Move. Towards. The. Mess. This has been the mantra at my church lately, and the theme behind one of my good friend’s girls’ coffee dates. It’s a phrase that’s resonated with me over the last few months because I’ve realized how damn true it is that chaos leads to change, and craziness is a good thing, not a negative.
In life we’re often cautioned to be careful, to leave when things get hard, to distance ourselves when life is challenging, or disconnect from anything crazy, dysfunctional, or difficult. And truthfully, there’s value in that…sometimes.
Yes, we must be smart, be level-headed, and know when a situation, circumstance, or person is toxic. But we must also recognize the difference between something that’s hard and something that’s unhealthy.
And we need to understand that difficult doesn’t necessarily mean bad.
Honestly, sometimes the most challenging parts of life are the moments we need to run towards, not away from.
We must embrace the wild, disorderly parts of our lives and jump into what we don’t understand in order to create meaning, purpose, and hope.
Move towards the mess. That phrase is all about leaning into the moments of life where things don’t necessarily make sense, where we don’t know what direction to head, when we aren’t quite sure how to fix things in a situation or with a person.
Instead of walking away, instead of turning our backs, instead of creating distance between us and what we’re afraid of, this perspective pushes us to embrace those terrifying moments with open arms, knowing that when we move towards them, we’ll grow.
But this is scary.
It’s scary to walk towards a place where we don’t have the answers, to trust God’s plan when we aren’t sure He’s even listening. It’s so difficult to believe that what’s meant to be will be, or that everything will ‘work out in the end.’ In fact, when we hear those words, we cringe because they sound so cliché.
But the truth is, walking into the mess, praying through the mess, trusting through the mess, and embracing the mess builds us.
When we walk forward instead of taking a back seat, when we challenge ourselves to be stronger and overcome whatever craziness we face, when we push into God’s truth and the people around us, we learn just how resilient we are. We find the answers we were looking for. We make sense of the questions we’ve been tossing around in our minds. We become the people we’re mean to be.
So I hope you move towards the mess in your life. I hope you understand that darkness, bad days, guilt, frustration, anger, pain—these are catalysts for growth, and will push you to better places when you step to them. I hope you embrace what you don’t understand and know that you will find your way, even if you feel so incredibly lost right now.
I hope you trust that good days are coming, that life is too short to be constantly afraid, that this ‘mess’ is not permanent—but how you grow from it is. And you will carry that strength with you, wherever you go.
Featured Image Credit: Guy Frutiger[
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This is Kelly K. Boden. You were very kind to respond to my Email on Sunday. Your words, again, spoke to me. You are an amazingly prolific writer! Wow! This May 8, blog hit the spot, thanks! I could write you a billion words, but, I’ll try to be brief. I mentioned to you, I haven’t read “Christian” writers very much, well, I’ve read a lot, duh! Examples are scholar, Karen Armstrong , Bishop John Spong, and Biblical commentaries by scientist, Isaac Asimov and really old school comedian, Steve Allen. An eclectic mix!
I love and enjoy your perspective. Pardon me for saying, but, I also find you to be an idealic, pragmatic, romantic. I will continue to explore your work and like today, seek comfort in your writings. I’m so thankful, I’ve found a writer, especially a woman, who’s perspective on reality, is wonderful, comforting and really truthful!
KELLY K. BODEN
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