Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hope


Here I sit on my messed-up bed, in my messed-up room, in a messed-up mood. I say I'm in a "messed-up mood" because I am exorbitantly depressed for no reason. Here I am, getting married in 37 days to a man who loves me dearly, redeemed and treasured by a God who loves me dearly, surrounded by people who support me and love me dearly. Yet I am depressed.

It could be lack of sleep. It could be something I ate (or neglected to eat). It could be the stress of my everyday life finally getting to me. It could be that this girl thrives on hugs and, yet, rarely gets them.

I don't know. I really don't. But... I think that it's okay. Because it's okay to be messed-up. It's hard to believe, living in a world where we're expected to keep our entire lives in order. Our rooms clean, our beds made, our grades high, and always striving for something greater. But, really, where does that self-image fit into Christianity?

Don't get me wrong! I'm not asking for anarchy or suddenly turning into a liberal who takes freedom in Christ way too far. But, I am asking.... well... how is the world supposed to learn from perfect people? I know, we're not perfect. But, we sure try to convince everyone else that we are. We go on in our lives, putting forward a face of control and poise. But, that's not who we are. You, me, we're just as screwed up as the next guy. We have bad motives, have made bad decisions, have made awful mistakes. Most of us walk around feeling dissatisfied with our lives, disappointed with our lot in life, even sometimes feeling like the world is spinning out of control. I don't know about you, but I feel like I've spent my entire life asking God, "Why?" "Why did this have to happen to me?" "Did I fail you?" "Am I not allowed to be happy....even for just 6 months at a time?" "Why?... I don't understand!"

But, just like everyone else, you couldn't tell that by looking at me. Even by spending time with me. People keep telling me, "You are so motivated!" "You seem to have things under control." "I wish I could be like you." Every time, I want to tell them how I feel like I'm drowning in responsibility. How I continue to get sick over and over because I'm trying to meet all the needs of everyone around me. How I go to bed at night feeling like a complete and udder failure almost every night...and the other nights I'm too exhausted to think. How I often wish that I could go live in a cave for the rest of my life because loving people....it hurts too much to bear. I want, so much, to tell them. Do I? No. I say, "Thank you" and move forward as quickly as possible.

But, that's where the hope kicks in. Emily Dickinson once wrote, "Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all." I love that saying because I get this picture in my mind of a white dove in the midst of all the darkness reminding me of what is to come. Finding hope can often be difficult. But, I have learned that Jesus didn't come to save the perfect, but those who needed help. Needed Him. He came for the messed-up. He came for me. He came for you. That it is just because I am messed-up, just because I am helpless, just because I am overwhelmed, just because I am depressed that I need Him. And all the time, I see how much more I need Him. So I cling to that old rugged cross so I can exchange it some day for that crown. I know who I believed in and am persuaded that
He is able to keep that which I've committed to Him until that day.

So, here I am, posting on the world-wide web how screwed-up I am. Yes, it's scary. But it is also so relieving because I don't have to hide. In fact, all that hiding just hindered the story of freedom I was trying to tell. Jesus loves me even my bed is a mess, my room is a disaster, and I am depressed for no reason. He takes us, just as we are. Life is not fun. Life is not fair. But, we can find hope in knowing that we have someone, someone who never fails, never leaves, never stops loving on us, someone to walk through this life with us. Someone to bring us joy.