I look around at my house, a nearly perfect reflection of what my life feels like right now.
There are clothes everywhere, strewn about alongside toys and throw pillows and too many take-out-dinner trash bags. Dishes are piled up, neglected for a couple days too long, the bed is unmade, and the floors aren't mopped.
It seems this home is a direct representation of the state of my heart: it's messy, with thoughts strewn about, and too many quick fixes [to attempt] to mend it. Other areas of my heart lay neglected, emotions and painful interactions piling on and on without really taking the time to sort through them.
I sit back and look at the state of my house, and for the first time in weeks (months?) stay silent enough to do some inventory on the state of my heart.
It's hard to do that sometimes, isn't it?
It's hard work, to look inside ourselves. It's hard work, to be open enough -- even with our own selves -- to interiorly do some inventory on the state of our heart.
My friend Beth often calls it a "heart check." She'll ask me, "How's your heart?"
It's a tough question for her to ask. It's an even tougher question for me to ask myself.
Because I'm terrified of the answer. And once I realize the state of my heart is in shambles, it's even more laborious to do the work on the neglected parts I find.
Sometimes I press my emotions so far down that I forgot they were even there, because I'm too busy pulling up my bootstraps and getting the day-to-day done.
Have you been there?
Have you been walking the journey of life quickly, non-stop putting out the fires of everyday living?
Have you taken the time to pause and do a check of your heart?
Let's do that, today, together. Let's pause long enough to look deep inside of ourselves, beyond the surface. To see what the state of our heart really and truly looks like:
Is there a space that has been neglected for too long?
Is there a distant memory that needs forgiving (either of yourself or of others)?
Is there a hardened part that needs softening?
Once you and I stop to really look around the place, it can feel so daunting. There is so much there.
But you know what the most brilliant part of it is?
There is a Light.
There is a Light shining brightly on the dark parts laying dormant. There is a Light that is radiating joy. There is a Light full of peace and delight -- delight for you, every part of you. There is a Light full of laughter, scattering the enemy far from our vulnerable fragments.
There is a Light brightening up our souls, putting us back together, piece by piece.
There is a Light pouring out all of Himself as we sort through our neglected nooks.
There is a Light holding us as we allow ourselves to look deep within.
There is a Light who says I died for that sin, that pain, that suffering, and I would do it for you again and again.
There is a Light who the darkness can never overcome.
There is a Light who replaces the old for new, the sorrow for joy, the mourning for dancing.
There is a Light, there in the crevices of our hearts where we think there is only darkness or shame or pain.
There is a Light.
I look around my house, turning on the lights in every room, really seeing the mess for what it is, pulling out the parts that are dusty and overlooked. I hand the messy parts over to Him, and I say, "Here, this hurts. Here, this is hard. Here, this is messy."
And bit by bit, crevice by crevice, I walk with the Light who brightens the darkest places and warms the coolest parts.
And room by room is made new. Section by section is redeemed. Corner by corner is uncovered and restored.
I sing Thank you to a God who suffered and died for each one of us. I sing Thank you to a Savior who renews our weary hearts.
I sing Thank you to a Father who comes to help us pick up all the pieces in all of the corners of all of the rooms.
I sing Thank you for the Light.
In between tweeting, reading books to my daughters, and [not] burning mac n cheese, I am the Founder + Creative Director of Blessed is She women's ministry + community.