You are not a mess.

For a long time, I laughed off my quirks and less than shiny bits by saying, “Oh, I’m just a mess…” It wasn’t some humble admonition. Instead, I wanted to beat other people to the punch by pointing out all of my flaws before they could. Underneath the laughter was an ocean of pain with a strong undertow that threatened to pull me under. After all, a lifetime sentence of being a mess hurts!

It’s so easy to believe we’re a mess, isn’t it? We live with ourselves all the time. We never get a break from who we are, and we know ourselves all too well. We know the things we think, the things we would be mortified for other people to know crossed our minds. We know all of the mistakes we make and the way we struggle to hide them from the world. We know the things that keep us up at night with worry but how we paste on grin and spout out a chippy “fine!” when someone asks us how we’re doing. We know how we forget to pray even though we promised someone we would lift them up during their heartbreak. And oh, how we know all the ways we sin.

To deal with the lumbering weight of our humanity, we shrug our shoulders in a child-like manner and believe that we are, have always been, and will always be, a mess.

But that’s not okay. Because being a mess isn’t the end of the story.

Because Jesus.

Because of Jesus, we’re no longer a mess. Now, we’re wrapped tight in a cozy quilt of grace, a patchwork of God’s tremendous mercy.

Now, because of Him, our true identity is His beloved. It’s an identity we need to accept. We have to stop buying into the lie that says we are anything less. When we’ve claimed it and settled into every corner of this identity that he has lavished us with, we are able to live in the world that gives joy as well as pain. When we settle into who we truly are instead of buying into these harmful lies, we are anchored to the truth of who we were created to be. This is how we begin to live authentically. And that’s when we set the world on fire.

Let’s be real: we still have to live with ourselves day in and day out, and in our human frailty, we know all the things we think, the ways we fall down, the things that cause us to worry, how we forget to pray, and all the ways we sin.

But wrapped in grace, we know this isn’t who we are. It doesn’t get the final say. God’s mercy does.

Let’s speak that over ourselves today, okay?