He will show you a new beauty. That’s the post I wrote one year ago when I decided to start naming the beauty I see in the midst of the brokenness. Beauty in the rubble.
I had been in a very dark place before that time. And I’m not saying this year of noticing the beauty has been bright. In fact, it’s possibly been more painful than the last. But slowly it transitioned into a different kind of pain. Instead of drowning in darkness, it has been a pain from which I’m generally able to see the light all around me. I started watching sunsets again. I had stopped doing that. I enjoyed nature again. Instead of constantly doing, I’ve been able to just observe God’s beautiful people at work. When I felt like I was drowning in pain I could look outside of myself and notice beauty.
Noticing the beauty this year helped get me out of my head at least once a day. It’s a scary place in there sometimes. Counting the beauty helped me praise God and notice his gifts. It helped me to see something positive amidst all of the negative. This year was jam-packed full of beauty that I would not have noticed if I had not purposely gone looking for it. God’s gifts to me. Beauty in the rubble.
But, the most surprising thing I have learned is that it is actually possible to see the beauty OF the rubble. Sometimes I may have to squint a little, maybe tilt my head or turn around. Or maybe I can’t see it now but I know I will see it eventually. The rubble is beautiful because of what God is doing with it. He said so in Romans 8:28.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28
You know, it wasn’t that long ago that I only thought of that verse as God working the greater good for other people. I took comfort in the thought that my pain could help others and I definitely still think that can be the case. But I finally realized that God is working it for MY good as well. It’s difficult to see it that way because it doesn’t feel good, but it IS good. It is good for ME… because God said so.
I realized recently that I often thank God for the things I originally begged him to take away. I begged him to let me stay in Tennessee instead of moving back to Pennsylvania for awhile and now those Pennsylvania years are very precious to me. They were some of the last times I spent with my grandparents, among other blessings. I’ve begged God countless times to take away this illness. But if you were to ask me if I wish it had never happened, I would firmly, wholeheartedly say “NO.” This illness has gifted me in unbelievable ways. I can feel God’s presence with me like I had never felt before. I can see how this brokenness is allowing God to mold me into a better person. I can feel it stripping away the things in me that do not matter and slowly putting the broken pieces back where they belonged in the first place. It is a very painful beauty, but a beauty nonetheless. When I finally started pulling myself away from the darkness and started focusing on God, my eyes began to adjust to the Light.
This is certainly a beauty I have never seen before. All I needed to do was turn around.