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By Makenna Nahorniak
It’s the pile of papers on my desk and the mountain of socks on the floor in my room. It’s forgetting to print the essay off, arriving late and miscommunicating. It’s a mess… and I live in it.
When my mess reaches the surface after countless days of drowning the trash and mayhem with my own strength, I feel exposed, alone, cracked and irreparable.
Messiness can be paralyzing. It holds us captive. For me, life can turn into a series of “oopsies” quite easily. I often find myself wallowing in the mess I’ve made, the words I did or didn’t say and my quiet moments of struggle.
When I wake up in the morning, my messiness often clouds the joys with which the Lord supplies me. This fear of falling apart in front of the loud, seemingly perfect, stitched together sea of people surrounding me overtakes me at times. I let myself feel guilty when it’s not my fault, I keep my head down to avoid confrontation, and I fight long and hard to make sure my chaos is properly covered. I feel the need to assume the role of a burden in peoples’ lives. I go through the day just waiting for the moment I can go home and get out of everyone’s way.
So I fight to be right, to be impressive, to be knowledgeable and to be heard. It hurts to let people know that you crumble easily and you’re not all you wish to be. The hairbow is an illusion and the bold mascara hides the amount of sleep you lost last night paying the price of being imperfect. All that effort is exhausting. There is no life found in trying to reverse your untidiness on your own terms. That’ll only deflate you.
And then the Word of God speaks life. Scripture tells of God’s willingness and devotion to use those the world doesn’t always see fit. He sees the corners that aren’t often explored by other human beings, He is aware of the deep longings of each individual, and He is certainly vast enough to use the unqualified.
Our God isn’t bogged down by our insufficiencies, but rather, He is strong in place of our weakness. I would like to argue that messiness is a heavy problem for even the most organized people. You know — the ones who finish everything on time, always say the right things and never stop smiling. They’re messy, too. We are all wanderers, stragglers and misfits without Jesus Christ. But then He changes everything as usual. He remakes us into dreamers, doers, imaginers, intellectuals, speakers, artists and followers.
I’m about to turn 18 in a few short months, and God is teaching me a lot about what it looks like to enter into adulthood. A few weeks ago, I hit a roadblock and discovered one heartbreaking and annoying thing about managing your money like an adult: You can’t sign up for one month free trials online and give them your debit card number. When you do this, companies will continue to charge you for months into the future while you don’t even realize it’s happening. While revisiting my history of spending over the last three months, I discovered to my dismay that a company had been charging me money for months on end because I had signed up for one of these so-called “free trials.”
It wasn’t the end of the world, but I was disappointed in myself. I felt irresponsible, foolish and utterly broken. I wept bitterly not because I had lost a whopping $50.00 for no reason at all, but because I don’t have all the answers all the time. I’m very rarely orderly and neat. I can’t keep my locker clean for the life of m,e and I certainly can’t figure out that giving your debit card number to an online business is never a brilliant idea. I have a lot to learn about becoming an adult and living responsibly. I cried because I felt as though I’ll never get it right. I did what I usually do when I feel hopeless and discontent with myself.
I buried my face in God’s Word and let Him change my train of thought. Do you know what He says about our insufficiencies? He says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power if made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:5)
He is enough when we are not. He cleans up the horrible messes we make and calls us to step into the process of becoming more like Him. You and I are not too scattered, too torn or too wrinkled to be used in His wonderful story.
May you hear the resounding noise of His all-sufficient power and grace when you become overwhelmed by your shortcomings throughout the next week. Brothers and sisters in Christ, you are precious and forgiven. Walk in freedom and let the Lord loosen the chains of messiness.
Makenna Nahorniak is a senior at Christian Life School. She enjoys leading worship, singing, reading, writing and using her words to encourage others’ hearts.