Why It’s Ok To Admit That You’re A Bit Of A Mess

“Come messy”, That’s what I read right before I closed the book for the night. I took a photo of the words and tweeted them out to anyone who might need encouragement like that–because honestly, more than I care to admit, I do. I seem to need constant reassurance that my cluttered heart, and my messy emotions are ok to bring before God.

I remind my children all of the time, that God sees everything–that there’s no place they can hide from Him and how that fact shouldn’t be scary, but instead ought to be a comfort. But when it comes to my own messy parts, well, suddenly, I’m not so sure anymore. The vulnerability of that scares me. I’ve lived seasons of hiding from God. (It doesn’t work, by the way.) I struggle to get it together enough to find grace in His presence, and I’ve struggled to pray in a way that would please Him–whatever that might look like.

My mind wanders during prayer; I build grocery lists and task charts, and run down the overwhelming list of upcoming calendar appointments. I doze off from exhaustion and wake frustrated that I fell asleep during my prayer time–again. I sometimes feel as if I have to hide this soul-weariness from God. Or worse, I put off coming to Him until I feel less weary. I’m a mess. I forget the words of the 68 Psalm,

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Selah (Psalm 68:19)

He bares our burdens, that’s amazing! When I stop trying so hard, when I stop sucking it in, and admit that there’s a bit more there than I’m pretending there is, those are the times when I feel God’s presence the most. God can handle messy. He can handle my messy, and your messy. So we can stop pretending that we have it all together. God gets it. He knows. He sees–and He is capable.

Have you ever worn those constricting undergarments designed to streamline your silhouette, you know the ones that you stuff yourself into like a sausage that make you look so svelte in that one dress, but by the end of the night you can barely breathe? That’s what this pretending feels like, doesn’t it? (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, just carry on, and please, do not tell me in the comments that you have never needed such under-garments before.)

Here’s what I fail to remember, the stuff that I’m hiding, the struggles that I don’t want to come to God with, those are precisely the things He’s waiting for me to hand over, because He cares for me:

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1Peter 5:7)

The truth is, He is far more capable of handling my mess than I am. So lets you and me come messy. Lets go to our closet and get on our faces and get real with God. Take off the suffocating spandex and let God hold all our imperfections with the tenderness of His mercy. The vulnerability of a soul splayed out before the Lord is absolutely breathtaking.Β 

“Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NASB) The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy. Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life

13 Responses to Why It’s Ok To Admit That You’re A Bit Of A Mess
  1. Lauren
    January 20, 2013 | 3:29 pm

    That’s a great word, and just what I needed to be reminded of. Thank you πŸ™‚

    • Kris
      January 23, 2013 | 7:02 am

      God be praised, Lauren. SO glad you were encouraged!

  2. Dawn
    January 20, 2013 | 6:16 pm

    Love this and oh so grateful he can handle my messy. But so true, the way he has to break our little lamb legs before we will actually sit at his feet, look up and receive grace. Beautiful, messy hearts are his specialty. Thanks for sharing yours, Kris!

    • Kris
      January 21, 2013 | 5:45 am

      Dawn, I am so thankful for your encouragement and comments. It’s hard sometimes, learning to rest at His feet, but the reward is always worth it. It’s such a comfort to know He accepts us as we are.

  3. Susie Klein
    January 20, 2013 | 6:23 pm

    “The vulnerability of a soul splayed out before the Lord is absolutely breathtaking.”
    Whew, wonderful post! So freeing and refreshing, thank you!

    • Kris
      January 21, 2013 | 5:46 am

      Thank you, Susie, for your encouragement! What a joy it is to let Him do the work in us.

  4. Shannon
    January 21, 2013 | 12:01 am

    yes! πŸ™‚ i love the spandex analogy…it’s so very true. pretending we’re ok when we most definitely are NOT!

    so so good!

  5. Susie Cantrell
    January 21, 2013 | 6:18 pm

    Hi Kris,

    “Come Messy.” Oh, Yes I’ messy too. And Yes, sweet, authentic Kris! I know Exactly what ‘suck-it-in garment’ you’re talking about! πŸ˜‰ Oh the Wonder of His freeing tendernesses. I love your statement, like Susie Klein said above. “Splayed out” is actually one of most comfortable positions there is…if we can just remember that He KNOWS us Completly. Psalm 139. I know you know this too from the heart you so honestly, bravely & Boldly share in your writing & your daily life.

    Thank You for this ..I’ve been missing my ‘face-down’ time & didn’t remember that He misses it too.

    {HUG} Love Ya, Susie πŸ™‚

    • Kris
      January 23, 2013 | 7:01 am

      Ahh, yes, he misses it too. Thank YOU for that nugget today, Susie. I needed that. πŸ˜‰

  6. ~Karrilee~
    January 21, 2013 | 7:36 pm

    So glad that we don’t need to hide our Messy… to clean it up first – before coming to Him! (But oh how often do I – do WE – need that reminder?)

    Thank you!

    • Kris
      January 23, 2013 | 7:00 am

      yes, Karrilee, Thankfully, He understands our feebleness and continues to show His divine goodness and grace when we are willing to come before Him–and even when we resist, He woos us back to Himself–mess and all. πŸ™‚

  7. kelliwoodford
    January 21, 2013 | 9:28 pm

    Kris!! This is fabulous!
    Hit me right between the eyes with these words:
    “God can handle messy. He can handle my messy, and your messy. So we can stop pretending that we have it all together. God gets it. He knows. He sees–and He is capable.”
    Touches me in ways I can’t even fit in a comment box . . .
    so glad i read this today. thank you, thank you.

    • Kris
      January 23, 2013 | 6:58 am

      I am so blessed by your comment. This post felt like more of a self-talk, and I am so grateful for how it has encouraged you and others. I wish I didn’t need the reminder of His goodness so often, but apparently I do. I am weak and it is only in His strength that I can do anything. Thankful to know you and walk alongside you, my friend.