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About Wendy van Eyck

Wendy van Eyck is married to Xylon, who talks non-stop about cycling, and makes her laugh. She writes for anyone who has ever held a loved one’s hand through illness, ever believed in God despite hard circumstances or ever left on a spontaneous 2-week holiday through a foreign land with just a backpack. You can follow Wendy’s story and subscribe to receive her free ebook, “Life, life and more life” at ilovedevotionals.com. She would also love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

When you're not as happy as you look

Wendy van Eyck
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Wendy van Eyck is married to Xylon, who talks non-stop about cycling, and makes her laugh. She writes for anyone who has ever held a loved one’s hand through illness, ever believed in God despite hard circumstances or ever left on a spontaneous 2-week holiday through a foreign land with just a backpack. You can follow Wendy’s story and subscribe to receive her free ebook, “Life, life and more life” at ilovedevotionals.com. She would also love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Romans 5:6-8 (MSG)

Browsing through Instagram the around Halloween I noticed a picture by Lesley Miller with the following caption:

Princess, dragon, and mama. I feel the need to confess that I may have threatened Anna [her daughter] in order to capture this photo. #wearenotashappyaswelook 

I loved the hashtag the moment I saw it. And it got me thinking about appearances and the masks I wear to the world. 

The number of times Xylon and I might have been arguing in the car and then walk in the door and put a smile and a laugh on our face as if everything is fine. 

We are not as happy as we look.

Then there was a post a friend wrote on Facebook this week about how hard being a new mother is. And how she thinks moms should stop just presenting pics of happy, smiling babies and rather tell the cold-hard truth of being up for 3 weeks in a row at 3am. And I thought about Lisa-Jo and her honesty about motherhood. And I thanked God for it.

This week I’ve chatted to a number of friends who smiled and laughed and joked with me. And then a few days later someone has asked if I’ve seen that friend recently and told me about some hard things the smiling, laughing friends have been going through. 

Jesus loves me at my darkestWe are not as happy as we look.

I’m guilty of it too. While Xylon was having cancer treatment there were many times the tears would stream down my face in the car and then I’d arrive at work, clean myself up and smile and laugh my way through the day, hiding the hurt inside. 

We are not as happy as we look.

Jesus never called me to portray a perfect life, he called me to follow him, to walk with him, to be real with him. 

I wonder if in my desire to be a light to the world I've forgotten that Jesus loves me at my darkest. (tweet this)

That Jesus loved the sinner. 

The broken.

The down and out.

The prostitute.

The thief.

The liar.

The fighting couple.

The mother who has not slept for day. 

The women yelling at her kids.

The dad who can’t figure out how to pay the bills. 

The daughter who feels like she failed her parents. 

The girl who looks in the mirror and hates herself. 

The man who feels like he’ll never measure up. 

Jesus loves the worst of me

Last week I read a tweet by author Anne Lamott that expresses this well: 

“I think God loves what is real, especially in us. Not the stuff we've tricked out with cute rugs from Ikea. What's really in our hearts & minds. Wow.”

The bible says in Romans 5:6-8 that “Jesus didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.”

light and darkIf Christ did all of that for me when I didn’t have my act together why do I think it’s so important to make sure I look happier than I am?

And maybe I hide the tough stuff because I get that God could love my broken ragged edges but I think that others won’t understand. 

I’m realizing that everyone has a hard thing, everyone is fighting some kind of battle and most of the time the people I meet are not as happy as they look (me included).

I wonder if more of us revealed our darkness if there would be more light? (tweet this)

Maybe it’s time to stop sugar coating our lives, and step out into the grace that Jesus offers, and let him love us at our darkest, and allow others to see the cracks in our lives filled with his hope. 

Ponder: How do you think admitting that you’re not as happy as you look to others would deepen your relationships with them? What prevents you from doing this?   

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for loving me at my darkest. Help me to be more honest about the hard parts of my life so you can keep meeting me there and I can encourage people with the grace you give. 

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Get a copy of my e-book Life, Life and More Life for free. Just subscribe to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday. In the book I share some of thoughts on how to make every moment count, gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. You can subscribe here

- This was orginally published on my site in November 2014. To read more devotionals like this go to ilovedevotionals.com

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