Our Messiness Welcomes The Miraculous​

girl in the woods

Tears made tracks down pretty faces and I wondered if they knew how beautiful being messy really is. We wiped the salty desperation from our faces unashamed because we came thirsty and needy. Every face told a story, most of them were the same just in different seasons.

I’m tired of watching the shame bully throw guilt in the faces of godly girls just doing their best. I didn’t expect them to open up right away. But I knew this to be a universal truth; if I hold back so will they.

Somehow lost in translation, this thing of showing up to church and serving became a noose around a few necks. And as much as I hate to even type this…they love Jesus but had stopped loving the church.

If we have to show up perfect, we are going to be late to everything. 


Maybe it’s because I’m forty-one, maybe it’s because I know what it’s like to be shamed into service. Maybe it’s because I have served in just about every capacity in the church that I wholeheartedly reject the shaming approach to servanthood. Not because I don’t love working in different roles, but because I love serving in the right roles.


One hour can change everything and sometimes- just showing up needs to be enough.


Words flowed from an unscripted plan and I knew that was when God did His best work in me. No list or perfect outline. No desire to edit out the ugly side of the wrestle of womanhood. Just an intimate group of women showing up wrecked and hearing words that remove the shame-noose of perfection around heads trying to stay above water.


Perfection is fear based hiding, so what are you afraid that people will see? 


“…the pursuit of perfection can keep us from discovering God’s purpose for our lives. It can distort who he created us to be, and then the world misses out on the gifts only we have to offer.” ~You’re Loved No Matter What, Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect by Holley Gerth


A few years ago I felt like everyone had ditched me in my pursuit to do real ministry to real women. While ladies cried, made notes in their books about their battle with perfection, I realized that no one ditched me. They set me free to lead without worrying about what they thought. God knows who needs to be on our team. Sometimes stepping away from what is depleting you is wisdom and might even be the will of God.

That night I saw freedom stirring in the hearts of women ready for real change that lasts. Some said nothing and some dove headfirst into the deep and gave us the gift of flawed beauty by saying, “I’m starving here.”


I thought about the woman pleading for her daughter. I thought about how most of the time we are so slow to ask for help for ourselves. But when it comes to our children or our loved ones, we lay down our pride and the shame of being needy for the hope of something in the supernatural. I recalled the exchange of words between a gutsy woman and Jesus, and the disciples who just thought she was a nuisance and wanted to dismiss her.


Coming to Jesus needy and empty-handed was the catalyst for her miracle.


21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.[a] (Matt 15:12-28 ESV)


We are so desperate for something real that we will take the crumbs falling from another woman’s table because we don’t think we are worthy of a full meal and unleashed blessings from God. Shame and perfection have become our Kryptonite and coming to church admitting that we are needy has become ridiculously taboo.


Our messiness is often the precursor for the miraculous.

We are so afraid of our small offerings. Yet in this case, a needy woman ready for crumbs was more than enough to stop Jesus in his tracks to praise her faith and grant her desire. He even had time to give the disciples a verbal spanking and a lesson on what reaching lost sheep looks like. It doesn’t look like perfection or shame at all, it looks like praise and a soul-satisfied, spirit-fed faith.

You don’t have to hide.


You don’t have to be perfect.


You don’t have to dismiss your small and messy because, friend, this is simply your starting place.

We are in this together.

So much love to you,

Jennifer Renee


If this blessed you, I would love for you to share it with your friends! 

16 thoughts on “Our Messiness Welcomes The Miraculous​

  1. Thank you, Jennifer. That shame bully can be so strong. It’s so sad that neediness and messiness are sometimes taboo in Christian circles, and there are many who feel rejected instead of supported. I have been through it often in my own life. Thank you for speaking up for the hurting. Blessings and hugs!

    1. Trudy, I am so sorry that you have had that experience. Thank you for being someone who welcomes and supports those who are hurting. It makes a huge difference. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Hugs to you!

  2. OH MY!!! This speaks volumes to me! “Shame and perfection have become our Kryptonite and coming to church admitting that we are needy has become ridiculously taboo.”

    WHY is it the place where we feel we should be able to open up, to be real- is actually the place where we feel we have to hide? Church is a place for the broken and wounded, so we can find healing, in a place where we can be loved on , often in spite of ourselves.

    MUCH LOVE, Jennifer! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m so glad this spoke to you! I know we can usher those who are hurting into our churches and help them feel less alone because we understand brokenness and get it. Much love to you!

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am in a difficult season and needed to read this today. As a mother to 5 awesome kids and 5 great kids in law and 17 grandchildren, I have felt like I’ve needed to be all things to all people all of the time. I am so blessed to have them all walking with The Lord! Because I am such a blessed mom and grandma I feel guilty for not being “there” for everyone. But my nerves are shot and I’m to the point of exhaustion. I think Im experiencing a nervous breakdown.
    “Sometimes stepping away from what is depleting you is wisdom, and might even be the will of God.”
    This was huge for me today. I’m having to say “no” to many things right now so my body can heal.
    God bless you and thank you for sharing!

    1. Oh Kathy, I sure know what it is like to push myself to the point of exhaustion and depletion. Saying “no” during this season is wisdom, but still hard. Rest and take good care of yourself! You are loved.

  4. Thanks for you honest message, shame bulling stopped me from using the very gifts God gave to me. Over the past 5 years he has freed me from the chains that keept me from being who God said I was. Jennifer continue to minister freedom in Christ you are a blessing to the body of Christ

  5. Thanks, Jennifer! I needed these words after a sleepless night during back to school week! Messy I am, but perfect I don’t need to be for Him!

    1. Yes and Amen! Keep showing up, even when you are messy and know God can use you! Big hugs to you!

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