Just take a look at my closet. No further explanation necessary. I start out with great organizational intentions. At some point (usually mid-way) I abandon my great organizational intentions and move on to some other project.
It’s like that with me. I start. I stop. I move on. Usually with household organizational projects it’s just not that big of a deal. But when it comes to matters of the heart it’s an entirely different story.
Several years ago I struggled with anger and fits of rage. After one of my loud outbursts I would resolve to never yell again. I would say a prayer or two. Then I would move on.
Of course over time something else would happen that would trigger my temper. With a raised voice I would shout my concerns only to later regret my lack of self-control. Years would pass before I would acknowledge that I needed help sorting it all out.
For me sorting it out meant foregoing what I would call the quick fix. No more getting angry, screaming and offering a lame apology. I needed a deep down to the heart of the matter healing, of my bruised and battered heart. That healing came as a result of concerted prayer, obedience, and repentance.
At first, I had no idea why I was so angry. As I prayed about my bouts with anger I begin to see that I was harboring bitterness, resentment, and un-forgiveness underneath the surface. Then when some life event bumped that area of my heart I exploded and it wasn’t pretty.
Spending time in prayer sorting it all out helped me see what was going on in my heart. Then in obedience to God’s Word I confessed my sinful behavior – no excuses – no justification – no explanation for why I felt or acted the way I did – just sincere repentance. As I repented and asked God for His grace He answered my prayer.
Please don't misunderstand my "messy" anger didn't dissipate after the first amen. It was a process. I had to ask for God's help each day and depend on Him to find new ways to communicate.
One of the things I started to do was to take 30 minutes each day to be quiet. During that time, I sorted through my day and asked God to show me what was in my heart. He showed me where I needed to forgive and areas in my life that needed healing. My 30 minute "sort through" time gave me perspective and strength. Over time my explosive bouts of anger subsided.
Of course there are times that I still get angry. What I don’t do anymore is scream and yell. With God’s help I am able to recognize my anger, and state how I feel respectfully and clearly. That’s a major miracle in my life – and one my family is oh so glad about.
When life gets “messy” it’s easy to issue blame and look for justification. Sometimes sorting it all out means lots of prayer, obedience and repentance. I co-authored a book called Messy to Meaningful that is all about acknowledging our messiness and allowing God to help us find the Meaningful life God intended. You can learn more about the book at messytomeaningful.com.
You don’t have to let your “messiness” keep you from God. God is not afraid of messy and He wants to help you discover a truly meaningful life.
Sometimes our “messy” is anger – other times it’s procrastination – or mis-aligned priorities, etc. etc. Actually the list of messy is endless – but our hopes for a Meaningful Life are realized as we trust God and allow Him to help us sort it all out.
Sorting It Out
What area/s of your life are “messy”?
Are you willing to commit to prayer about this area/s
Write 3-4 sentences of what a Meaningful Life would look like for you.
What step/s can you take to help you find/create a Meaningful Life?
I'd love to hear your story and how God is helping you sort it all out.