Confession: I’m A Mess

Confession: I'm A Mess

There is nothing worse in the whole world than feeling like a cliché. Okay, perhaps there are a few things worse than that, but I’m feeling hyperbolic today. For you to enjoy understand the rest of this post, you’ll have to go with the dramatic flair.

As life would have it, the subject of direction is more than timely for me. Over the past two years, so many transitions or absolute changes have come my way, some with clear direction seemingly attached, while some leave me at a sheer loss for which way to go. Here’s a look:

  • Son graduated high school in 2014.
  • Son began college in fall of 2014. He has done incredibly well, and the need for my assistance has diminished every quarter. Awesome! Son is getting ready to transfer to a University to finish his Bachelor’s degree. We are on pins and needles for another 2 months to see if he’s accepted into his first choice of University.
  • In 2013, we had an adoption certificate showing two little girls with our last name on it from Ghana, yet the U.S. did not agree with the Ghanaian government, and the final answer to us, after 2 years of fighting was no. One day, we’re preparing to be a family of 6, with two leaving the nest in short order and two being raised from middle childhood. The next day, we’re sending support for our two beloved non-daughters in Ghana so they can go to school, and continuing to support and shape the lives of our two very nearly grown children. Back to a family of 4.
  • Daughter will graduate from high school in two months. She is then off to University (5 hours away and over a mountain pass – could be better/could be worse in terms of distance) with her best friend. She is SOOOO ready. She is extremely over quite possibly tired of hearing me say, “finish strong”.
  • Feeling so sad that just as I’m enjoying this near-adult-friendship bond with my daughter, that she’s leaving. And this is so good and so right and so normal. But still.
  • I’m substitute teaching on a very part time basis, usually for special ed high school students, while I try to recertify as a speech pathologist (something I laid down when raising my kids). I think I like it. But I’m not sure. I like the kids. I like the paras. I feel ill-equipped to teach. But I do like the connections. And it’s nice to have a clear purpose for that particular day. But I have NO idea what I’m supposed to do with the rest of my professional life. Advocacy? Clinical work? Education? Netflix binges?
  • Husband is still traveling after all these years, woooah, still traveling after all these years (thank you, Paul Simon). And he’s getting weary of that grind.
  • I’m completely, utterly, honestly over my hormones (or whore moans, if you prefer). I’m in the midst of night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, and well…I’ll spare my one male reader any further glimpse, but trust me. It ain’t pretty. You sisters know where I’m coming from, and if you don’t now, you will. I know–cheery.

In short, I’m a big middle-aged crisis achieving cliché. Ugh.

But God.

Those two little words bring me back to center, back to my true north…back to whatever direction means home. Holy Spirit dwells within me, so I always have the best direction I could want. God never said life would be easy, but He did/does say he’ll never leave me nor forsake me. He gives me new mercies each day, and He loves me back to him when I slip, by gently convicting my heart to confess my ick and turn back to Him.

So this is my prayer, and my confession, and maybe you think it self-indulgent, but my sincere hope is that if you have any of these feels, you’ll know that you’re not alone, you’re not crazy, and God gives better direction than any GPS. Trust me. I’ve gotten way lost using my GPS.

Jesus, I thank you for making me, for who I am and for whose I am. Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to give me your comfort, truth, and guidance. Thank You for being the only direction I need to follow.

  • Thank you that my kids are thriving and growing and becoming more independent. You know my prayers for their hearts. Thank you that I got to raise them from infancy to adulthood and got to spend so much time with them. What fabulous memories, Lord. Even the hard times make for great stories.
  • Thank you that even though our adoption didn’t work out in the way that we had wished or imagined, that you were there, keeping your hand on those girls and us throughout the process. Thank you that they are in school and thriving. Thank you for the opportunity to see a place outside of my comfort zone and incorporate it into my love for you and your people.
  • Thank you for my incredible relationship with both of my adult-ish children. I know we’ll have bumps, but because of your grace, I am confident that our family will remain close. Thank you that my kids have become people with whom I genuinely would choose to spend time!
  • Thank you for the opportunity to touch young lives as I substitute teach. Thank you for the students’ trust when they come up and share their hearts with me. What a privilege!
  • Thank you for my training so far, and for the plans you have for me, Father. As I tell my life group of young adult women, “We know what we’re good at, we know our passions, and we know where we need to grow. Use that knowledge and take a step in faith. When we listen for God’s whisper, He’ll tell us whether we’re on the right track.” Thank you, Holy Spirit for convicting me to take my own words to heart and for your patience when I don’t.
  • Thank you for my husband’s job and your provision for all we need through him. I trust You to show us the opportunities at the right times. For now…I wait upon You.
  • Thank you for my hormones, Lord. Honestly. Because without them, I’d never have been able to have my beautiful children. BUT…if it’s all the same to you, I’m done having babies (if ya know what I mean, wink-wink).

