Last Friday, I had a really bad Friday.
I knew it was comin’ and planned for it for at least two weeks.
I felt really good about last Friday.
Until, last Friday.
While I am not at liberty to fully disclose what happened, I am definitely not letting it stop me from typing.
Last Friday, I lost some pride.
My feelings were hurt.
And I was definitely humbled a little too hard for my comfort zone.
All that wrapped up and served on a silver platter caused my heart to fall into my mind.
How much longer do I have to endure?
How much longer do I have to take the high road?
Why do I have to keep suffering?
And why do all these questions pertain to ME and not the other person!?
Ever been here?
It’s a tricky place.
Where a split-second thought can take us down the road of depression and land us face down in our pillows, crying into the night.
Or, when understood wisely, it can further us down the path in which we are committed to following.
And that is exactly why I have decided to publish this post.
I am going to randomly relate my humility of last Friday with what I believe happens just about every single day of our lives, and sum it up with this truth:
LIFE ISN’T ALWAYS ACCURATELY PORTRAYED IN A FACEBOOK PHOTO.
Do you know what I’m talking about?
Do you ever look at Facebook and believe that someone else’s life is a pool party and yours is not?
Do you ever wonder why your friends are always smiling and you are not?
Do you ever wonder what makes their life so happy? So rewarding? So, dare I say it, perfect?
I believe it’s our natural, human bias to post, photograph and/or speak about life events that cause others to want to “like” us. Photos of holidays, summertime, a new house, graduation, birthday parties, and births make up the majority of our Facebook newsfeed. Right?
That is wonderful! I’m not knocking the wonderful.
But, I also believe that the reality is, behind those photos, even up until the final click, some of us, deep down, are really, really hurting. And some of us don’t yet know how to speak. So, instead, we cover up our HARD life with pictures that cause others to believe our life is going well.
So, what happens when life doesn’t go well?
What happens when last Fridays turn into something pretty unexpected?
How do we speak?
Do we speak?
Do we keep writing?
Or, do we keep pretending and keep covering?
Friends, my truth in that moment was not a summer vacation.
It was not a celebration.
It was NOT a French Silk Pie.
It was a contradiction.
One side, telling me to share.
The other, telling me to hush.
But, then I realized, if I don’t speak to both sides of life, how am I empowering you?
Cuz here’s what I believe: In the good and most certainly in the bad, God is still at work in us.
Being humbled does not take away our voice.
Sharing about HARD life does not disqualify us.
Asking others to pray for an unspoken prayer request does not weaken us.
It actually strengthens us.
Not with our own power.
But with His.
God never intended for us to suffer.
He never intended for us to be at war with one another.
He never intended for us to go through HARD life.
But, here’s what He did do:
He built our hearts in such a way that allows us the opportunity to persevere.
To endure. To conquer. Over and over and over again.
And, rather than staying home and dwelling in the sorrow of the day, sometimes, we just have to believe that and then drive ourselves to the mall.
Cuz even at SCHEELS, God can still speak.
As I walked in, I immediately recognized the song on the radio. It was called, “Already There,” by Casting Crowns.
I moseyed along the main aisle when the Holy Spirit was like, “Jenn, stop. Listen.”
Seriously, like right now? Like, right in the middle of the main aisle, right in the middle of the entire store, you want me to just stop?
No response. Because there was no exception.
So, I obliged.
Right there in the middle of the main aisle, right in the middle of the entire store, I stood.
And I listened.
These are the lyrics I heard:
“From where You’re standing
Lord, You see a grand design
That You imagined
When You breathed me into life
And all the chaos
Comes together in Your hands
Like a masterpiece
Of Your picture perfect plan
When I’m lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory
Cause You’re already there…”
I turned my crying self around and walked right out of SCHEELS.
Humility and grace streamed down my face.
My chaos is Christ’s masterpiece.
Let me rephrase that.
Our chaos is Christ’s masterpiece.
Did you hear that?
Our CHAOS is Christ’s MASTERPIECE!
Devastation of expectation, unfair outcomes, injustice and covered tales are a MASTERPIECE to Jesus Christ.
Friends, we do NOT have to have our lives put together in order for Jesus to choose us.
We do NOT have to pretend.
We do NOT have to hide.
We do NOT have to act like we are better, higher or more perfect in order to gain more love or more grace.
We do NOT.
We can hurt.
We can cry.
We can be wrong.
We can come as we are.
We can have bad days.
Because the TRUTH is: These are the very things that Jesus Christ died for.
Life is HARD. And that is OKAY.
The Bible says that we are to, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2, NIV
So, if you’ve got somethin’ today that needs to be forgiven or you’ve wronged someone or you feel ashamed or guilty, or maybe you just gotta admit that life is not caramel lattes and doughnuts, won’t you please tell someone? Won’t you please take that photo? Won’t you please let us pray for you!!
Friends, whatever chaos we are goin’ through, Jesus Christ is one step ahead, workin’ it out for our GOOD, changin’ it, rearrangin’ it, restoring it into a MASTERPIECE.
Go out and find Him.
Sit with Him.
Talk with Him.
I bet He will respond by whispering, Child, I am Already There.