For the Mess {A Letter to My Four}

You are going to mess up, dear ones.

In both big and small ways.

Ways that feel life-shattering and leave you feeling unbalanced, longing for that one moment to do all over again.



That feeling will live in the back of your mind, like chains wrapped around your wrists, keeping you from reaching out for that one thing that will undo it all.


It’s not there.

I’ve searched.

I’ve dreamt.

I’ve pleaded.



It’s not there.


If you keep your eyes on your failures, on the what-ifs, on all the ways that you would do it all over again differently, if only you could… the burden of failure will only weigh heavier. Your unbelief at who you are apart from Christ will threaten to overwhelm.


And that is when the enemy sinks his teeth in even deeper.

His accusations begin to hold weight,

as though the Father of Lies could ever be true.



That’s when you need to press in closer to the One who is Truth. The One who is completely, utterly, unwaveringly true.

I’ve sat in Isaiah for the past month, after sitting in Judges and all the 1st and 2nd’s of the Old Testament.

The weight of failure of the people of God has felt familiar – the bewilderment at “how can they repeat those same mistakes?” has pressed down any pride that has plagued my heart the last few years.

I know how, and there is no pride in that.



I’ve read the pleadings of God.

I’ve read His rebukes,

I’ve nodded at His just judgment…

and I’ve wept over His compassion.


His people turn, sweet ones, they turn and they repent of their deep-seeded sin and God forgives them.

I sit in Isaiah and my heart begins to heal and the call to Look up has seemed to follow me everywhere I go, and it’s in the 51st chapter that He confirms again what it looks like to turn and repent:

3 For the Lord will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places, and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and melodious song.

4 Pay attention to Me, My people, and listen to Me, My nation; for instruction will come from Me, and My justice for a light to the nations. I will bring it about quickly.

5 My righteousness is near, My salvation appears, and My arms will bring justice to the nations. The coastlands will put their hope in Me, and they will look to My strength.

6 Look up to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants will die in like manner. But My salvation will last forever, and My righteousness will never be shattered.


You are going to mess up, dear ones, in the biggest and smallest of ways.

But there is a way to make order out of the chaos that your choices will make.

Look up.

Before you look out on the barren landscape around you, look up in repentance to the heavens above.



All of this? It holds weight. It will bear consequences. Your choices will mark your time here.

But they are also finite.

One day, you will stand before Jesus – the compassionate and holy One. The one who sits enthroned above the heavens and above you and He will make you new, completely and utterly.

For He has promised that the redeemed of the Lord will return. They will. And they will come to Zion with singing, crowned with unending joy. Joy and gladness will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee.



This sorrow that you hold over the brokenness in front of you – someday it will flee in the presence of Jesus.

So look up, my dear four. Keep eternity before you, keep your heart ever turning to our Savior.

Joy will come in the morning.






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