I have a confession to make. It’s been a while since I shared a confession on Middle Places, but I think they need to happen every once in awhile because they keep me humble. And hopefully they help you know I’m just as much of a mess as every other Jesus-loving girl on the face of this earth.
And that’s exactly what I want to confess. The mess. Let’s talk about this mess for just a minute.
I love the phrases “broken beautiful” and “beautiful mess” and others like them. Terms such as these have been woven into Christian, and some secular music, plastered on tees, and made into pretty decorations because they help us realize the need for authenticity and there’s comfort in knowing we are not alone in our brokenness. We identify with it.
I even love to use the term “hot mess.” I mean … I’ve lived in the South for over half of my life now, so it’s kind of required to embrace that oh-so-perfect colloquialism.
I’m all the things these terms espouse. In fact, we all are. There’s a freedom in proclaiming I don’t have it all together … that I’m full of imperfections, flaws, chips and cracks. But sometimes those proclamations of just how messy I am begin to feel like a cheap excuse.
The truth is, I don’t want my brokenness to define me. I don’t want to tout my mess. I think there’s a difference between being transparent about who I truly am and my current state and using my brokenness as a status symbol.
I’m not content to wallow in this place. I know that’s not God’s heart for me.
I don’t want to brag about my stress eating or my over-caffeinating.
I don’t want to hold my failures as a wife or mother out simply to get a #metoo.
I don’t want to use my bent toward legalism as an excuse to expect too much from others or myself.
I never want to be the one who brags about my stubbornness and uses it to excuse bad behavior, lack of kindness, self-discipline or failure to follow rules and laws.
I don’t want my wounds from the past to set the tone for the rest of my life and make me bitter, whether they’re self-induced or grief I’ve never taken the time to deal with emotionally.
I want Jesus to heal my heart so these broken attitudes in my life are no longer my default mode.
I don’t want to be broken. I want to be healed.
I recently read a book by an author friend of mine, Cynthia Ruchti, Tattered and Mended. The idea behind her book was that we can be wounded, scarred and broken. God finds us there in our brokenness, and He sees our wounds. He never leaves us the way He found us. He takes those broken places, our wounded hearts and makes them beautiful. Sometimes that could mean our lives look much like they did before the wound ever occurred, but more often than not, it means God transforms our scars, our brokenness into a new kind of beautiful.
So today, I’ll stand before you and confess I’m a broken woman in need of healing. I’m a hot mess. But I don’t ever want it to be said of me that I use it to excuse my imperfect heart, my bad attitudes, my worry, my tendency to judge and mock. I don’t want to show you my brokenness without also showing you how God is making me beautiful. I don’t want to wear my brokenness like a badge of honor. I’m simply acknowledging I’m a work in progress.
Instead, I’m choosing to embrace my identity as the princess, the daughter of the King, the one that was relentlessly persued and wooed. He created me and chose me and celebrated the day I chose Him back. He only asks that I come to Him with my wounds because He is waiting to heal me. How much more powerful would it be to proclaim the beauty He has made of my brokenness than to proclaim the brokenness itself?
There’s a verse in Isaiah that talks about how Jesus would be beaten and whipped … how His back would be covered with stripes. And those very stripes were the ones that would heal our hearts.
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. — Isaiah 53:5 (NLT)
Thank you, Jesus! This girl has got plenty in her life that needs healing.