Healthy Soul/Living Out Your Faith/My Life/Teen Life He Meets us in our Mess by Laurie Medina Y’all, I am going to be honest here. I am mess. Like seriously. Just this week I’ve slept through my alarm and missed two of my classes because of it. I’ve fallen behind on just about everything and bombed an exam. I’ve been swimming in anxiety and grief, and feel like my life is one big crazy checklist. So, believe me when I say, I know how you feel. I am right in the thick of it too. I am no stranger to feeling like everything is out of my control, like I am knee deep in all the things, like everything’s a mess… like I am a mess. Looking Past the Messiness Sometimes it is extremely hard to look past all of the drama, the breakups, the heartaches, the natural disasters, the tragedies, the loss, the confusion, the stress… the absolute messiness. In those messy moments when we are our messiest, when the hurt feels like it is too much to bear, we may think it will be easier if we just push God away. But it’s not, which is why it’s a good time to remember that God asks us to cast aside our anxiety and keep our eyes fixed on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious…” (Philippians 4:6-9). He asks us to fix our eyes on Him and draw closer to Him. When we do this, we can see the ways He wants to speak to us through the messiness of our lives more clearly. I’m not gonna lie, letting Jesus into our messiness is really hard. We’re afraid of being vulnerable with Him, we’re afraid that if we open our hands He’ll take from us what we’re not ready to give, or we’re afraid He’ll fix things we don’t want to be fixed. But, He desires this union with us more than anything else. He longs to console us and desires our trust. There is Always Joy And when we are in the thick of it — as I am, and as I am sure some of you are — it is important to remember Jesus uses these times of suffering to draw us into His passion. If you’re like me, those last few words might have you shook. His passion? We shrink back at that phrase because it makes us uncomfortable; we don’t want to suffer and we don’t want to die to self. But, we forget what a joy it is to participate in His cross, for His cross is what brought about new life! When we feel like everything around us is crumbling, or that life couldn’t be any more crazy, there is nothing more important than realizing that everything is grace. Run to Him and lay down all your burdens. Run to Him and let your heart sing of the ways He has blessed you in the messiness. How to be Thankful in the Mess For me, I show my thanks when I sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament, allow myself just a few minutes to wallow, and tell Jesus all that’s on my heart: what is making me sad, confused, lonely, or stressed. I actively choose to set those things aside for just a moment and say, “Jesus I come to you in my mess. I am yours. I surrender to Your will, and today, I choose to live out of a place of abundance.” I then list ten things in my journal for which I am grateful, trying especially hard to find Jesus in all the brokenness. Maybe He was present in my roommate’s loving words, the sweet friend that folded my laundry for me because she knows I am stressed, a nice text message, or even something as simple as a cool breeze. Giving thanks for all the little joys in the midst of suffering puts our broken humanity in perspective, and allows God to again become the Lord over our life. And if that isn’t enough to make you realize the good, just think of how He suffered for you. What does it mean that the Savior of the universe would have endured the pain of the cross a thousand times over even if it were just for YOU alone? Remember, friends, what He has done for you. Recall all the times He has filled your days with joy, with consolation, with mercy. He has done SO MUCH GOOD for you, even when you are too bogged down to see it all. Today, I invite you to reflect on the good God seeks to bring out of even the worst situations. How can you pay closer attention to the ways He wants to speak to you through your messiness? Will you trust that His will is always a gift, despite the imperfect packaging?