A Beautiful Mess

I used to think everything in life had to be just so to be happy. But I’ve started to see just how jumbled up and messy life really is. Life is often both beautiful and heart wrenching at the same time. I would like life to be organized into tidy little boxes—the good stuff goes over here, the bad stuff stands alone over there. But that’s not how it usually works.

One night Darren and I were at the old house we’re remodeling. The sky was clear and the stars were sparkling over the fields without the obstruction of city lights to hide them. We pulled a piano bench out in the yard and sat there together under the stars dreaming and planning our life in this new place. We looked up at the sky and took in the stars that we so rarely get to see. While we sat there, chins up looking and dreaming, the most beautiful shooting star I have ever seen zipped by with a trail of flame behind it that you could actually see. I gasped out loud; I was so startled and delighted by it.

That moment with Darren on the piano bench under the stars was perfect. It’s a memory I’ll hold in my heart forever about a time when we were young and we were weaving our lives and dreams together.

But even as beautiful as that moment with Darren was, it’s a sad memory in my heart too. That same day my cousin’s little teenage daughter was killed in a car accident. On that same beautiful night under the stars, I remember pacing the driveway in the dark aching inside and praying for my cousin and my aunt and uncle. I couldn’t comprehend their pain and I couldn’t understand why so much hurt exists in the world.

That moment and that memory will always be bittersweet. It will always be one of my favorite memories with Darren and it will always remind me of my cousin and all she is going through; there is no way to separate the two.

That’s how life is—it’s beautiful and it’s heart breaking. What I’m starting to see is this: Life does not have to be perfectly happy or completely beautiful to be good. Life is a smattering of the good and the bad. It’s messy and complicated and beautiful all at the same time. And that’s okay.

8 thoughts on “A Beautiful Mess

  1. Without God, you would not be able to remember the beauty of Darren and the stars, I think the horror and tragedy would stand out more. God is good and He gives good gifts to help us through the ugly. I am so sorry for your loss. DAF


  2. That’s right. Life is a mess. But still, we can choose whether to pick out the beautiful moments, or to just look at everything ‘objectively’. Of course, when a family member is killed, it is time for mourning, even if we’d prefer to emphasize the good.


    • Yes, I think much of life is choosing to see the good and stay positive even when difficult things happen. There are appropriate times for both joy and mourning but overall it’s good to stay focused on the beauty and learn from the struggles.


  3. Life is indeed a beautiful mess, God has graciously allowed us so much beauty and joy to be in our lives and yet at the same time there is great tragedy too…and in that tragedy we learn to look to God and lean on His strength, and KNOW Him, if life was always beautiful we would most likely think we really don’t need God…but we do, we really, really do.


  4. Thank you. I enjoyed your post. I feel the exact same way and can’t express it sometimes. Everyone wants me to be “happy happy happy” and sometimes I just can’t do it. i can fake it real good, but it’s not real. Again thank you for such a beautiful post.


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