I will hand them to the Creator of the universe with a smile and an apologetic shrug. And then sit back and see what sorts of wonders He can do.
I am a mess…
But Even So….
God is not.