Everywhere I look is a mess. I can’t look at my house because it is falling off a cliff. Dishes are mounted up to my chin, and laundry, like lava, is overflowing onto all the floors. I can’t look inward because nothing is organized. My sadness is mixing with my anger, and my anxiety is taunting my peace. I am easily triggered. Happiness can only be found if I can escape my reality and my mess, but the mess is everywhere. It chases me when I am on social media, I see it at Target, and I feel it at school pick up. Everywhere I look, there it is.
My five-year-old woke up a headache. This is not how I wanted to start my day. My bubbly little girl is burrowing her body into my lap. I don’t have time for her to be sick. I have emails to send, lists to complete, phone calls to return. I have messes to clean up. I have things to put back in order. But I carry her into my room, tuck her gently into my sheets, and stroke her back. Her head is throbbing. My heart is fracturing. My teenager is hard. He is strong and fierce and full of uncontainable emotions. Every request I make is met with an argument. My other son is quiet. I know he has a world inside of him, but I can’t seem to crack him open. My toddler’s favorite phrase is, “I do it myself!” I so desperately want to stop the madness. I just want to roll up my sleeves and make everything and everyone better. If I can just contain the chaos, everything will be okay. I will be all right.
But I can’t stop the mess. I can’t steamroll sickness, make my boy obey, force my son to talk, or give my toddler all the control. I can’t make people do what I want them to do.
I can only do this: receive and release.
I can open my hands and accept that this very moment is out of my control. I don’t have to push the mess back, but I trust God is using the mess to make sense of my soul. He is using all things to bring my heart back into the right focus. A clean house, healthy kids, returned text messages, and finished projects never clean up the mess inside of me. Never. Only Jesus cleans up the mess. He is the one who holds my broken up, battered down, and bleeding heart. The mess is a gift. The mess is a gentle invitation from Jesus. He whispers, “I’ve cleaned up everything.” God has made us clean. He has taken our twisted hearts and untwisted them. He has taken our tangled souls and untangled them. The mess we encounter in our lives is merely another invitation to receive His love and release our need to fix ourselves.
So, today, I clear out my schedule, cancel appointments, and put my sweats back on. I let the mess pile up in my house, but let God hold the mess in my heart.
The mess we encounter in our lives is merely another invitation to receive His love and release our need to fix ourselves. -Anjuli Paschall: Click To Tweet