For the days when you want to be anywhere but here.

Mama said there would be days like this. But sometimes days turn into weeks and weeks into months and one day his or her comment will all but push you over the edge, and you'll walk in the front door a crying mess. You'll wonder what in the world you were thinking saying yes to something like this, and if you had only known, you would have politely said thank you, but no thank you. You dread the emails, the phone calls, the well meant inquiries from people who know you've struggled just to make it through the day, because let's be honest, you're still struggling just to make it through the day, and to even think about what tomorrow may hold is enough to make you want to walk out the door without so much as a goodbye or it was nice knowing you.

There will be days like this, my mama said, when it seems like nothing you do is good enough, but the world keeps tacking things onto your to do list like it's no big thing; like your whole life revolves around making them happy, no matter how thinly you've spread yourself. Never mind that you have a home and a family and its everything that you can do just to keep it together under the weight of all the responsibility.

Hot liquid salt will roll like tiny raging grief tsunamis, and the truth is, all you want is to just be better: a better wife, a better friend, a better daughter, a better sister, a better homemaker. Some days the should be's and the have to be's and the need to be's choke the life from the truth of who you were created to be.

[Tweet "Some days the should be's and the need to be's choke the life from who you were created to be."]

You were never meant to carry the weight of the world. The stanzas of a familiar old tune recall that He's got the whole world in His hand. And if He's got the whole world, He's got you, because last time I checked, no one has ever survived floating around in space without oxygen or food or warmth. You are not a martian.

You might be in the wilderness. 

There's an old adage -- something about whatever God leads you to, He will bring you through. He never leaves you where He found you. The wilderness is God's slow cooker, and perhaps the only way to reach the finish line is to come to the altar with our rawness, our readiness to be seasoned with what He is preparing to teach us on the journey.

The people who tell you that this life with Jesus is easy are lying. They're the ones who could never expose their broken parts. With or without Jesus, this life will break you. With or without Jesus, you will spend a night writhing in tears on the kitchen floor because everything has fallen apart and you don't know how you got here or how to put your life back together again. With or without Jesus, you will be broken, but when you're walking through the wilderness with Christ, love and grace and joy and peace and hope are what shine through the cracks. When you walk through the wilderness with Christ, the pain is never wasted.

It isn't ever that He has caused the pain, no, our brokenness breaks the very heart of God. And so the Word became flesh and came down into all of our wildernesses and said I am the Way. I have given you purpose, I have gone before you, I know what you were created for...

a life of abundance.

[Tweet "The Word became flesh and came down into all our wildernesses and said 'I am the Way.'"]

This wilderness? It only lasts for a moment. The wilderness is where we learn to live radical trust, the wilderness is where we learn surrender. The wilderness reminds us that comfort doesn't come from temporal things, but an eternal Person. This place only exists as a reminder that the world is not our home.

 

safe place.

I read a father of four + pastor's tweet last night: "teach your children that they are broken." I wish there was more to this tweet. I know that there is more to this man's heart than this example of fifty-one characters which has heaped backlash from every direction. I know he is doing the best that he knows how and giving every last molecule of his being for his children. But if this is truly all there is, my heart grieves, and I wonder how such a home could ever be safe for ones that are tender and growing. Because if you search for what is ugly and broken in this world, it will render you ugly and broken. The pain of the world will shake you to your very core.

To say that some(one)thing is broken implies that one must work to fix it, else it is worthless. Adding emphasis to this implication only serves to bring about shame. Within the confines of this mindset, we must toil and strive to manufacture our own safe place. To stop at brokenness communicates that we must finish the work of grace. It incites fear, which scripture says stems from the threat of punishment.

I must admit, I give in to this mindset far more frequently than I should. Perhaps you are in the boat with me. Perhaps you catch yourself throughout the day repeating things like "I'm such an idiot," or "if I could just do this better." The truth is, its difficult to believe that you could be loved as you are, in your yoga pants and unkempt hair, trying to get dinner on the table by the time your husband gets home from work and help your kids with their homework.

I promised my husband I would work on not shrugging off his "I love you's."

I watch the news every night, and hear of some new atrocious crime that has been committed, and sometimes I lie to you just to get through the day. Because I know that I am imperfect. I can be incredibly selfish, and painfully judgmental. Anyone close to me could tell you that. And I don't have to tell you things are bad, because you are already keenly aware.

What the world needs to know is that there is more than this. There is a way out.

The way out is Christ. Because of His death on the cross, we are no longer bound to sin. Because of His resurrection, we are whole and holy before the Father. Christ, who was friend to the prostitute and tax collector, who saved the adulteress woman and spoke words of conviction to the proud. Christ, who said "blessed are the merciful." Christ, who said "go and sin no more." Christ, whose dying declaration fulfilled the law.

If you're using shame and fear as tactics in evangelism, please stop.

And if you have been scared or shamed into believing a gospel based on obligation and performance, please accept my most humble apology.

Scripture says that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. The Word assures us that nothing can separate us from His love. Nothing you could think or say or do could make the Father love you any more or less than He does. Grace is a completed work.

And that, my friend, is a safe place to rest your heart.