Messed-Up Is the New Normal… Right?

This week I’ve had the pleasure of handing over to guest blogger, Alex Tylee, who’s written a brilliant series of posts here and here.

Today however, I’m afraid it’s back to porridge.  Sorry folks. But wait, – don’t go! I know my life is as exciting as a damp noodle. So I’ve upped my game. For two days only I give you: High Jinks! Drama! and..

CELEBRITIES! Well, celebrity.

Come Monday I shall return to my jigsaw.  But this weekend looks a little different.  Here’s why:

1. Glen.

He’s in the Radio 2 final of what amounts to a ‘Preach-off’, with five others.  (The feedback on Glen’s entry so far is ‘careful you don’t sound preachy’.  Which doesnae bode well for Reverend Scriv.)  The winner gets a slot on Radio 2 – but that’s not the half of it.  They also get to meet –


It’s wonderfully, beautifully random. Every time I feel depressed, I have only to say the words ‘Vanessa Feltz’ and something in me starts to soar.

So that’s Sunday.  But before Sunday, comes Saturday. And with it,

2. The  London Women’s Convention, (where I’m giving my testimony).

If I was a normal human being, this would be fine.  A normal human being would think, ‘hmmm..bit daunting, but not life-threatening’. I however, have a fear of :

a.) large groups

b.) large groups of women

c.) large groups of Christian women.

Don’t say it, I know.  This is ridiculous.

It has nothing to do with the above and everything to do with my neuroses.  I went to a girl’s school and since then I’ve concluded that they’re all witches in disguise. But at least there’s comfort in a shared nastiness.

With Christian women, I’m not so sure.

In my head, I picture a sea of fragrant femininity and godliness: crowds chanting Proverbs 31 and threatening me with (homemade) traybakes. I’ve got the nagging feeling that anyone who’s like me will be hiding at home – and not in the audience.

I’m  scared.

Meeting new people is hard.  Meeting them in groups is harder.  And meeting them in big groups and telling them you screwed up (and are still screwed up), is harder still. They’re going to judge me or be bored or just think I’m silly. Right?


The truth is that I’m talking to lots of lovely individuals.People who like me, just love Jesus.

The truth is that you can’t be a Christian without being messed-up. Maybe not like me, but messed-up, nonetheless.

Here’s what I think:

You come to Jesus because you don’t have the answers.

You come to Jesus because you can’t do it alone.

You come to Jesus because He loves you and accepts you and declare you beautiful in His sight.

Because in Him you can stand and not be ashamed.

And because He is news worth sharing.

that said, please pray I don’t throw up or do a runner.


19 thoughts on “Messed-Up Is the New Normal… Right?

  1. God is DEFINITELY with you on this on, Mrs S!
    And with Rev S too. What a superb couple you are!

  2. Take the Ferris Bueller approach – no, not the take the day off bit, but the ‘life moves pretty fast, so go look or you might miss it’ bit :) Have a great weekend!

  3. Thanks guys. Howard, I’m going to take you at your word and chill out this evening.. with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! Genius.

    And Birdbrain, ‘superb’ is v.kind but we both know ‘screwed-up’ is more accurate. Just imagine what I Don’t tell you! ..But that’s another post..

  4. Aw. Will be praying! Just remember under the pashminas, posh exteriors and made up faces lie people like you and me who just need someone to tell them that they aren’t alone in their brokenness and fears. They are either groaning there or pretending that they aren’t (phrase nicked from larry crabb!) oh and Jesus thinks you are brilliant no matter what. Even if you hide in the loos all day. X

  5. Hooray that you’ll be part of tomorrow. I too am going, despite and counter to all my instincts about whether large groups, especially of women, and especially of Christian women, are a good thing for ANYONE. And so I am focusing on the significantly smaller group of lovely individual women from my very own church family with whom I shall encounter this Rather Freakish Event and look forward to what we shall learn and be blessed by together, almost certainly including hearing your story of God-at-work…so thanks & don’t panic ‘cos I ‘spect there will actually and ironically be a conference-centre-ful of just such women…(btw, we haven’t met, just in case the funny phenomenon of blog-and-comment-familiarity might make it sound otherwise..!) P.S. Please don’t hide in the loos all day as I already can’t imagine how they’ll field That Many Women’s ‘comfort breaks’ so we need every loo there is…

  6. Thanks Phil

    Kath – you know me too well..!

    Katy: I’m so glad you’re going too, even though we haven’t met. See you in the loos..

  7. You’ll be great – just be yourself and be strong in Him and remember that “underneath you are the everlasting arms”.

  8. I too have a major fear of big groups of Christian women. I will be praying for you, Emma, and am sure you will do a fantastic job of speaking to them and inspiring them through your testimony. Sending hugs and support xxx

  9. You were AWESOME! Thank you so much for your reassuring honesty. As a fellow messy Christian, it was great to hear upfront that other Christians aren’t perfect either!

    Wish I had read your post before as I was too scared to say “hi” as I was worried you were too cool (what would I say? “um, hi, I’m Beckie, you’ve left some nice comments on my blog?!) and, after all, you are one of those scary Christian woman types ;-)

  10. Beckie! – can’t believe we didn’t get to meet. (Maybe we were both hiding in adjoining toilet cubicles). And unless jigsaws are cool, I’m afraid I’m as square as ever.. Next time, I am nobbling you for a cuppa x

  11. Thank you so much for your testimony on Saturday Emma. Your experience is very similar to my own and I felt so blessed to hear you speak…I bought your book and I’ve almost finished it already! It’s amazing and I’m so encouraged at how brave you are to talk so openly about this…thanks again

  12. I was extracted from my toilet cubicle… I was wearing one of those lovely ‘chocolate’ t-shirts and waving programmes in peoples faces during the twilight conference….

  13. Got a great mental image of you being airlifted out of your cubicle by one of those metal hands they use in arcades to win soft toys. Is that weird?

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