love without a red bow

I've gotta be honest... My heart is battle-weary. Fifteen months after my husband left me and our ministry for another woman, I am just plain tired of everything being a fight. Every. Single. Thing. And I simply don't have any fight left in me. I reached my breaking point this morning when yet another nasty email showed up in my inbox, and I had a good-ol-fashioned meltdown.

But in the midst of my tears, I became keenly aware of God's messy love. I was reminded that His love isn't always neatly wrapped with a red bow. In fact, it's usually eyebrow-raising in its packaging. It's often more gritty than glorious. He loves us recklessly, and it shows up in alarming and obscure ways.

Like in drops of blood streaming down a wooden cross.

God's scandalous love is just as present here in my hurting as it will be in my healing. It's in my brokenness as much as my wholeness, in my doubting as well as my faith. I just need to look for it. And expect to be caught off-guard by what it might look like.

A coffee date with a new friend this afternoon showed me a glimpse of God's love in how He’s using my story---even as it’s still being written---to strengthen others. He's making life out of my brokenness, using my ashes to create something beautiful.

And He's not waiting until I'm "better" to start. He's doing it right now, smack in the middle of my big hot mess. Even on a day when I threw my hands in the air and cried, "I'm done!"

My threadbare heart can't miss the irrational love in that.

It's messy and unreasonable... Just the way He likes it.