What your handbag and emotional health have in common.

Before this post gets into the good stuff, I just want to go ahead and put it out there that I love me a good beautiful handbag.  I have champagne taste on a beer budget, let's just be clear about that. But that doesn't stop me from finding good bargains, or splurging on good quality pieces. One of the things I love so much about a pretty handbag is that it holds all of my junk and a pretty little package that makes everything look more polished.

On the days where I haven't showered and I choose to put on workout clothes to deceive all who I encounter that day, (making them think I just got done at the gym when really I just haven't showered in two days #momlife) that beautiful handbag is my redemption. It tells the world that I might look like a hot mess right now, but I am a put together woman who has her life together.

Insert all the laugh-til-ya-cry emojis because I'm almost crying tears of hysteria as I type that. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a little bit of a hot mess with an even messier heart. And I am just a messy person naturally. Shut out to my sweet momma who is probably reading this nodding her head aggressively up-and-down, confirming this truth about me.

On the days where I get to shower (that's right - somedays it's a luxury!) and put on make up and wear nice clothes, that handbag really just solidifies the whole deal. If I had a grungy old purse, you might judge me by that. You might see that old raggedy purse and think, "wow, she doesn't care about her appearance or value nice things." Not trying to put words in your mouth, but I'm sure we've all thought these things about someone before.

But the bottom line is we are attracted to nice handbags because we like that they hold the crazy and make it look pretty.

It is the same exact thing with our hearts. We think that if we can somehow trick the world through a joyful facade and smiles that we're doing all right on the inside, then we are totally OK with that. But what's really happening is we are just disguising all of the hurt and pain that we carry around with us day in and day out. Our baggage can sometimes be messy, overwhelming, uninviting and negative. No wonder we want to hide it and disguise it as something completely opposite of what what it is.

Last year for Christmas my husband surprised me with a Fossil handbag that I had randomly pointed out at Belk one day. Let me just start off by saying that my husband is a teacher and I am self employed, and we both make very modest incomes. So you can imagine how surprised I was that my husband had splurged on such a beautiful, and somewhat expensive in my opinion, gift for me. He knew that gift giving was my love language, and that showing that he payed attention to me saying I wanted a "nice handbag that would last me for longer than 3 months like my target ones". Melt. My. Heart.  And after the feeling the guilt of getting such a nice gift, when I didn't spend nearly as much on him, wore off what excited me most about it was how beautiful it was and how everyone who saw me carrying this person would automatically think I was more put together than I actually was. 

You guys want to see what this beautiful purse looks like on the inside?


Y'all, first of all don't judge me.

And second of all this is what hot mess express looks like. I won't even tell you how long it takes for me to find keys, or even something as big as my wallet. Which I don't even think is in the purse in this picture so you can only imagine what THAT looks like. (Hint: it has paper sticking out at every angle and it's not money.)

So what is the matter with this type of thinking. When we believe that some pretty and polished exterior can hide deep emotional burdens and insecurities, we aren't just deceiving the world but even worse were deceiving ourselves. Just like this beautiful gift that my husband gave me, our hearts are worthy of cleaning up and organizing. 

They are worth reflecting their true state on the outside, too. Even if your heart is unbelievably messy, God still wants to see it. Picture Jesus in your living room staging your messy handbag intervention. He even brought his special trashcan for you to get all of the crazy out. Except he doesn't want you to dump it all out, he wants you to pick out piece by piece and process why it needs to leave or why it needs to stay. 

There are some pains from my past that I know are important to keep memory of. Not to continue to revel in the pain, but to gain perspective and grow from it. Those pains don't define me but they will help refine me. So those, I will keep for the moments I need to gain a little perspective.

And then there are some pains that are just so untrue they deserve to be thrown out and not given any more energy than it's already taken from you. These types of pains are lies that people either say about you, or that you feel about yourself. Maybe even lies that started as a line some one told you, turned into a lie that you begin to believe and then became a liability in the way you live your life. (Shout out to Lisa Turkeurst on stringing those insights together. Her new book Uninvited is the bomb and y'all should go read it. )

Those lies deserve to be demolished with the spiritual truths that God speaks into our lives.

I'm not strong enough. I will be strong for you. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Nobody Loves me. I Love you. John 3:16

It's impossible. All things are possible. Luke 18:27

I can't forgive myself. I forgive you. Romans 8:1

I can't do it. You can do all things. Philippians 4:13

I am alone. I will never leave you. Hebrews 13:5

I'm not smart enough. I will give you wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:30

I'm not worth it. It will be worth it. Romans 8:28

Scripture contradicts lies we tell ourselves or lies we allow others to place on us. So don't shy away from the word of God because it seems intimidating. It's simply just a love letter from God to you. Just reading those verses lightens my step. How about you? What is burdening your heart right now? Maybe its a past hurt that seems to always sit on your heart in the quiet moments. Get in touch and tell me about it. I would love to offer any insight, as well as pray for you. 

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