When I was actually blogging regularly back in the late 90s/early 2000s (that statement just made me feel really old, for the record), I would get requests about once or twice a week asking if I would write a daily devotional as a regular part of my website. I always resisted for multiple reasons. For one, I have read a lot of *really* cheesy daily devotionals. And I didn’t want to add to the stack. But mainly, I never felt like I had any great insights to share. The older I get, the less I know. The longer I follow Christ, the more I realize I still have so far to go, and the less I understand. I couldn’t wrap my mind around why anyone would want me to share daily thoughts about my journey with Christ or what I saw in the Bible…they’re all so disjointed and messy.
I finally asked a friend about it after receiving another request. She said, “It’s because you write about your struggles, and not about how Jesus turns everything into rainbows and cotton candy [because He doesn’t]. We don’t want another pile of fluff. We want the real deal.”
Well, friends, this is the real, messy deal.
If my life were a love song to God, it would follow a formula that looks something like this:
- life means nothing without You…but I’m still scared and totally unsure of You.
- oh, but You’re so kind and You love me like nobody else, with a perfect love.
- okay, I cave. I’m madly, deeply in love.
- hooray for the honeymoon period! life is grand!
- but wait…I don’t understand what you’re doing, and this kind of hurts.
- I’m running away now.
- but life means nothing without you!…though I’m still a little unsure.
- okay, I cave. Again. Your kindness always brings me back. You love like no other.
- rinse and repeat.
In other words, I would never make a Top 40 hit.
I fell in love with Christ as a teenager, and I’ve been His student ever since, but our love story cannot be told without its bumps and bruises. There are few things that I’m sure of in this life. One of them is that, because of what I do know about God, I can trust Him for what I don’t know. Another is that I am a mess.
So I’m totally unsure about my life right now. I can’t seem to catch a break, as a friend just said to me earlier today. I don’t know what God is up to, and I feel rather lost. And alone. And uncertain. Thankfully, my faith does not rest on shifting sand. God can handle my messy human nature, with all of its doubts and questions and heartaches, and our love song always comes full circle. He’s very patient with me.
I will never write a daily devotional. And I will never write about the intimate details of my personal struggles–some things are only meant to be shared in intimate community, of which the Internet is definitely not–but I will always be honest about *having* struggles. This beautiful mess called life is meant to be lived out loud, not in secret, and we’re all in it together. Our songs may sound totally different, but we’re all singing something. Hopefully I’ll be a little more in tune with each passing day, and you won’t mind if I sing next to you. I’m working on my harmonies.