Jesus Loves this Hot Mess

In the midst of  the mess, the struggle, the strife, and the sufferings we go through in life, it can be easy to overlook the beauty that can be found right in the center of it all. During some of the darkest seasons of my life, beauty was birthed, in pain, through the mess. Beauty from ashes. Dry bones to life. A tender sprout of new life amongst the rubble. In the aftermath of hurricane Matthew, there has been so much destruction, devastation and debris to clean up and recover from. As our town has been working through the process of restoring yards, neighborhoods and homes, I have seen beauty in the mess. While sitting with sadness for those who lost so much, I also began to move past sadness to see the potential in the pain. The potential looks different for each person. For me, in life, unrelated to a hurricane, pain  has stirred purpose, potential and a giant push to overcome.

We are given the opportunity to decide how to handle our trials, though, we are not given the choice of what trials will come. We can choose to become angry. We can choose to become bitter, resentful, damaged and undone. We can choose many paths. We can even sit with all of these emotions for a short while on our road to restoration. However, I know, chaperoning these feelings to take root in our heart for an extended period of time, will not allow progress and complete restoration.

For example, in my neighborhood there are still a few yards with huge trees that were crushed in the storm. The process of restoration has begun, but is not finished.  Chain saws are continuing to cut up the dying trees and now enormously, heavy, pieces are stacked and lined by the road awaiting equipment to come and pick them up. Branches and brown leaves are like confetti on the lawns. This particular sight is one I drive by each day. The clean up process was fast for some yards and for others it has taken time. In this particular yard that I drive by, the homeowners were fortunate in that the tree did not fall on their home. However, now, they have this huge pile of debris sitting on their lawn with the potential of killing all of their grass.

When I drive by, I don't see the mess anymore. I see the beauty of the huge logs. I see a background for pictures. I see potential. I see the beauty in the ashes. Last evening, just before dusk, I grabbed my camera and a few pieces of wearable faith that I've been working on. I ran down the road and set up shop, in their front yard, taking pictures of my bracelets in the midst of the hurricane's mess.

In addition, to the pictures, I met the homeowners as the pulled into their driveway. I'm embarrassed to say that we had never met and only live a few houses away from each other. It was a pleasure to meet Mrs. Emily and Mr. Dutch. I told them how beautiful I thought the logs were and how much I would love for my husband to figure out a way to tote them to our yard. They laughed and I'm sure thought I was a little off my rocker!  Mr. Dutch then shared a story with me about the joys of young children and the elderly. He shared a story with me that he had seen on tv about how a young child brought so much joy to an elderly man in a retirement home who was struggling with depression. Hope. Joy. Love. It's all around us if our eyes are open to it. 

This morning, I realized, that sometimes the most beautiful things are not the image captured but, rather, the story behind the lens.  (On a side note, I'm the worst photographer there ever was but I have found the courage to take pictures for my shop anyways because, for me, imperfect is better than not trying at all). So, I grabbed my camera and threw on some clothes for fear of running into neighbors, in my pajamas, while taking pictures of bracelets in the debris - oh, Lawd, now they KNOW it's true I am - the strange neighbor! But, it occurred, that there it was - in the midst of the debris, on the dawning of this new day, that God's word is true and He does mean what He says. In Psalm 30:5 it says, "For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."

I don't know what debris is clouding your thoughts and decaying your heart this morning. But, I do know the God who can make all things new. The God who can raise the dead to life. My God who makes beauty from ashes. My God who adores you and all your mess. My God who adores me and my hot mess.  God, who can look past the debris and see the potential, see the purpose and show us the way to it. The God who can use ALL things for His glory including the trials, the pain, the suffering, along with all of the goodness of your life,  for His name sake.

In our limited perspective sometimes we see this: The mess. The ashes. The dry bones. The jagged edges. The once was. 

But, I believe, along with those things, God is able to see more. He sees the beauty in the ashes. He sees the dry bones coming to life. He sees the tender sprout rising up from the rubble. He sees the potential, the purpose, the plans that are good even in the midst of the mess.

I am not a jewelry maker, or a photographer. And, until three weeks ago,  I wasn't someone in the clothing industry either.  I've spent too many years of my life telling myself who I am not. Why I am not and the reasons not to try. The beauty from my ashes continues to remind me and make me realize that I care too much not to try. My greatest concern is not about the products I am making, but the God who I am making known. If wearing a t-shirt, a bracelet or something else that speaks of who the God I serve is, then you better believe I am willing to risk what it takes to figure out how to do it. This Wednesday, will you join me? Will you show the world the beauty in your ashes? Will you wear your faith as a stance of - my life may not be perfect, but my God is.  You can wear whatever you have in your closet, a t-shirt, a cross, a bracelet...use what you already have!  I encourage you to stand, join us in #wearablefaithwedesday each week and begin a courageous conversation in the grocery store, at the gym or at work. The world needs you to help others know that there is beauty in their ashes and Jesus loves that hot mess, too. 

 Be the good. See the good. Make a difference. Make a change. Make the world a better by showing Christ in you. Make. Make something for his glory. Make His name, known. Sitting and staying in fear never changed the world before and it certainly won't now. So, get busy. Move past your fear of failure and get to work.

a Rafflecopter giveaway