About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Mary, thank you for these beautiful and encouraging words. I have just taken the plunge to blog my beginning journey of faith publicly via Write 31 Days. For me, this is a huge leap of faith into so many of my fears because it’s a step into public vulnerability when there is still so much happening in my life. So, your post is an enormous encouragement, coming after Crystal’s sweet encouragement via email and willingness to help me with the technical stuff! God is so good. It’s all in His timing.

    May God bless you in your own struggles, just as He is blessing us through you today.

  2. Mary,
    Thank you for your willingness to be real…to be vulnerable…to expose your transforming self without siding so that others may be encouraged. More people than not will read this post and say…that’s me…or me too! This side of Heaven we are ALL in a state of being transformed. We are ALL works in process. We ALL have an inner mess that we don’t want the world to see because we don’t want to be judged. Ironically Christians are some of the hardest people on themselves because they think that their faith should somehow make them rise above being human…being a mess. I am in a transformation process and my biggest hurdle is just being patient with myself. I’m a “right now” kind of gal and I’m learning that God’s best works often take a long time. I wish I had ten steps to easy transformation, but I don’t. My best advice is to keep putting one foot in front of the other…baby steps. As long as you’re moving forward and still standing. Awesome post!
    Bev xx

  3. Mary,

    Being vulnerable is hard. Sharing your “messy” with others can be intimidating. When people do it others can be glad that they are not alone in their struggles!! Everyone on earth has some struggles and it is often times helpful to have someone walk with you through the “storm”! I know I was glad God put a covenant friend in my life! Last year we were able to share our struggles with aging parents. We can pray for each other and acknowledge the hard parts.

    Sure the after pictures are the prettiest, but it takes the transforming work of God molding and shaping us into His likeness! That part is the messy, but the after will look oh so good!! Can’t have the after without the before!
    May God help you with the to-do list!
    Blessings 🙂

  4. Wow! I won’t add any thoughts…you were so on the mark! Thank you, so much, for such words of wisdom! Such a blessing for me today.

  5. maybe the pile of rubble is more than just that, maybe it is not by choice, yes we all would like to live in a nice house and nice neighbourhood, we worked hard and scrimped and saved to make that a reality, then finally it happened, Wow!!! we did it, then you hire a crook to do your addition and he just never bother to show up for work, then you realized you paid too much money at once, you believed his lies that the material is on a truck on it’s way to you, you are happy that the house will be finished early and you can go see your Dad who had just had a stroke in another country, you lost $165000.00 that you still have to pay back, and all you have left is a pile of rubble instead of a nicely finished and at the bottom of that pile is your dreams to live in a nice house, my pile have been sitting now for 6 years, and I thank God for my neighbours, who sympathizes with us and have learned to live with that pile of rubble, I agree there is people outside of the hood that takes offence because they have to pass our rubble, but I am happy they do not have to live in it with the cardboard walls and ceiling and live in their winter coats in the house and spends most time outdoors and in malls or where ever is warm, because it is warmer outside than inside, and they do not have to watch their child shiver even in winter gear, yes God Bless everyone who can stay warm and have nice houses and nice neighbourhoods, one day by God’s Grace our rubble will be fixed, I thank God though for the faith He has given us to survive, our treasures, our homes are not here, it is where the streets are lined with gold

  6. Mary, what an absolutely beautiful post. And we’ve had “those” houses in our subdivision that look like they have no hope. I’ve had the same reaction, I’m sorry to admit. But I love how you share that it’s when we can see the ugliest part of those homes (or our hearts in their messiest state?) that we can later appreciate the beauty that love crafts.

    I am in an in-between stage right now, walking with fear telling me to play it safe and my heart (and a friend) challenging me to put myself out there and risk rejection of my dream. I’m not always a pleasant woman to be with as I wrestle with not letting fear be the victor in my situation. I’m blessed to have a couple friends coming alongside me, praying for me and spurring me forward. I don’t believe we can truly know transformation without the people God places in our lives nudging us toward the beauty He’s crafting within us.

