How A Mess Can Become Your Message
Posted by Pat Elsberry, March 14, 2023
Have you ever asked yourself, why me? Perhaps you’ve wondered why your life has unfolded like it has. Do you feel as if your life is a hot mess?
Maybe you looked around, and everyone seemed to be living their best life–except you. I’m not suggesting we begin a pity party or have a woe-is-me attitude, but I think these are all typical questions and feelings if you’re walking through a challenging time in life. It wasn’t that many years ago when I was first walking through the grief journey, that I asked myself all these questions and felt this same way.
There are times when life is hard, such as when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, suffered a job loss, or perhaps a diagnosis that has pulled the rug out from under your feet. It is normal to feel as if your life is a total mess. Friend, if you can just hold on for a little bit longer, I believe this mess can one day be turned into your message.
When my daughter first ran ahead to heaven, I asked God, "Why me, Lord? Why Melanie?" I always returned to the one thing I knew to be true: my ultimate faith and trust in Jesus.
I also knew I didn’t see the whole picture of this life of mine
I needed to trust in the One who does know the end from the beginning.
Trust in the Lord from the bottom of your heart;
Don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
He’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all. (Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG)
Years ago, someone once told me, “Pat, it’s like you have a black cloud hanging over your head.” Although it wasn’t meant to be hurtful, I don’t think they knew how those words stung. Interestingly, I didn’t think I had a black cloud hanging over my head, it was just a hard season. It’s called life, and God never promised us a carefree one.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33 NIV)
As I walk through the grief journey, I see that grief and joy can live side-by-side. I’m learning something new every day, and slowly, God is turning my mess into a message for Him.
I don’t know the circumstances surrounding your life and how you’re feeling today, but I believe we still serve a good God even during the trials and turmoil of life. Although we may not know or understand His plan, I’m confident He has one that is good for you and me.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
In the words of Katherine Wolf, we can live a “good-hard life.” Every cloud–even black ones, has a silver lining.
I’m grateful that even during my grief, I still have a very blessed life. With God leading the way, He can turn some of the sadness of losing my girl into words of encouragement and hope for someone else.
If you’re struggling today and wondering "why me?", I encourage you to hold on.
God can and will turn your mess into a message for Him.
He will use your story to reach someone else who is hurting. He isn’t done with you yet! Take a moment to let the words to this song wash over you. (Click here.)
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18 ESV)
Father, thank you for the reminder that you never promised us a carefree life. I am so grateful I have placed my whole heart and trust in you. Thank you for turning my mess into a message that shines a light on your goodness.
Pat Elsberry is an author, speaker, blogger, and a passionate advocate for parents dealing with grief after the loss of a child. Pat created multiple social media groups focused on providing hope to others who are walking the same path, including her blog, Hope During Loss. Pat facilitates an in-person grief share for women who have experienced child loss, and is also a moderator for Team Sharing, a nationwide peer-led support group for parents who have lost children to substance use disorder. Pat is the author of Beautifully Broken: Finding Hope During Loss, and will soon release her first devotional, Comforted by God. Pat and her husband, Fred live outside Atlanta and have a blended family of 7 children and 5 grandchildren. Her favorite things include traveling, cooking, gardening, dark chocolate, and worship music. You can find Pat on her blog, www.hopeduringloss.com, and on Facebook and Instagram @HopeDuringLoss.