We like for things to be wrapped neatly in pretty packages and tied up with ribbon. But real life is so much messier than that. And it’s within that mess that we can discover its beauty. It may be hard to see at first, hidden in an unexpected place, covered with a layer of dirt, but it’s there. And it’s that much more glorious when we weren’t expecting to find it. We need to be open to stumbling upon these great moments and beautiful discoveries hidden in the messiness of life. We believe so many falsehoods about who we are and what we ought to be, all in the name of religion or face-saving or reputation. Let me take a moment to encourage you to believe some refreshing truths that just might allow us to live a more authentic, beautiful, messy life.
We need to not pressure ourselves to feel like we have to have it all figured out all the time. The world will not fall apart if we admit we don't know what we're doing. We grow closer to others when we admit our own faults and failures, as we then give others permission to do the same, allowing us to grow together and support one another.
We need to just take a step back and breathe. Things are not as bad as they sometimes seem. Taking a moment to gain proper perspective can relieve much of the stress we carry around every day. When we take an account of all the ways in which we have been blessed, we see the brighter side of life.
We need to remember that we have enough, have accomplished enough, have been productive enough, have planned enough, and most importantly, that we are enough. Right here, right now. We don't need to acquire more stuff, check more things off our to-do lists, or climb more rungs on the corporate ladder to be an accomplished, successful group of people. We have all triumphed over obstacles and battles in our lives, both great and seemingly small. Let us not compare our trials to those of others, but instead remember that we are enough just the way we are. We are loved and cherished for who we are, not what we have done.
We need to remember that it's not up to us to make everything go smoothly. We have been given the gracious opportunity to let go of this burden. We worship the God who is at work in our lives and those around us, making new things happen where we can't see them right now. When we have faith in His plan, trusting that He is working both in and through us, we no longer feel the responsibility of striving to work for Him. Instead, we know that He is already working, and we get the amazing chance to work with Him, as He uses our daily interactions to point people to Him. How freeing it is to realize that we have been blessed with this gift, allowing us to do our part, but to trust that God will work everything together for good in His perfect timing and unique way that is far beyond what we could ever dare to ask or imagine.
We need to give ourselves more grace. We are far more forgiving with others, allowing them room to make mistakes. But when it comes to forgiving ourselves for our inadequacy, we are stingy. We hold ourselves to much too high of a standard. And we need to take this moment to extend ourselves the same measure of grace we give to those around us. We need to love ourselves like we love others.
We need to remember that we are beloved children of the living God. We serve a God who is far greater than this world and all its sorrow and darkness. He delights in giving us good gifts, and He is our loving Father, abundant Provider, and strong Deliverer.
What else do you think we need to remember? I'd love to hear your thoughts.