Rebecca makes fun of me when I cook or eat, because I am messy. There is rarely a time I don't leave a wake of messiness to clean after I've interacted with food. She smiles and says "How do you make such a mess?" and of course I defend myself and say "I am so busy cooking I don't have time to notice it!" but really, I'm embarrassed because I know she's right. I am messy.
I wish I could say my messes are contained to the kitchen but that would be a lie. The Lord has shown me, in so many ways, just how messy I am. I'm a bull in a china shop when it comes to my life at times. I think if God could show a highlight reel of my messiest moments, I'd slump on to the floor and melt in a puddle of shame. How I've treated people with no true regard to their feelings. How I am so quick to act on emotion, rather than take time to think. How I've hurt the closest people in my life by my selfish choices. The list goes on to make a devastating earthquake look like an easy saturday chore.
Our love story in particular, is messy. It's not elegant or pretty. It's worn and battered. It's been a war of picking up the pieces of our own selfishness and figuring out how to put it back together as a cohesive, loving unit. We became handymen in our own love story. If it was going to work, we'd have to work.
And it's a mess that changed everything.
Have you ever made a mess so big that you didn't even know how to attempt to clean it up? Yeah... that was what I had achieved. It was so large in scale, that we accepted what had happened and we left the mess for no one to clean up. Instead of cleaning house, we burned it down. The end was all but certain. There was nothing left to do, nothing left to say, nothing that could change things. And in that moment, when I had little faith and a lot of grief, God started to clean up the mess.
Picture God with a mop in a big room with nothing but dirt and grime from floor to ceiling. That's what I like to picture to get the story across.
It was like a drop in the ocean. It was so small that I didn't even notice it. But what man cannot do, God can most certainly do tenfold... And He did.
Time had passed. SO much time had passed. And before I knew it, I was checking in on that mess, just to see it again. Except, this time, the mess had been cleaned up a bit. The mess went from catastrophic proportions on a global level to a teenagers dirty room. What had happened that this mess no longer looks impossible? God went to work in our hearts. You see, the big empty room with dirt and grime from top to bottom wasn't the mess we made, it was our hearts. God was purging the selfishness and the brokenness little by little and in turn helped rid us of our pride and shame. That gave us new perspective. That gave us a vision of our mess we didn't see before.
Have you ever seen something so big and awe inspiring, then years later you come back to see it, and it turns out to be pretty small and lame? That's because as time goes on, our perspective changes. Internally, we are changing with everything we encounter in life, and this is how God worked things out for us spiritually. Our mess looked like the end of it all, but after time, that mess was manageable and easily cleaned up. God took two broken people and made them see through their own messy hearts and brought them together. I am so thankful that God took on the hard work of our mess, to allow us to be together today. It wasn't easy, and It would be a lie to say I didn't have my doubts and faithless days but this is what grace is.. When I don't deserve anything, God gives me everything. And in this marriage I am about to enter into, I pray that God would be glorified, and His love would be magnified in and through me, even in my future messes.