I’m definitely in the midst of “one of those seasons” in life. It’s a season of refinement, and while it’s been hard, it’s also been a time of deep intimacy with God. Don’t pity me. This season is beautiful because I’m learning to experience Christ in a way I hadn’t known before. I more clearly understand what Paul wrote in Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
The path of endurance, character, and hope is a lonely road. This last week I told my executive coach and friend, “This is the most difficult and lonely experience of my career.” And before I could even process what I was saying, she responded to me and said, “Tiffany, this is the road you chose to walk. You chose to not be like other leaders. You chose to not be a topical, surface-level person. You chose to go deep with others and this is the mess that comes with that choice. This is who you are and you’re good with mess.”
She wasn’t scolding me, she was encouraging me onward and reminding me of what I already knew to be true: I was called to shine in a dark and broken world, and that was a lonely place. It was exactly what I needed to hear to face the hardness.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV)
I share this with you as an encouragement for when you’re struggling, just like the many others who have surrounded and prodded me to soldier on. You may be feeling the hot fire right now or the stoking may come a bit later. Rest assured, it will come. The narrow road is eternally worth it, friends. God is good with your mess.
If you look at the backside of a tapestry, it’s messy. You can (kinda) make out the design, but there are threads intersecting and colors running together. It’s tangled and untidy and questionable art, at best. But God understands how every thread—each story, difficulty, and victory—is woven together to create a masterpiece. He sees the front of the tapestry. He sees you as complete.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
You’re a beautiful mess.