“Life is messy, Highness, anyone who says different is selling something.” Okay, so that might not be exactly the line that the masked Dread Pirate Roberts said, but he could’ve. In my experience, it’s just as true as the line he actually says about life being pain. Which makes sense – at least for me. If I look at the life of a butterfly as a metaphor for my spiritual life, than things get messy – like melty-goopy-change-from-caterpillar-to goop-BEFORE-the-butterfly messy.
Granted, the metaphor doesn’t always work as obviously as it does in my life. God doesn’t give us ALL messy lives. I have a very good friend, a woman who loves God with all of her heart, whom God seems to give exactly what she wants. She got married to the man she wanted to, WHEN she wanted to. Her wedding day was gorgeous, as she’d been praying for twelve years that it would be. She had a healthy baby pretty much exactly when she and her husband planned. She got a car when she wanted it. And the crazy thing is, it’s not like her parents are super wealthy to make sure she always gets what she wants. Not at all! Each and every time it’s completely, obviously, God!
I confess that sometimes in the middle of my messy life, usually during the unstable, painful moments, I wish I had her life. God DID NOT give me a stable life. Mine seems to be full of uncertainty, of surprises, of adventures, of not always knowing exactly how the bills will get paid, of wondering if I’m going to have to live all of it as a single gal. But the absolute crazy thing is, despite all that, I’m thrilled NOT to be living a predictable, stable life. I’m loving this crazy adventure. Sure, there are things I would change – but that’s what heaven’s for, right? And yes, I sometimes wish I knew what was coming next, or how long a certain station of life is going to last, but in looking back at my life, it’s probably been better that I haven’t known. I would’ve totally fought God if I’d known what was ahead.
I have a just-in-my-head-totally-untested theory as to why some people God gives totally stable, consistent lives, and others He gives crazy adventures. I think through stable lives, like that of my friend’s, He shows His constancy, His un-changing-ness. And through lives like mine, lives full of unexpected twists and turns that ALWAYS seem to be in transition, He shows His adventurous, daring, crazy-ness. Because somehow, in His immensity, God has both in His character. He is amazingly faithful and consistent. BUT He is also crazy, daring and adventurous.
SO, when life doesn’t go as planned, look for God. Look for God taking you on a crazy adventure that’ll take you who-knows-where, but during which you will learn SO much about Him. And, when life seems to just be humming along, contentedly, nothing special happening, everything going to plan, look for God’s faithfulness, His unchanging love for you.
One response to “Life is Messy, Highness….or something like that”
The grass always seems a little greener (and better kept) on the other side, doesn’t it? Reality, however, is that no one enjoys a “totally stable, constant [life].” Even in a life where a few major mile stones seem to have occurred in tidy timing, there can be instability, surprise, and lesson-saturated “adventure” (under-employment, vehicle breakdowns, pre-eclampsia). The girl who got a “YES” to seventy-five and sunny on her wedding day might also have gotten a “NO” to the “perfect-fit” teaching job once, twice, three times.
Life IS messy, no matter who you are.
God is also gracious and generous.
There are an abundance of blessings and answers to prayer in my life for which I am supremely grateful. (All good gifts come from above, AMEN?) I am also certain though, that God invited me to participate in the process of their unfolding. By God’s grace, my husband and I have grown in love, even when it has been tough to do so — including several moments of decision to continue dating (way back when), despite a lack of romance. We were blessed to welcome our first child into the world after years of careful practice of Natural Family Planning. We happened upon a quality, used vehicle we were able to buy with money we had saved and a loan made possible by decent credit scores. God gives good gifts. And personal responsibility.
We’re all going to experience seasons of order and chaos in our lives. Some circumstances are well beyond the realm of our control. Many are direct results of our choices. Through all of them, God continues to reveal his steady, unchanging self.
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” – James 1:17 (NASB)
I love you, Amy Leigh. And I pray that you will keep seeing God’s hand (holding, nudging, leading) in all seasons of your life.