We’re all a mess. We’re all people in process. We’re all flawed, and lonely, and in our most vulnerable moments, very afraid.

It doesn’t matter if you have money, or not. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a relationship, or not. It doesn’t matter if you drive a nice car, or wear cool clothes, or go on exotic vacations, or if you are good looking, or talented, or wicked smart. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a glamorous career. It doesn’t matter if all of your dreams are coming true, or if none of them ever will.

We all feel the same. No matter how old we get, we feel the same on the inside. If we are waiting for that moment when we are finally going to “arrive” – whatever that looks like to each of us – then we’re in for a long and drawn-out disappointment.

We’re all a mess. And we will continue to be a mess.

But we’re also invaluable. At our best, we embody beauty and grace and friendship and generosity and courage and love.

And unless we permit the people in our lives to be in the process of becoming, allowing for mistakes and imperfections and weaknesses, then we will never have the privilege of seeing their beauty.

I’ve given up on some people, and I’ve had some people give up on me. But I hope to change this, at least in my approach toward others.


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  1. Jason Michael on May 1, 2008 at 11:23 AM


  2. Grant on May 1, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    I recomment reading through the book of Ecclesiastes…then maybe “Breaking the Idols of Your Heart” By Allender and Longman ( A book following Ecclesiastes and evaluating the human condition. You just touched on the whole theme of both.

    Also..You have mail at my place.

  3. Nicolas Frisby on May 1, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    Brava. Brava.

    Yes to the beauty and grace et cetera. But we might also observe that this turbulent life is all that we have — all we will ever have.

    So let us love it.

  4. Sarah on May 1, 2008 at 1:49 PM

    it’s been coming to me in the idea of making space…for myself and for others…that each person would feel like they have enough room to be themselves, however big, small or messy that might get. good thoughts.

  5. Anonymous on May 1, 2008 at 2:32 PM

    Romans 8:18-25 in the Message says this: “It is as though all creation is standing on tiptoe longing to see an unforgettable vision, the children of God being born into wholeness. Although creation is unfinished, still in the process of being born, it carries within a secret hope. And the hope is: A day will come when we will be rescued from the pain of our limitation and incompleteness and be given our share in the freedom that can only belong to the children of God.” Thanks to Eugene Peterson for this fresh approach to the familiar language of Romans 8 – and here’s to honesty in assessing where we all are, while never giving up the hope of what we will become!
    It is a privilege for me to see you in process, Annie!

  6. Nicolas Frisby on May 1, 2008 at 2:37 PM

    “all we will ever have…” on Earth.

    I claim no knowledge of the beyond ;).

  7. Julianne on May 1, 2008 at 3:30 PM

    And it’s when we recognize this–our own brokenness–that we are able to minister to others. We don’t minister because we have it all together, but precisely because we know what it means to be broken and hurting and in need of a savior.

  8. Case and Los on May 1, 2008 at 6:31 PM

    In the words of Katherine Heigl (from 27 Dresses)
    “definitely SO true!”

    I like the Presbyterian whatever you call it that repeats over and over (b/c it is a good reminder to me)
    that we are “being made whole.”

    p.s. I GOT THE CHI!!!!

  9. Tim and Krysten on May 2, 2008 at 11:55 PM

    So so so so so so true. SO true. Can I print off copies of this and keep them in my pocket to be distributed at will? :)

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