I like a healthy amount of mess in my life.
In fact, I think it’s beautiful. Mess shows that we are human. Mess leaves room for improvement.
Let’s take a practical look into my life, shall we?
If you somehow looked through your computer screen and into the room that I’m currently staying in for the summer, you would see a few milk crates of carefully stacked books, two bins of relatively straightened clothes, and an open suitcase full of random items that I’ve found to be necessary for my nomadic life.
I like my stuff to be put away and in its proper home. It makes me feel organized and at peace.
After you noticed the tidy boxes and crates, your eyes would likely drift over to my bed. Disheveled and rarely made in the morning– a small tornado of sheets, pillows, and my CSU blanket. (Go Rams!)
I’m not a bed maker (I never have been, sorry mom!) and I like it that way. To me, my bed shouts comfort– a place that I can crash and relax at any moment. Having an unmade bed at all times makes me like a real person and less like some weird OCD robot living in a Better Homes and Gardens ad.
Sure, my strict grandmother would say that my unmade bed shows the lack of structure in my life and is an area in which I could drastically improve, but who cares? A messy bed is beautiful and real and inviting to me.
This little area of mess makes my heart happy. It reminds me that it’s okay that I’m imperfect– that I’m not a bed maker or a do-laundry-every-week-er. I don’t mind having people over to my house when it’s in this imperfect “state” because they are getting the “organic” Kacy.
But for some reason, my brain doesn’t quite operate the same way when it comes down to the other messy areas in my life.
I’ve heard gobs of people who were raised in the church say that they struggle with letting people into the depths of their lives because they want to put up a front of perfection to the general public. As Christians, they don’t want their mess exposed because they are afraid that it will scare people off, either from themselves or from Christ. This has always made sense to me on some level, even though it wasn’t something that I quite experienced until recently.
You see, because of the way that I was raised, I never really was able to put up the “pretty Christian” facade… or any pretty facade for that matter…
Everyone who I’ve known since, well ever, has known my family as “that crazy family”.
That crazy family that lives in the pink house with the white picket fence.
That crazy family that lives in the home for Alzheimer’s patients.
That crazy family with the “unconventional” mother.
That crazy family with all those wild kids.
That crazy family who takes in stray children and animals like they were loading Noah’s freaking ark.
That crazy family… You know, the one where the cops know the names of everyone in the house for one reason or another.
Growing up, and even until I moved out of Aurora, I couldn’t have hidden behind a curtain, even if I had wanted to because the reputation of the Leyba/Hexamer/Spaulding house far preceded me.
But life is different now. Now, I’ve moved far away from the parts of the city where people knew me because of my wild antics, or because of my mother, siblings, or living situation; now I have the absolute pleasure of meeting people and showing them who I am.
Or at least showing them who I want them to see me as…
By surrounding myself with a completely new community, I have realized that I have the opportunity to hide my mess if I want to.
If I wanted to, I could easily avoid talking about the brokenness that I hail from.
I could sweep the fact that several of my close family members struggle with drug addictions under the rug.
I could choose to never talk about the fact that the neighborhood cops know my full name because of how many police reports I either helped to fill out or had filled out because of me.
I could skip the insane stories about growing up in a nursing home. Like that one time when Adolf, one of our Alzheimer’s patients, broke my arm and chased me out of my own house with a knife. Yeah, I could skip over those and simply pretend that I grew up in a normal home with no one but my siblings and parents.
I could pretend that I never took care of my two beautiful godchildren for years on end, dropping out of school on two occasions to do so.
I could pretend all of these things.
But if I pretended that I wasn’t messy and broken– if I put up a “pretty Christian front” so that I wouldn’t scare off the people in my life, I would be robbing God of the glory and goodness that has come out of each of these situations.
Yes, all of the aforementioned bizarre things have happened to me. (I don’t think I could make these things up if I tried.) And yes, part of me wishes that they hadn’t– that I had grown up like a “normal” person, in a family that wasn’t riddled with abuse, addiction, and weird, elderly people, but I did.
As much as I want to simply sweep my mess under the rug and pretend that none of it ever happened, I can’t. Because it did. It happened and God has used all of those circumstances to make me into the woman I am today.
As of late, I feel like God is slowly teaching me not to be ashamed of my mess, but to embrace it and proclaim all of the beautiful things that He has done & promises to do with it all in the future.
Mess shows that we are human and leaves room for God to be God.
My mess shows that He’s not done with me yet, while simultaneously showing off all of the things that he has already made beautiful.
Messy people create safe spaces for other messy people to be loved and learn to love in turn– and after all, isn’t that what we’re all here to do?
I invite you to share your mess with someone else today.
Will it be uncomfortable? Definitely.
Will you be embarrassed? Perhaps.
Will it be worth it to share what God is going to do within your mess in the long run with another messy person? For sure.
Trust me. Learn to let people in and let God be God, both in your neatly packed life boxes and in your areas of disarray.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.”