The internet is so great at making things seem perfect. But perfection doesn’t exist and when you come in close, you expose the mess within and behind the walls…
I’ve come to realize that Zillow and Realtor.com are like Facebook/Social Media for houses. You put your very best out there, but you don’t disclose the mess. You have to come in close to see the full details. And so many are not what they seem online once I have the opportunity to come close and be invited inside for a viewing. Last night I went to view another house that is a potential purchase for my beloved family. On the internet it seemed near-perfect. The house details, the size, the lot, the location = everything. As I drove by, from the distance of the road, it seemed totally in order and just needing our personal touches.
But when I got permission to get close and see inside I swiftly realized, like nearly all the others I’ve seen: it was not what it had seemed. There was decay in the wood siding. Tape covered a slight crack between beams that exposed the outside world. Poorly attempted renovations abounded in nearly every room where someone tried to cover up the old without going through the work of demoing and properly renovating the spaces. The rooms didn’t make sense and some appeared to be additions added on without a functional plan. The owners even decided to hang around during the showing which – of course – made things really weird. The home was messy, one of the ladies had bras hanging from the bathroom chandelier and the rooms were very cluttered. So many oddities awaited us as we walked around. We even found the lady hiding in the closet while we were walking through looking at the master suite (I am not even kidding!) Scared the crap out of my realtor when he opened the door, ha!
I also lost an hour of my life when I was reaching over to move a pillow to see out of a window and found the family cat inches from my arm on the bed. Thankfully he is harmless and didn’t care that I was there either. Like owner, like pet. Ha!
People are weird, man. And that’s the point I want to make here. We all have “laundry.” Some of us air it out for strangers to see (like Closet Lady) and some of us hide it behind locked spaces that you can only see if you get really, really close. ALL of us have broken spaces in our hearts and lives, some of us have poorly renovated spaces where we tried to heal them or improve them on our own to no avail. When what we really needed is to bring those things to a professional for help (aka maybe a counselor and definitely to Jesus…and in the home renovation world: skilled carpenters and other licensed professionals.)
What I feel led to share with you tonight is that the person you see online is NOT the whole person. And you know what? That’s okay! There are some things you shouldn’t share online. They are not meant to be on display for the world to judge. Or perhaps it is not your story to share. Whatever the reason – sometimes things are just kept close.
So don’t get caught up in the whirlwind of comparison. Don’t feel like you don’t measure up because some other woman or mom seems to have it all together. Because reality is, when you are invited to come up close you’ll see she’s messed up, too.
We are all messed up, and that’s why we need Jesus.
Give yourself some grace, and give others grace. Perfection is not the goal and is not possible.
And remember, when you invite people in they will see your mess and that’s completely okay, too. We aren’t meant to do life alone, and everyone has a mess of their own. You’re not beyond grace, and Jesus loves you right where you are. Let people come in close, it’s so very healing. We were created for “community” and meant to be in relationships with others. God designed us that way! So stop keeping your distance because you think you don’t measure up. Honey – we are all a hot mess right there with you! Pull up a chair and grab a cup of coffee, I could tell you all kinds of stories about mine. And I’d love to follow it up with some grace stories, too. Because when we invite Jesus in and allow the people He gifts us with to help us grow, there are lots of healing stories, too.
For additional encouragement, please check out these scriptures:
- Proverbs 27:17
- Galatians 6:2
- Romans 8:1
- 1 John 1:7-9
- Psalm 1:1-3
(This is the 4th installment of an ongoing series. For part 3, click here.)