Saturday, March 26, 2016

broken people

How many times has it happened? Everyone gets up late, wanting to sleep in instead of getting up and around but knowing that they "have to." One kid complains about not having anything she wants to wear despite all the clothes hanging in the closet, another wants to wear his rainboots even though he's dressed up. It's time to walk out the door, and the kids still don't have shoes on their feet. The ride in the car is full of "Don't touch me!" and "Just leave each other alone if you can't be nice--I'm tired of all the yelling!" being yelled out. Everyone is fuming, mad at each other and frowning out the windows.

Then, you get to church.

Everyone plasters on a smile as you walk through the door, and answers all the "Good morning, how are you?"s with the popular answer-- "Great, how are you?" or the even more spiritual answer-- "We're blessed!"

Too often, when we walk through the doors of the church all our struggles are ignored. We tend to pretend like life is all daisies and butterflies, like we never have any problems that we don't immediately turn over to God. We have the Monday-Saturday version of ourselves, and then we have the version reserved for Sunday morning. That version has it all together, never gets frustrated or disappointed, and faces the day with nothing but a song of praise.

What would it be like, I wonder, if we as Christians started being real with each other?

What would happen if we shared our struggles and stopped pretending?

What would our love look like if we stepped into the middle of each other's mess and chose to love?

What would the rest of the world see then? Would they still see us as fake, angry hypocrites? Or would they see us as God sees us--imperfect, broken people who have been saved by nothing more or less than grace, people who are covered by the blood Jesus shed on the day of His crucifixion.

I'm blessed to be part of a church that is a family. We know each other's messes, because we don't hide behind fake smiles on Sunday morning. We're a small group at Living Word Fellowship, across the street from the sale barn in Green Forest. We're a family of broken people trying to learn together how to do this thing called life, trying desperately to figure out what God wants from us.

There's a song called "Broken Together" by Casting Crowns. Though it's about a husband and wife, I think it applies to all of us who are called to walk through life together under Christ. The chorus goes:
Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I'll bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we'll last forever is broken together

 As God's people, we were made to walk through this life together. It wasn't so that we could be fake with each other, pretending not to have any issues that weigh us down or problems that we struggle to face. Instead, it was so that we could have someone to safely share with us in our brokenness, someone who could walk with us through the messy parts, rejoice with us during the amazing parts, and generally "do life" with us.

Besides my church family, I've been blessed with a cousin I get to do life with. Christy and I don't get to see each other very often, because we're both moms with all the chaos of life that that brings with it. Still, though, through texts and occasional "dates" we get to walk each other through the messy parts. We can let all the frustrations and disappointments show without worrying about trying to be fake or trying to smile through the ugly times. The amazing part is, though, that God's grace keeps pulling us through everything. We kick each other in the seat when it's needed, we remind each other that God's got this, and we de-stress together. I'm truly blessed to count her as both family and friend.



My own mess is about to be out there for all the world to see-- life. faithful. is about to become a book. I've taken a few of my posts from this blog and combined them with the messy parts I've left out. It's in the final editing stages right now, but with God's grace it will be out soon.

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Thoughts? I would love to hear them!
~Mandy