Tied Up with a Bow

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Increasingly, I like my blog posts and articles to be as perfectly, poetically structured as I can make them, rounded off with a nice, profound encouragement.

I’m not the only one who likes a happy ending. As Ruth Soukup points out in this article for Ann Voskamp’s website, we often want our stories of struggle to be ‘all tied up with a neat little bow’, to have a ‘Hollywood ending’. We want to present ourselves and our stories as ‘fixed’.

The reality is, though, that whilst there are undoubtedly beautiful encouragements along our way, many of us remain a little frayed for at least some of the time. But that’s OK. It’s OK that my recent experiences have brought up old doubts that I don’t know what to do with. It’s OK that sometimes there are dirty dishes on the side, that I’m still in my pyjamas at 12 o clock, that I’m just very tired. It’s OK that in the stress of it all Andrew and I sometimes descend into bickering. It’s OK that some things in my life are not yet fixed.

I am encouraged by Ruth’s article (do click to read that, by the way). It encourages me that I don’t have to present myself as having it all together all the time, that when I write I don’t always have to reach that silver-lining conclusion. I can admit that sometimes, life just really hurts.

And yet, even as I write this, I’m realising that actually, ironically, there is a silver lining, even in this post. As I write about my doubts, hurts and imperfections, a sort of fragile but growing joy is showing up. It’s ahead of me, ahead of my pen as I scribble these ideas down in my notebook.

What I’m realising is that the more I scrutinise my shortcomings and griefs, the more I also see God’s grace flooding over my life.

I’m so far from perfect, far from fixed. My heart’s a little bit broken, the way I see myself is a little bit broken and my worldview is a little bit broken. Yet, there is so much good around me, even coming from within me. When I admit my struggles and failings, this only highlights the goodness of God all the more, that He would bring all this light and love around me now, whilst I’m a little bit broken. He’s not waiting for me to be sorted, and there is a certain freedom in that.

So this post is tied up with a bow after all, though not altogether neatly. It is tied up with this confession, my confession: I am broken, but God is good.

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P.S. I recently had an article published at Threads UK, about when we meet with disappointment, so if this post struck a chord with you, maybe you’ll find that relevant too. Feel free to have a read here, and the other articles on the site are well worth a browse too!

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