Do you ever have those days where you feel like you are living outside of yourself?
You know, when it’s as if you have some super-natural power to peer into all of your nooks and crannies and wonder how you’ve been operating this way for this long? It feels like the crevices of your heart need their filter changed in order to trap and keep out all of the impurities, but you stand back, spectating as particles are somehow making their way through to your soul, and you want to nudge a passerby and exclaim, “are you seeing this shit?!”
Sometimes life can look a lot like hot apple cider, and new friends, and dance parties, and deep heart talks on long road trips across our beautiful country. As a matter of fact, that’s what my life has looked like lately. God recently blessed me with the most beautiful autumn in the mountains of West Virginia and North Carolina as I traveled for work, and as an autumn enthusiast, I couldn’t be more thankful.
But other times, life can look a lot like terminal illness and utter disappointments, and having to forfeit things we were SO looking forward to and living in fear, and financial hardships and really lingering, painful heartaches; you know, the true muck & mire that is honestly just a part of life.
Some of my new friends, who also happen to be writers, have been really honest about life lately. They’ve written about things like how finding your significant other is sometimes really ugly and difficult and anything but surefire. They’ve addressed the reality that our lives have gotten so entangled in Pinterest-inspired homes and parties, and fluffy Instagram impressions that we try to make one another believe in, that we’ve forgotten to be real and take in the glimmering moments God offers us so often.
I know I’m guilty of that, and quite honestly, I’ve become cynical and hardened toward the mere thought of relationships.
But through their transparency in writing about some of these more difficult, every day moments and how life is rarely as it seems, I’ve been deeply encouraged to be really real with myself, and even more real with God.
I’ve been trying to stifle the things I thought were so petty for a while now.
These are things I was sure I had gotten over, or didn’t really care much about, or was too prideful to admit that I cared about.
Boy, does the enemy have a way of shutting us up and making us believe we’re fine, when we’re really a volcano about to erupt.
It was Saturday night, and I was having some alone time. Sure enough, as soon as I quietly let a few, slivered words out, what followed seemed to seep out slowly at first, until I began spewing tears and snot all over my favorite blanket, and flailing my arms dramatically all over the five foot radius around me while chucking books across the room.
I love books. Books are a friend. I don’t normally chuck books.
Nonetheless, I had a knock-down, drag-out screaming match with God, and as my cries spilled out, I couldn’t help but realize I was in such a safe place. I could feel His strength, and it was strong enough to handle me.
It was like the more I cried and confessed my anger, bitterness, confusion, and defeat, the more I was greeted with open arms. I could feel Him nodding and patting my back, like any good parent would do to their hurting child who was vomiting everywhere, reassuring them that it’s okay–to just let it out.
And He wasn’t even plugging His nose, or getting queasy at my mess; firm and steadfast, He took it.
By the time it was all over, I was exasperated and out of breath.
It felt like days had passed.
But I could hardly believe the freedom that reigned in that place.
The Holy Spirit was ushered in swiftly through my cries, and I felt like I had all of the minions in the world holding my hair back, giving me the words when I thought I’d used them all up. He was such a helper in beckoning me to let go.
I sat for a moment, stunned at what had just gone down.
Now, I’m not necessarily suggesting you practice doing this hot-mess ritual in the same way I did.
And yet that’s exactly what I’m suggesting.
Ask God if there are things that have been pent up and needing to be released.
Because often times we’re not even aware of these until the volcano is doing its thing, violently.
Often times, we believe the lie that we’re supposed to bind up our mess in the cutest paper packaging and tie it up with bows so the world can’t guess what’s really underneath.
Don’t feel the need to ask permission to let it out.
Just do it.
It may not be pretty.
You may not even feel better right away.
But I whole-heartedly believe it’s what needed to happen for me to be sitting where I am now, confronting my broken parts and free.
And I believe the same for you.
What are the things you need to fight with God about?
What is keeping you from believing He is able to handle your mess?