A Formidable Beauty Grows

In all my travels around the world, one thing remains the same. No matter what culture I am in, the reality of pain is present. This post is about pain.

The fall of 2008 took me to Ko Samui, Thailand for a conference. My incredible husband stayed home with the kids and I flew across the water to paradise.

Greeting me on my arrival was pure beauty. Beaches were incredible and even the alleyways were filled with vendor stalls and the smell of grilled meats.

I walked down the beach staring at the emerald-green mountains climbing up from the crystal clear water. Breathtaking times a million.

Along the way I stopped and talked to a middle-aged Thai woman. As we spoke, her eyes filled with a deep sadness. The pain of poverty and not knowing what sort of future her uneducated children will have. She was vulnerable, raw and uncensored. She was beautiful in her pain.

I’ve seen that sort of pain in every country. The emotion of loss, fear, and desperation. From the drug addict in Amsterdam to the refugee in the Sudan. Each carries a haunting ache. More than the attractions and natural wonders of nations I have visited, I remember the eyes of pain that I have seen.

Vulnerability is compelling. It reaches out and grabs people. Makes us stare. Inside we wonder if we will ever be brave enough to come undone too.

Not gonna lie, its been a rough month for me in certain areas. Feeling like too much & not enough. Waiting for distant dreams to come to pass. Coming up short in areas I had previously felt confident in.

I found myself sitting on my bathroom floor two weeks ago crying. As I sat on the floor, I felt the desire to pull away. Step back, cover up and hide the flaws that were screaming neon at the moment. Shame seemed like comfort. Why would I ever show someone this weakness inside of me?

Across my mind came thoughts of the people I’ve met, the brokeness they exemplified and the shocking strength they represented.

Pain deconstructs our masks, walls and pride until all that is left is flesh and bone. Bare humanity. Tears of desperation for a Savior who will not fail.

Tears streaming, contacts burning. I needed the Gospel to be true for me. In that moment & in that space. I needed a God that would find me, show me love and shelter me from the storm.

Completely unimpressive, I sat in my pain and came undone. Unraveling in the presence of One who knows exactly how to put me back together.

I chose to hope that Jesus would be enough. I chose to believe that by holding onto Him through all the disappointments I will be able to look back and say that I too know what a “hope against hope”  faith looks like.

A certain power lies in these places of vulnerability. A formidable beauty grows.

I cling to God and He works. He transforms my impatience, fear, anger and pride. The cracks and ruins begin to glow with Hope.

 

No need to worry about all that we are doing wrong and failing at. We simply cling to One who is making all things right. We find Him in our beautiful pain.

Liz GriffinComment