Yesterday, I sat on my porch singing into my phone as a dear friend sat on her couch strumming her guitar and leading me in worship. She offered this missionary an incredible gift! Just that morning I had texted my psychiatrist to warn him that I was skidding quickly into a depressive cycle. I was sad, and tired, and lonely, and yet the praise that floated from my lips was faithful and true. I believed every word.
Today’s readings feel like a summation of my life on most days. I fall somewhere between weary and unable to manage the most basic aspects of life, while exhaling a great rejoicing relief that God is Who is He. He has me in this mess and I am still proclaiming His goodness in a tangible way in our mission. Most days, I am all those things mixed up together with muddy feet, hot flashes, and a mind trying to figure out how to get out of bed but not have to cook again all mixed in.
Sometimes we can feel as though Jesus would prefer us to be one-dimensional, or at least, one directional—to be either all weary and dependent, or all rejoicing and proclaiming His goodness. He clearly invites to both aspects of relationship, but I secretly feel like it should be less messy than I make it. Perhaps I could make a schedule, “Sunday, we rejoice. Monday, we lament. Tuesday, we’re pretty okay. Wednesday, we are weary . . . ” and so on.
But in the combination of these readings together, I hear the Church’s gentle voice welcoming me into the heart of Christ, Who holds my weary head up and promises a lightened burden if I will only hand it over to Him. I hear the encouraging voice of the Father Who cheers me on to the heights of Heaven and delights as I see His goodness and rejoice in it. I hear the sweet whisper of the Holy Spirit with me, reminding me that my mess is fully seen, fully known, fully loved. I am welcomed into his Trinitarian presence even when it seems my heart is pointed in a million directions at once.
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Remind yourself that your heart is multi-faceted, but so is our good God. Hand your weary self over to Him, and proclaim His goodness from the heights, all at the same messy time.
Colleen Mitchell is wife to Greg and mother to five amazing sons here on earth. They serve in Costa Rica where they run the St. Francis Emmaus Center, a ministry that welcomes indigenous mothers into their home to care for them pre and postpartum. She is the author of Who Does He Say You Are. Find out more about her here.