Together in the Mess of it All

Perception is quite a funny little thing, isn’t it?

I mean, over the years, I cannot even begin to tell you how many people have shared things with me that I find so unbelievable. This is stuff that these folks have said that they thought about me upon first meeting, that, when looking from the inside, I fail to understand. But it’s still been their perception, and I have seen some common denominators throughout my life. I’m sure you have too, right? And I’m sure that both you and I have done the same thing about others – it’s part of what humans do.

Perception #1 is the one I want to share about today because this one is the FUN, FUN, FUNNIEST of all!

“You have it so together. You come across as someone who really knows what they are doing, just has it all in the right places, and is balanced and efficient and really dialed in.”

When I hear this, I now know that it’s okay to laugh – out loud. I mean, the belly kind of laugh that is really good for you too! I also realize that it’s meant as a complete and total compliment.

Yet I know myself on the inside – spots and all. I don’t know what causes this perception to be so pervasive when people meet me or are getting to know me – I have given up trying to guess, but it is one of the most common ones that I hear.

What is great about this now in my life, is that it gives me the opportunity to share Jesus in a way I never took advantage of before. In the past, I was still as shocked as I am today to hear about the perception that I am seen as someone who “has it all together”, but it certainly didn’t make me feel bad to hear about it.

These days, although I still take it as a compliment, and don’t feel bad about it, I love it because I can share that I am so NOT together, friends! (It makes for a nice segue).

I am just a poor and crazy woman who is finally trying to figure out how to be who she is in Christ Jesus, bumps and all. Actually, I am in all reality trying to learn to focus more upon HIM and who HE wants to be through me – the parts of Himself that He wishes to show through me more than ever. It’s hard.

And I realize – maybe that’s why some folks still have this perception of me. Maybe it’s because it’s refreshing for people to see others not be afraid all the time to show that they are real – that they are faulty – that they need a Savior and they are going to lift their heads up in the face of that weakness – the ones that they know without question will exist until the day we leave this life and go to live for all eternity with our Lord and Savior! (And, by the way, it should go without saying that is not due to anything I can credit to my little “not-together” self).

What’s funny is that although I am pretty open about how lame I am in so many ways, I still struggle with authenticity at times too. Lately, it’s been more due to the fact that the whole world screams “don’t do that – don’t share your failures and your inadequacies – it’s not good.”

But that’s a lie.

Maybe that is what being “together” is in this messy world we live in right now.

Knowing we are so NOT together. Asking for courage to be honest about it no matter how hard it is.

Knowing that it is Christ Jesus that keeps us whole, as broken and flawed as we are.

Yes, sharing what our weaknesses are – even boasting in them, friends.

Talking and focusing then upon how Christ is making us better, spotty as we are. More of Him….less of us.

Sharing openly how hard we have to battle (sometimes daily) against it all – the battle for being authentic in Christ Jesus and admitting we struggle with relying upon Him at times – admitting that sometimes we want to try to pretend to be, or even really be or appear “together.” That’s tough stuff.

The only way we can ever experience what it is (or a version of it, I guess) to really be”together”, is to allow the Lord to make us whole by breaking us, and molding us into something better day to day.

“Together” through allowing for brokenness- then rebuilding – into His creation of what HE wants us to be.

We are flawed, friends. We are broken at times. We don’t have it all straight, right, dialed in, and perfect – no matter what it may look like from the outside. Not a single one of us does.

But we can be together in our brokenness – in the mess of it all – as long as we realize that we are in need of THE Savior, Jesus Christ.

He can make us whole in spite of our imperfections. He can bring unity and triumph through the ugly and the pain, the failures and the disappointments, the screw-ups and the things we once may have called success but are really just man-made illusions and milestones.

He makes masterpieces this way.

Make no mistake about it: sometimes the messy gets to me. Sometimes I want to be “together” in the way our world thinks about together – in the way I used to admire and strive for with all that I  had. Sometimes I want to start faking myself out and controlling stuff and live in the delusional world of false “together-ness.”

Why? Well, quite frankly, because it feels good. The constant battle gets tiresome, and I am a lazy girl.

It feels good to feel together, even when it’s not for real.

Lots of the enemy’s lies are that way.

But I am so grateful that I have tasted that true “together-ness” comes from the broken. Truth is truth and that’s always better than the illusions we make up for ourselves, even though it certainly doesn’t always feel better than the fake stuff.

Argh. Isn’t it tough to do the right thing in this life, friends? Isn’t it hard to feel the hard and the ugly and walk right when there are so many feel-good temptations out there for the taking?

Yes it is. But it is so very rewarding to let God show His “strength through our weaknesses.” Words fail to describe that kind of “feeling.”

Together in the truth of the Almighty and Great I Am. What better place could there be this side of heaven?

Might I challenge you along with myself today, my friends? Might you be inspired and motivated toward authenticity and transparency regarding it all?  Use these opportunities to share with others just how flawed you are, yet how Christ is making you whole all at the same time. It’s mind blowing stuff, for sure, and I totally believe it’s a wonderful testimony to the power of our Lord and Savior!

Never forget to share the good news after being honest about your weaknesses, either!

In your flaws and in your broken and in your ugly and your mess and hard – Christ Jesus makes you whole. And He can and will do the same for anyone who can admit that and pour out their mess and allow Him to replace it with the REAL truth and the REAL together, and the REAL good that only HE can be.

He is the only piece to the broken puzzle of our lives that makes us complete.

Place Him where He belongs – right smack in the center! Then let Him overflow.

Fill yourself with Him today! Share in the mess of life. Bring others together through that endeavor and one step closer to a truly together life with our glorious Savior, Jesus Christ.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinithians 12:9

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