I’m an Imperfect Mess
Make Your Life Mirror
I would love to tell you that I have it all together every day. But to be honest, some days I feel like I’m one prayer away from disaster. In seems like in spite of my best efforts, I’m a mess.
I struggle to keep my head above water with college applications, deadlines and audition requirements that warrant last-minute trips to New York City.
I scrutinize the best cooking shows only to whip up the same boring recipes or – gasp – grab take-out.
I march to the store, resolved to buy healthy snacks, yet saunter home with brownie mix.
Throw in ministry responsibilities, upcoming missions trips, playing for my daughter’s last high school show, and an all-too-slowly-recovering-recently-operated-on-knee, and I feel…imperfect.
An imperfect mess. And I don’t like it. Like, I really, really don’t like it.
I know part of it is unrealistic expectations and the dynamics of an overscheduled season. But before I allow that line of reasoning to justify a pity-party, I remember life-altering words spoken to me by my piano teacher, Dr. June Kean.
I lost her; my mentor, my teacher, my friend, several years ago to brain cancer. She might possibly have been the most influential person in my life. I was fortunate to be one of a handful of high school students she chose to teach along with her college teaching schedule. She continued to be my piano teacher throughout college where I graduated with a Music Education Degree, Piano and Voice. As I type this, powerful memories, distinctive sounds and unforgettable images flood across my mind:
- Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Bach, Beethoven… not only covers of books strewn about her office but faithful companions.
- Fine Arts arrangements written on napkins and lipstick stains on coffee cups.
- A plethora of pencils to mark missed tempos and dreadful key signatures.
- Feet that played the pipe organ like nobody’s business and walked with integrity and depth of character.
- Hands that reached far beyond an octave and words that reached deep into my heart.
She could guess – within a half hour – how much I had practiced during the week. And, being the imperfect mess I am, it was usually less than required. Excuses filled the air as I regaled her with dramatic stories to distract from my shortcomings. Perhaps weary from this dance, she calmly and deliberately countered back during a lesson:
“Angela, you will always have a crisis in life. You need to choose. Do you want to live from crisis to crisis?”
The words simultaneously stung and resonated to my core.
“No,” I thought to myself. “That is not how I want to live.”
Her office was an imperfect mess. Her influence, unparalleled. Hours spent with her – learning, growing, becoming – are some of my most impacting and precious memories.
Life is full of crisis – big ones, like cancer, and chaos, and college decisions. And small ones, like brownies and pitiful recipes that call for tater tots and hamburger meat. The question is, what do we do with our imperfect mess?
Some days I wish I could bounce some thoughts off my mentor… or ask her opinion about my daughter’s college search. I miss her. Yet, I have a Heavenly Father that loves me, perfectly, in spite of my imperfect mess. He invites me to sit down with Him, regale Him with my drama, and allow Him to calmly and deliberately offer me words of life. He sometimes corrects, sometimes encourages, and always reminds me that He is perfect so I don’t have to be.
My devotional time this week led me to Psalm 40. If you’re like me, and you long to “Make Your Life Mirror” His Word in the midst of an imperfect mess, perhaps you, too, need to hear the poignant words of Verses 16-17 in The Message:
“All you are hunting for you, oh let them sing and be happy. Let those who know what you’re all about tell the world You’re great and not quitting.
And me? I’m a mess. I’m nothing and I have nothing: make something out of me. You can do it, God.”
Life has no shortage of cause for a crisis. The question is, what do we do with our imperfect mess? We yield it to God and ask Him to make something out of us.
I’m inching toward being okay with an imperfect me. I’m also humbled to be loved unconditionally by a perfect God. In the messiness of this life, let me encourage you to yield your imperfect mess to a perfect God.
This week, instead of serving up excuses, I’m serving up Tater Tot Casserole and brownies a la mode. And you know what I think? Dr. June Kean and my Heavenly Father are smiling. 🙂
Leave me a comment!
Make Your Life Matter No Matter What