This morning, I woke up and couldn’t show myself grace.

Today was epitome of the stereotypical Monday. This morning, I woke up and couldn’t show myself grace. The minute I heard my alarm go off, all I had going through my mind were thoughts of discontentment and indecisiveness and messiness. I put on at least 5 different outfits. I only drank half a cup of coffee and forgot the rest. I felt unworthy and unqualified and unprepared to take on Monday. I hadn’t looked over any to-do list. I’m sure I still have readings to do for classes in a bit. I think I might be getting sick. My side of the room is a mess. Everything is a mess.

My heart’s a mess. My head’s a mess. My life’s a mess. My mind is going at a million miles an hour, and it feels like I’m being pulled in so many different directions right now. I’m still dwelling on some mindless mistakes from work yesterday, how I didn’t even check my to-do list before I went to bed last night, how I didn’t prepare at all for this week, how my mind is already drifting to thinking about post-college life, how I don’t have any idea how to deal with financial things like student loans and savings and all that craziness, how I have huge assignments due at the end of this week all at the same time, how I have an art exam I haven’t even looked at pictures for, and so many other things that I don’t even know are on my plate that are definitely there and I’ll find them later and freak out all over again, but hey, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

I want to stand here and scream, “NO! This is only the shell of a girl who would like to appear like her life is put together, but it really isn’t! I promise! This is my fifth outfit of the day!” I think sometimes all it takes is acknowledging your own brokenness to be accepting of the closeness God had to offer us, even & especially in our mess.

And all I kept thinking was, “Jenna, show yourself grace.” That was probably my deepest prayer this morning, to show myself grace. I have this tendency to withhold things from myself when I continue to stumble and mess up. If I haven’t been productive, I’ll withhold rest to try to focus myself again. If I’ve forgotten things, I’ll beat myself up over them. And if I reach the end of a day like this and I’m running, I’ll push myself harder.

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But that’s not what God does to us. He doesn’t withhold or beat us up or push us harder for the wrong reasons. He holds on and shows grace and mercy and love and patience. Praise God that He doesn’t require us to clean ourselves up before we come into His presence, otherwise I would never meet with Him. I want to let myself go for Him. I want to rest in Him and run to Him and press harder into Him. That’s my biggest desire because days like these remind me that I wasn’t created to do this on my own. And that’s when I become grateful for the mess and indecisiveness and discontentment. These are all good things.

I want His grace to be magnified in my mess. I want His beauty to be magnified in my mess. I want His love to be magnified in my mess.

Call my name and I will come right back to You. ‘Cause there’s no fear in love. There’s no fear in love. I refound Steffany Gretzinger’s The Undoing today. It takes me right back to last fall and freshman year and cold mornings. It was 49° when I woke up this morning. All I wanted to do was open the windows and make our room freezing and sit in my mess. All I know right now is:

  1. Everything is a mess.
  2. God desires my heart and my mess.
  3. It’s okay to not be okay.
  4. God is still good.
  5. I will make it through this week.

And that’s all I need to know. My indecisiveness does not influence my relationship with God because I serve and love and hold onto a CONSTANT God. We know nothing constant. Everything is always changing in our lives, especially at this age. Our relationship with God and our constant Creator is foreign territory. But we have Him to navigate it. And that’s good news. The One who sustains us is constant beyond our own understanding.

He hands us His victory. He tears the veil for us. He pulls us close. And that’s so beautiful it makes me want to burst into tears in the middle of this office.

So I’ve decided to surrender to this Monday. Monday kicked me around and pushed me to the ground and all of the good personification for what a Monday can do to you. I’ll let you fill in the blank. I’ll make a long, detailed game plane/to-do list for the rest of this week, brew more coffee, maybe dance a little, listen to some country music, open the windows in our dorm room, get more sleep, and I have a feeling that the rest of this week will look a lot better than today did. Today I resolve to be gentler to myself and strive a little less. Tomorrow, I’ll hopefully zone out a little less and be a little less stuffy. I’ll be a little less critical of myself and feel a little more worthy. I’ll be a little less down and a whole lot more grateful.

AND I will appreciate that it finally feels like fall, my God loves me despite my shortcomings and in spite of what I call myself, and His mercies are new every single morning.

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