When things get messy, as they so very often do, who am I?
What are my defense mechanisms?
What do I tend to do?
Ask yourself these questions and answer honestly.
Do I yell or swear? Cry? Run? Avoid? Shut down? Lash out? Dive into a bad habit such as drinking more or over-eating? Spend money recklessly? Sleep all day?
Do I take it out on those around me?
Recognizing these tendencies is the path to growth. The path to change. The path to healing.
My response to stress, confrontation, or pain is flight. I will try to get away from it as fast as I can. I will avoid and hide.
Knowing this about myself doesn’t make it easier to make a different choice in those difficult life situations. It is hard, brutally so, to swim against my natural current and face the situation head on.
It is a weakness of mine.
It doesn’t matter what your defense mechanism is–what negative response you have.
We have a God who says that His power is made perfect in our weakness.
So who are you in the mess?
When a loved one dies.
When you’re in a decades-long argument with your spouse.
When your child needs a mental health diagnosis.
When a pet gets sick.
When you are waiting for test results.
When you lose a job.
When you’re flat broke and don’t know where the next mortgage payment is going to come from.
When your best friend moves away.
When someone lies about you to others.
When a pandemic hits.
When you are having a panic attack.
When the dishwasher breaks.
When your car won’t start.
When your heart is broken.
When you are in severe emotional or physical pain.
Who are you?
We all have things–moments, heartache, crises–that bring us to our knees. To be human is to suffer. We cannot escape it, no matter how hard we try. But we have a way through.
God’s powerful, life-changing comfort is waiting. His arms are wide open.
He says that His power is made perfect in our weakness.
He turns us around. He changes our hearts and moves mountains in our minds.
Our weakness doesn’t limit God. It proves His might and His perfect timing!
God is doing a thing in you. Let Him work.
Let Him soften your anger and flood you with His forgiveness, so that you can be a vessel of those things for someone else.
In the middle of the mess, little or big, we need to go to Him.
His grace is sufficient for me.
And it is deep and long and wide enough to cover you, too.
Faith in the Mess by Melissa Neeb