I am really enjoying the book God threw me called A Beautiful Mess. I love this Quote by the author.
“Artists aren’t primarily concerned with order. They are concerned with Beauty, freedom, expression, emotion, paradox, dissonance and color. Not order. Order speaks of a scholar who must put together a thesis that is controlled, rational, ordered, reasonable, and factual. An artist is interested in something other than fact, Art is experienced. It is not a critical analysis.” ( A Beautiful Mess, by Danielle Strickland)
It helps me to understand myself a little bit more. I am not an ordered or orderly person. I struggle with keeping or if I’m really honest creating order. I have been told that until I get things in order, that I can not minister or go after the mission that God gave to me. That thought and perspective has held me back in so many ways. I think I used that to keep me from reaching out to those who need to hear the truth that God gave me. I never was able to keep anything orderly or clean for more than a week. I am a messy (honest admission here) . this is an embarrassing admission to me. I have been taught that cleanliness is next to godliness, and that I can not offer myself or my home until it is spotless. That thought has been overwhelming to me, and causes me to ignore and avoid what needs to be done, because it feels like it is too much.
Someone has said to me, that a messy house can be an indication of depression or abuse not dealt with. As a child I have experienced abuse at the hands of friends and strangers. I never dealt with it. I hid from those facts and have “moved on”. Not really, I think it still lurks in the back of my mind. I now see my messy house as an extension of a messy soul. I now understand that depression is something that I struggle with (this is hard to admit, I do have a good life, people who love me, all the necessities…).
I think that as I have fallen apart lately, I have been more introspective, I have looked closely at my soul’s condition, I have had to, It became imperative. I could not continue as I was. It was impossible, it was suffocating me. I am starting to feel as if I can breathe again. As I am honestly expressing myself and telling the truth to those I live in deep community with, I gain freedom from pain, from darkness. I am exposing myself to the light.
My life has always been lived in chaos. I have believed that is not a healthy place to be, but I never found the way out for long. I was always looking for a way out of the chaos. I never looked for the beauty and the miracles found within the chaos. Beautiful things are born within chaos. Chaos is full of creativity and creation. Emotions are often chaotic, feeling joy and pain at the same time. As I have watched my children grow up, as they leave our house to start their own, I have felt the pain of losing the ability to interact with them on a daily basis, however at the same time, I feel the joy of witnessing an independent child, fully capable of taking care of themselves. I feel pain and pride at the same time. It is a weirdly wonderful feeling.
After our daughter Taylor died, the loss and pain was so overwhelming, I couldn’t function well. I felt that I was just going through the motions of living, not really able to feel anything but pain and sorrow, I felt numb. It was during this time that I understood the joy of the Lord, as I felt His very real presence and comfort. I grew closer to Him, as I knew I could not function without Him. My life was not possible without Him. As time went by He blessed me with the gift of sleep, when my anxiety was just too much to allow me to rest. He let me see the miracle of Stephanie, her milestones, her childlike joy. I started seeing life through her eyes. I could only explain this as God’s work in me. I still experienced incredible pain, but I also found joy in the midst of my pain.
” The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” (M. Scott Peck)
I found God, or I really experienced God in the middle of my deepest pain. As I look back, I can see God working through my chaos. He walked with me and taught me about Himself. He showed me His faithfulness through this season of my life. When all others abandoned me to my pain, because they didn’t understand it, God never left me. He understood it far better than any earthly being could understand it. He increased my faith in Him, and gave me a new understanding of who He is within that unbearable pain. This was His creation in my chaos, He helped propel me out of my ruts within my faith, He helped me to see the truth of His involvement in my life and in the lives of all of His creation. He taught me that He was not just an observer, but an active participant and creator in my life. He helped me understand that He wasn’t going to leave me in the state I was in, that eventually, I would walk out of the deep dark place I found myself in. I have never gotten over the death of my daughter, I never will. She is a piece of me. However, I also know that God is taking care of her, that her life had purpose even if it was for a really short time. I know that eventually I will see her again and understand completely what was going on with this happening in my life. I don’t understand it here, but I trust that I will in my future eternity.
Chaos is hard, but there is also a lot of good in it. It causes us to be uncomfortable and we look for ways to get out of that place. If we allow God to teach us His truth within the chaos it is good and life-giving.
As an artist, I know that the light is enhanced by the dark, beauty is more because of the dark chaotic parts of the art. Our lives are a beautiful masterpiece created by the Master and Maker of original art. God uses the hard, dark places in our lives to accentuate the beautifully bright, incredibly colorful, joy-filled places. Without pain, we would have no idea what joy feels like.
“And this is the point of our beautiful mess. The darkness is real, the climb is treacherous and the conditions are never perfect, but the summit is worth it. The moments when we can see God’s light emerge on all that is our world – where revelation makes some sense of it all – where we can finally see clearly… it’s worth it. It really is.( A Beautiful Mess by Danielle Strickland)
I love seeing the beautiful pictures of our universe. Often they are incredibly chaotic, and unbelievably beautiful in its chaos. The Master artist is very real, and it shows in His creation. He paints in color and chaos, He makes the chaos beautiful. This is the same in our own chaos, in our mess. He makes beauty out of it, if we allow Him to work with it. I love the Lord Of The Rings, and the quote below is one that speaks to my soul, it is a truth that He has revealed to me.
Taken from The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien:
Sam: “I know. It’s all wrong. By right we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.”
I have seen some darkness in my life “pass” or “fade” and through that I have been able to see the light, and have been able to see life through clearer lenses. I still have a long way to go, but if I allow God to speak to me in my chaos, life becomes more and more beautiful. In that beauty He helps to order my soul. He helps me to see Him who is divine order, working with chaos to make beauty. This brings clarity, order and peace to the core of who I am. He is bring me into order through my chaos, through my mess, He is helping me gain order. There is an unhealthy need to be orderly because there is a desperate need to create your own order no matter what, it becomes destructive when it becomes a control thing. This often happens because it feels like is the only thing that you can control. God’s divine order is an order that is brought only by truth and an understanding of who God is, and who we are because of Him. God is good no matter what. Hopefully you understand that within chaos can be a good place to be. God can work with it if you let Him.