God, thank you for all that you are and all that I am only because of you. What’s funny is I’ve always been a mess, but now I’m more aware of this than ever. Thank You for taking my mess and loving me in and though it. For never giving up on me, and for giving me the direction I need right when I need it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Gretchen Hanna
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  1. Diane on May 9, 2016 at 7:48 AM

    ‘I’ve gotten way lost using my GPS.’ My goodness, girl. Your post was so dang refreshing, and honest. Particularly about your kids – all of them! God is so good, and when we let him, he certainly comes up with some amazing paths to lead us on. If only, we could just replace that dang chick’s voice on our rarely-wise-enough GPS to hear him. Thanks for the thoughts to ponder. (And I love spending time with my adult kids – they rock!)

    • Gretchen on May 9, 2016 at 9:54 AM

      Thank you for the encouragement, Diane. Glad to know I’m not the only one with a faulty GPS. Ahem. 🙂 My sweet daughter commented on my Mothers Day card that she couldn’t waiit till we could be (all the way-adult to adult) friends. ❤️

  2. Jen on May 9, 2016 at 9:04 AM

    “I’m a big middle-aged crisis achieving cliché.” Oh, Gretchen. Insert slightly different scenarios and this post applies to me more than I care to admit. But God. Yes. But God.

    • Gretchen on May 9, 2016 at 9:56 AM

      Love that those two words are a homing beacon for me. Anything more complicated and I would likely not remember to lean in. See? He knows us cliches. 😉

  3. Ruth on May 9, 2016 at 9:41 AM


    Love that in all of our crises…and if we’re all humans, we’ve got them…there’s always room for a “but God…”, and for me…it’s HIS faithfulness that makes us survivors!!

    Love your refreshing perspective!

    • Gretchen on May 9, 2016 at 9:58 AM

      Thank you for commenting, Ruth. YES! We just sang “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, yesterday, & I just remembered why it’s one of my favorite hymns. He is SO good!!!!

  4. Amber on May 9, 2016 at 9:45 AM

    As a fellow cliche, let me thank you for the prayer. Modifying it only slightly to fit my circumstances and then meditating on that today. Like salve to my shaky, messy heart today.

    • Gretchen on May 9, 2016 at 9:59 AM

      Praying for you, sis. Thank God we have each other. XXXOOO

  5. Tara on May 9, 2016 at 9:50 AM

    But God. Those two simple yet powerful words gave me goose bumps this morning.
    My journey is tracking similar to yours, especially with a young adult daughter and almost young adult son- such a delicate dance- letting go but wanting to hold on tight- every night I say to God “I trust you with their lives, please take them where you want them to be to do their best to honor and serve you.” Because I know it’s not about me. But God. And giiiiirl, I wish I could post a photo here of my pajama pants that I cut with scissors in the middle of the night due to a 2am hot flash. Hope that made you smile. You’re amazing Gretchen!

    • Gretchen on May 9, 2016 at 10:01 AM

      Love you, Tara!!! Horemoaners unite! I’ll be praying you today. Great point about leaning into our trust in God for our kids’ directions.

  6. Bev on May 9, 2016 at 5:24 PM

    I wonder why God ordained it that we’d have crazy hormones and nests emptying at the same time? Maybe to cause us to cling so tight to Him that we’d be ready for the second half of life? And those grown children friendships? The B.E.S.T. and well worth waiting for. Hugs to you.

    • Gretchen on May 10, 2016 at 12:27 AM

      Your encouragement is as sweet as honey from the comb, dear friend. ❤️

  7. Jason Hagman on May 9, 2016 at 11:57 PM

    As the one male reader, thanks for sparing the details! Also, we’re messes too.

    • Gretchen on May 16, 2016 at 11:27 AM

      Jason! Welcome! 🙂 Thanks for the heads up, too.

  8. Diane Tarantini on May 12, 2016 at 9:54 AM

    I’m in the same season, friend. The only thing that doesn’t apply to me is the adoption issue. Even without that it’s an emotionally and physically trying time. I’m glad we have God and He has us:)

  9. Gretchen on May 16, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Holding hands across the miles, Diane. xxxooo

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