Let me start by saying that my God is GOOD!
Lately I have shared that I feel lost and broken, basicly a mess. I have been crying out to God for a while and even though I know that God lives within me and is close, I have felt like I was alone. I mistakenly was starting to wonder if He wasn’t listening, or wasn’t going to answer my questions. Of course I know the truth, that He does answer, that He is listening, even if it doesn’t feel like it. I have been in this place many times before, but I have never been to the point of sharing it publicly. I worried about the judgement, the rejection and the anger that could have happened. I live in the what if’s. What if people see what a failure I really am. What if my family gets angry at me for sharing so openly, What if others say I am beyond help or crazy. I have been called crazy by a family member before because I was too emotional. I was told I should get help, maybe check myself in somewhere. These were devastating words. I was defending my right to home school my kids and this person didn’t agree with me and said I was going to ruin my kids and their lives. Of course I would act emotional at that. That did not happen just once either!! Because of those words though, they both strengthened my resolve to homeschooling, and they caused me to doubt myself and my place in this world. I didn’t feel the freedom to share, and it increased my need to stuff my emotions. Lately I have gotten to the point of my seams cracking, and my emotions have spilled all over the place. I am sorry for leaving everything out there for those who would be offended by this display of emotions.
I think that God brought me to this place, this point of breaking. I think He wanted to expose my raw emotions, so that they could be healed by honesty, with those I needed to say the hard words with. It was painful to speak the truth, I so wanted to run away from those words and feelings. It was a struggle within myself to let those emotions go. Funny thing though, the rejection and anger that I was sure was going to happen didn’t. Instead healing is happening. I haven’t felt judged by my friends, and so I feel freer than I have felt in a long time. As a teen, I expressed my emotions all the time, but in that season of my life, I didn’t care what others thought or felt, I was rebellious, and very selfish. I think it has been since I was about 22 since I was so open and raw. So sorry if I am too much right now.
Anyway now I want to tell you about the weird things that are happening to me the last couple of days. I know I alluded to some of it on my Facebook. On Thursday, I went to the Global Leadership Summit put on by Willow Creek, our church was a remote video location. Basically we watched what was going on in Chicago live. It was a great summit, I think I have gone about 4 times, and each time I take away a lot from the speakers, both Christian and secular. On Thursday during our morning break, I took time to reflect on what was happening to me. I was trying to figure out what I could have done differently, asking myself why I had gone “public”. As I was thinking that, I clearly heard God intruding on my thoughts. He agreed that I was a mess. 🙂 However, He told me that that was ok, that He could make my mess beautiful. He said that I don’t have to have it all together for Him to use me. I have used those excuses for so long. God gave me a message in 2006 for His women, and I have stalled, believing that I had to clean myself up emotionally, physically, and spiritually before telling the world what God wants me to say. I figured that nobody wanted to hear this message from someone who was so broken. I never did reach those standards that I had for myself. So that was my excuse to remain quiet. All along though God has been confronting me about my unwillingness to go and do what He wants. Now I see them as ridiculous excuses. I realize now, that if I had measured up to my own standards before reaching out to God’s daughters, most of them would not be able to relate to me. If I got my “act” together, I would become unrelatable.
So I was sitting there pondering, and listening to God, and realizing how wrong I had been to hold back the message from those God wanted me to reach. He clearly said that my life was a mess, and that He would make it a beautiful mess. During the afternoon break I went to the resource tables and a book caught my eyes, it was titled A Beautiful Mess, by Danielle Strikland. I figured I should buy it, and went to see what the Kindle price was, it was cheaper, so I thought I would buy it Friday after the conference was over. Friday was payday. Her talk was close to the end of the day on Friday, and I loved her stories, she was really good. Anyway to make a long story short, Friday just before the last speaker came on our pastor got on stage with the book, A Beautiful Mess. He had no idea what had happened between me and God and still doesn’t, I haven’t told him yet. Anyway he asked the question is there anybody who feels like a mess right now. I put up my hand and so did Cam. I am not sure if anyone else did too, but he threw the book towards us, and when Cam fumbled it 🙂 our pastor said that is for Tanis and Cam. That was out of character for him I thought. I felt like God threw me the book. Isn’t God amazing??? He knew that I needed that affirmation, and He gave me that book. This is why I never doubt that God is real or intimately involved with His kids. He has done stuff like this too often to be just coincidence. I love Him!! and I praise God that He can use my mess and turn it into something beautiful. I want to remain in this honest, don’t stuff it mode, it is freeing and scary all at the same time. Thanks for listening to me. This is the book. Can’t wait to read it. Thank you Daddy God. 🙂