when you wonder if your messy words make a difference.
We were sitting across the table having coffee, each trying to decipher what God was doing in our lives. She was wondering what her puzzle was going to look like when God put in the final piece. I was feeling like the puzzle with missing pieces.
It was a beautiful conversation. But one where I did not walk away feeling refreshed. I truly felt more burdened.
It’s because of you.
I love the fact that you come here to be encouraged to step over your fears to love a messy world. But not knowing you, as in a real-life relationship, sometimes it’s hard to know what will encourage you. It’s truly hard to know what to write.
Some days I feel like the details of this messy journey to love the unloveable only confuses you. And those feelings leave me without words to share, because all I want is for you to wake up to the fact that there is a hurting world out there crying out for someone (you and I) to love them.
It’s because of insecurities.
So lately day after day, I’ve shown up to write and I’ve walked away with nothing to say. Not one dictionary word tapped out on the keys to send you.
I was on the verge of squandering away my writing gift when I read “When You Don’t Know What to Write, Write About Your Insecurities.” I heard the whisper — write anyway.
I was being challenged by Joe Bunting and the voice in my head to write anyway despite the insecurities that held me back.
Those voices that plagued me with doubt said:
others think you are only serving the unloved for your own self-serving needs
the stories you tell offend others
you’re compromising the trust you’ve spent three years building in this community
no one is taking extra steps to love a messy world
these words are wasted and do not make a difference in changing this world
It’s because I didn’t want a messy life.
As I sipped my cinnamon dolce latte listening to my friend, I heard the words leak out of my mouth “I’m just frustrated with myself.” That was it — I was frustrated. I sat back as those words penetrated my soul.
I finally realized that I was frustrated because my life had become messy. Unorganized. Unkept. Unclean. I no longer could tie my thoughts and days up like a pretty package for Christmas. At the end of the day there were always messy thoughts left undone.
You see, I just wanted to serve a messy world — I didn’t want a messy life. I hadn’t put it together that you couldn’t separate the two.
Serving a messy world means having a messy life. [tweet that]
And it’s that messy life that’s hard to share.
The gray thoughts that linger in my mind and mess me up:
the woman I prayed with that was being sold for her boyfriends drugs
the young child with the black-and-blue eye that I know is being abused
the girl in the strip club who thinks so lowly of herself that she can’t bare to look me in the eyes
the pimp who stared me down as he lorded over “his” girl
the man who confessed to me he use to trade and sell girls
How do I share those lingering messy thoughts? And besides who wants to hear how those images haunt me in my sleep?
The truth is: I don’t know how to do this.
But I promise to keep showing up and sharing the guts of my journey — the messy truth. Then for those of you who are stepping out to love the unloveable, you’ll know these messy truths are part of the journey. Something I’m just figuring out.
It’s alright to feel undone, unkept, and upset.
The unspoken truth in serving a messy world is that you will have a messy life.
What’s the unspoken messy truth haunting you?
About Alene Snodgrass
I love to tell the story whether it is from behind a camera lens, writing at a computer screen, or speaking into the lives of others. With a heart for the broken and down-and-out, I serve others. I'm learning to be fearless to help you be fearless. Follow me on twitter @alenesnodgrass or facebook. Check out my newest book, Graffiti -- scribbles from different sides of the street, written along side a homeless man.