I've never been really great at hospitality.
I am the person that needs at least 24 hours notice if I know someone is coming over so that I can make the house spotless. I rarely even invite people over.
It's not you. It's me ... they say.
I can relate.
It's my fear of what you will think if my house is messy. Or if I am not as put together as I seem.
It's my fear of rejection, that you probably won't want to come over anyway.
It's my exhaustion from counseling all week. It's my desire for quiet and stillness in my home. (Reality check, Kerrah. You have three small kids.)
It's my fear of being too exposed, even though I long to be known.
But you know, this can be pretty lonely.
Not allowing anyone into your intimate mess, or manipulating everything to be just so so that those who do get in don't actually see the authentic you. So lonely.
I've lived this. I know this loneliness.
And because I've lived it, I want to invite you in. Of course, there are only a few allowed in the most intimate places, but here, I just want to invite you in.
Come on in and sit a while.
I want this to be a place where you know what it is to be real and vulnerable because I am choosing to live like this instead of hiding behind a false narrative of a put together life. I am choosing to live like this in front of you not for my sake or for some applause. Nope. It's for you. Because I don't want you to know that loneliness.
I want this place to open a door for you to understand yourself in new ways and then be able to live out that reality.
I want you to know God more deeply and be known by God, too.
"God already knows me," you say. But do you invite Him in? To know the things you want no one else to know? To really see?
I want this place to help you find peace in anxiety, hope in despair, beauty in the ashes, joy in mourning, freedom in bondage, and growth in ruins (Isaiah 61:1-4).
I want you to feel safe. To know what you feel, what you think, what you need. To be able to express those things honestly to self, to God, and to your people.
And I want you to know truth in spite of how you feel, what you think, what you need.
I don't want you to think I have it all together anymore. Because there are toys all over my floor, dishes in my sink, and fingerprints on my windows, too. There are tears and laughter and arguments and cuddles. There is pain and loss and joy and hope.
And I'm OK if you come in and sit a while here. I'm OK with you seeing into my mess a bit, because maybe, just maybe, you will find something unexpected that you did not know you needed here. Maybe there will be indescribable joy or peace that passes understanding or grace undeserved.
Maybe here you will not really find me, or even yourself. Maybe here you will find Jesus.
So come on in. Sit a while. Let's just get real together and see what kind of healing happens here.