I can remember my first time to clean a turkey. Every little part of the turkey slightly grossed me out. I cleaned out each crevasse, lifted each wing… pretended to make the bird fly, of course, popped feather pieces out of each follicle and was especially disgusted when my hand grabbed a long, slimy, detached piece, which I later found out was the poor guy’s neck. Raw can be especially hard to take.
I often think that my personal raw moments come across much like that of a person touching a raw turkey for the first time. They are unpleasant, a bit gross, a bit unappealing and slightly vulnerable.
The past few years of my life I have felt much like a raw turkey, vulnerable, messy, unfinished and a bit unappealing.
Much of my journal entries over the past few years have read something like this: Lord, what is wrong! I am so used to being poised and put together. People have always been able to count on me. I’ve been the strong one! The one with the answers! What in the world? Where are you? What have you done with me? Is this who I’m going to be? I feel as though I’m on the brink of new all of the time, but don’t feel as though I know how to step. IVE ALWAYS KNOWN HOW TO STEP!!!!! I’m so tired.
I’m tired of being messy. I’m tired of feeling like I can’t hide. I’m tired of crying and I’m tired of longing for things that I do not have.
People are tired of messy. People want me to be put together. I get asked all of the time, “What are you doing?” “Where will you live?” “What will you do next?” Question after question and I attempt to answer and present a not so messy, uncooked version of me, but those attempts usually fail.
I want to be put together! I want to be myself again. Help me Lord. Help me to see you in the midst of my crazy. Help me to see me. Help me Lord!
~ Pages and pages of appeals and pleads to be presentable. Pleads for help to be finished. Cries to be put together.
As I now reflect these years of pleads and cries I have come to a realization.
I have been unfinished. I have been vulnerable. I have been messy. I have even been unkempt and very – very raw. It is in this place where I was actually supposed to be for a time. It was a time of new and new life and preparation. Just like that raw turkey needs to be prepared to become the beauty placed on the Thanksgiving table, I ….you and I, must go through times of preparation. We must allow ourselves the permission to be raw, to live into the finished. No one wants to eat a half cooked turkey! But you and I often want the finished product without the messy beginnings.
There is much beauty to be found in raw. There is incredible potential to be found in the unfinished. There is such encouragement in being vulnerable. In each place, we find masterpieces in the making. When we encounter others in their raw form or when I feel raw myself, I can approach the mess differently. I am able to approach the raw, not with judgement, but with hope, knowing that these moments of unfinished life are a part of our … of my, preparation for what is to come.
I don’t know for sure what this season of preparation has been about, but I’m no longer fighting the raw.
What comes to mind for you as you read? Have you ever been through a messy season? Did you see how it prepared you for something else? How can you love someone well going through their season of raw?