I wish I had it all together. I had hoped by the time I hit my fourth decade that I would have myself together – that meal planning, house cleaning and keeping on top of all those papers would be second nature to me by now.
But it’s not.
I had hoped by my fourth decade I would be happily living out God’s calling and purpose in my life, that I would have cultivated the fruits of the spirit so they weren’t mere buds but full blown fruit – ripe and ready to pick.
But I’m not.
I had hoped by my fourth decade I would have figured out how to do relationships without regret. That I would be able to prioritize the things that were truly important and not allow the urgent to drown those things out. That I would have learned to love well my husband, my children, my family and my friends.
But I haven’t.
I had sort of thought that by the time I hit the ripe old age of 41, I would have gotten the hang of being an adult, but instead, most days I still feel like I’m 17 (at least in mind, if not body) and clueless.
The truth is, I don’t have it all together – no matter how much I wish it was otherwise. And just when I think I might be approaching having it all together status, something comes along to knock me off course again.
The past few weeks, I’ve been doing a full time subbing job and I have come up hard against my physical limits. I am something of a wimp and getting up at 5:45 a.m. four days a week is killing me. By 1 p.m. every afternoon, I long for my couch so I can take a power nap. Even though I force myself to go to bed by 10 p.m., I still have to drag myself out of bed come morning. The sad fact is that I need a lot of sleep and when I don’t get it, I fall apart – and everything around me pretty much goes to pot!
The one day a week I have off is filled with errands and to dos and frantic trying to catch up from all the days I couldn’t get it done. It hasn’t helped that we have had something nearly every single evening and full weekends since I have been working full time.
Other women do this full time working thing and do it well. (My kids have been watching the Cosby Show and I really wish Claire Huxtable would come live at my house! She seems to together and grown up) I just don’t know HOW they do it! I haven’t really cleaned my house in three weeks and the paper piles are threatening to take over the counter (and I can’t really remember what is in said piles anymore either, but it’s likely the stamps I can’t find are probably lurking there).
But it’s okay not to have it all together. God doesn’t love me any more or any less based on my having it all together. In fact, God has a habit of using people who are messy and totally NOT together.
The people God used in the Bible were not pictures of success and perfection. Moses was living in exile in the desert after killing a man when God spoke to him out of a burning bush. David committed adultery and then murder to cover it up. Rahab was a prostitute. Abraham kept passing his wife off as his sister. Jacob’s life resembled something from Jerry Springer with all his wives and children.
God is not in the habit of using perfect people to accomplish His work. He’s more in the habit of perfecting people while they accomplish His work.
All He needs is for us to say yes. Yes, even if we don’t have it all together.
I love this quote by Mother Teresa – although I have no idea where I read it at (if I had it all together, I would have written that down somewhere I could remember). “Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness.”
God’s love is so much bigger than my failings, and I am so grateful for that fact.