    I don’t know if this all makes sense. 🙂 I’m still trying to put words to some of what He’s showing me right now. 🙂

    • Jeanne, thank you so much for being so open here. I know how hard it can be to wrap your head – much less words! – around something like this. I’m glad you have good, strong friends in your life pushing you toward God’s best. Praying you have clear insight into the message and plans He has for you right now!

  7. Thank you so much. I am in the middle of what I think is the messy part of God restoring me. I think it is messy, but does He? He already knows! Yes, I have had great trouble sharing some of this with only a couple of close people, one my pastor. Overcoming fear of rejection has been quite an obstacle to face and stand. I am getting excited over the freedom I sense is taking place. Wow! Never walked in these places before!

    • Gail, your comment was so encouraging to me, to hear your excitement over the transformation and new paths God is leading you toward! Thank you for sharing.

  8. I think I am going through some sort of process though I’m not quite sure what it is yet… And I have this really amazing friend who walks in the Lord and is just awesome that I can talk to.

  9. Yes, im in a transformation . I call it a “process”
    To be honest, I’m finally in Celebrate Recovery and facing all the hurts, habits and hangups that for almost 47 years, I stuffed, and pretended I was “ok”. So to finally be honest and realize that I need the support of CR, a closer relationship with Jesus and to begin to uncover those hidden places and to heal. I’m feeling and probably looking like the house you described, but I know as I do the necessary work, God will restore and renew me. Thank you so much for your blog and your transparency!

    • Denise, I’ve had friends go through the CR program and know it can really help with the kind of transformation we’re talking about. Thank you for sharing so openly with us!

  10. I feel like this is exactly what my heart has been saying, but my head was unable to articulate. The truth is, I’ve been needing a “reconstruction” for a while now, but have halted at the idea of actually submitting my heart for the much needed upheaval and tearing down. This is my first visit to your blog, but I’m looking forward to see how God will use it to speak to me! Thank you for sharing!

    • Hi Hannah, I’m glad you’re here! Thank you for reading and for sharing your heart with us. I pray you’ll find some encouragement and community here.

  11. Mary, I have a blog post that is currently saved as a draft (that I just finished about 5 minutes ago) that I haven’t pressed ‘publish’ yet for the very fears and reasons you’ve just spoken about. How precious that the Lord has used your sweet words to give my soul a little push and confidence to press that button. Thank you for speaking to my heart.

  12. Thank you for this beautiful encouragement and, to be honest, a bit of a conviction for me. I’m going through the worst time in my life and it fills me with shame. I keep praying for God to see me through and I look forward to the day that He heals me and restores me so that I can share this amazing testimony with other women. I haven’t wanted to be “real” with other women because it’s embarrassing and I don’t want to be pitied or avoided because people don’t like to see others in a mess. I’ve been too proud to talk about how broken I am and often put up a false front of being “strong” and at peace all of the time when I’m literally falling apart inside all of the time. Maybe it’s time to let others see a little more of Christ in me and not worry so much about turning others “off”. Thank you again!

  13. thank you Mary, I am still waiting for my miracle because our God is a miracle worker, he is still on the throne and the same as yesterday, today and forever will be God, please continue to pray for us that God will make a way for us, Blessings always

  14. Peering through some blogs tonight and asking myself: Why do writers feel compelled that they have to give an answer to life’s problems. Throw a piece of meat. He is the God of tight places and we may just be stuck. So, I read your welcoming words and hear what my heart is telling me—facing the destruction and God saving me from myself. Love your words tonight. He is always knocking and will bring us to repentance and re-creation. Col 1:9-10. Really like what you said.

  15. Love this so much! Thank you for speaking straight to my heart and encourage us to be okay with falling apart so we can be rebuilt. I am in that process right now and it isn’t pretty, but its so necessary.

  16. Yes!!! I believe in this so strongly, thought I struggle to practice it. I’ve been writing on my blog and sharing about the “middle spaces” the in-between moments when we are still not quite sure what God is doing or where this is is going. It’s important to share our NOW struggle and mess and our faith that God is still at work even if we can’t quite make out what it is exactly that he is doing and honestly we wish he would hurry up and get us to the “good part” of our story…