My daughter was having her first sleepover, and I had made a last-minute dash to clean the house – except for the master suite and my husband’s office. We told her that no one needed to be going into those rooms, anyway, so they could wait.

Later that evening, the girls were changing into their swimsuits for a water balloon fight, and rooms were filling up fast. “Can I change in your room?” our daughter asked. “”I AM your daughter!”

It made me think about the closed-off places in our lives. We all have parts of ourselves we would rather keep private and off-limits to others. And I think that is reasonable. But there comes a point when we have to let someine in, mess and all. I think this is especially true of our children, who need to understand that real life isn’t a bed of roses when we accept Christ. Real life is hard. We struggle. We fall down. And people need to see that we get back up.

Unfortunately, sometimes the very One we shut ourselves off from is the only One who can straighten out our mess: Jesus.

Do you have walls up in your soul? Are you keeping others at a distance,  or maybe even God himself? Open the door, even if it’s only just a crack. Find a trusted Christian friend to be transparent with. Make sure you are being honest with yourself, with others, and with the Savior. Real life can be real messy, but it can also be really rewarding if we just let them in.