The Mess

Have you ever made Snickerdoodles? I only make them around Christmas time, and I only make them from the box mixes. They’re rather complicated when it comes to making cookies. Okay, that’s not entirely true, but they are rather messy. The mixes require what a typical cake/cookie mix requires: water, eggs, butter, oil, etc. You stir it all together, and voila, you have cookies. Well, not quite. With Snickerdoodles, after you mix all the ingredients together, you have to roll each cookie into the cinnamon sugar mix. That’s how they get their special flavor.

I hate this part.

All of a sudden the easy part of making cookies–the let’s just add some eggs and butter and stir it all together part–gets messy. You have to scoop the dough up with your hands, roll it into a ball, and cover it with the cinnamon sugar. After you do this for 36ish cookies (because that’s how many those box mixes make), it gets old. Your fingers are covered in dough, and well, it’s just messy.

I don’t do messy.

I’m realizing this more and more. I hate the mess. My mom may say otherwise about the current condition of my car or the condition of my bedroom as a teenager, but I digress. The mess bothers me. I don’t want things out of control or out of order. Messes are just that–out of control and out of order. They’re sometimes gross and nasty, and more often than not, they require a good hand washing (if not two or three) when it’s all said and done.

I don’t like the mess.

For the 3.5 years that I’ve lived in this house, I’ve enjoyed using it to host people and many events. Whether it was a Bible study or a sleepover for my small group girls or our annual Tacky Sweater Party, I love opening up my home to let people in and fellowship. I’m also a big fan of dinner parties and get togethers, and some of those are as simple as sending out a group text on a Friday afternoon inviting people to come over that night. They’re not always the most thought out events, but I can guarantee you that I do a quick run through of my house before the people come over. I light the candles, throw all the dirty clothes into the laundry room and shut that door, give the spare bathroom a quick clean, and maybe even bake some cookies.

I clean up my mess. 

A few weeks ago, a lady from church invited me to come over and spend some time with her and her baby during a morning that I didn’t have class. We spent most of the time with me watching her fold laundry, make some granola, and feed her baby. It was a sweet morning, and as I reluctantly left, walking on the sidewalk over to the driveway to get to my car on the street, she yelled, “You can walk in my grass. It’s okay!” She welcomed me right into her life, into her mess. It was something as simple as knowing that she was the friend who was okay with me walking through her grass that showed me that, but it was the truth. For some reason, that simple truth showed me that she was willing to be let me into the details of her life, in the messy parts AND the clean parts.

She’d welcomed me into her mess. 

Friends, do you do that with someone? Do you welcome people into your mess? This sweet woman did for me, and recently, my best friend and I got on a deeper level as the Lord allowed us to welcome each other into truly our messiest of messes. It was one of the sweetest nights of community I’ve ever been a part of in a very long time. It was hard, it was MESSY, but it was sweet and genuine.

It was worth it.

Just like it is worth it every single time I make Snickerdoodles to take them out of the bowl and roll them in the cinnamon sugar, it is worth it to welcome someone into your mess. It’s worth it to live in community and fellowship with the people the Lord has placed in your life for this specific season–even if that season is as short as six months. It’s worth it to be vulnerable, to let your walls down for a little bit, and to welcome someone into your mess. It’s hard and lots of times it involves plenty of tears–but I’m used to those–so don’t go looking for an easy fix. But, I challenge you, and myself, to welcome those who are around you to come into your mess. You’ll be surprised to see what God does when you’re willing to do so.

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