Not Ignoring Either the Pain or the Beauty In Our Lives and In This World

Courtesy of Little Birdie Blessings

“Why? Why? Why?” The only word she would speak. On and on in a croaky voice.

This woman recently passed away at the care facility where my granddaughter works. Over-analyzer that I am, I wondered “why” she did this. Were there deep hurts in her heart that she could not voice?

It wouldn’t let me go, and I realized that deep down in my heart many whys are like heavy sludge, refusing to loosen. Why do so many vulnerable children and adults suffer from abuse and neglect? Why is there so much hate and injustice in this world? Why won’t God heal me from this chronic illness? Why does my heart sometimes refuse to see myself through Jesus’ love and grace? Why do I condemn myself when God doesn’t condemn me? Why can’t I let go and trust God completely with all that overwhelms me? Why? Why? Why?

I too easily get bogged down with the pain and ugliness in this world. How dare I be happy when so many people are suffering in this world? I can’t seem to let go of these concerns and place them into the hands of our God who has the whole world in His hands. And I forget to remember the beauty He still gives us.

I recently read an article about living in the tension of beauty and pain. Alia Joy‘s reflections resonate in my heart and speak to the anxieties that sometimes burden me. She challenges us to keep turning our eyes toward beauty.

“We keep turning our eyes toward beauty,
not to ignore the ugliness in the world,
but to have the strength to do something about it.

He has equipped me with everything I need.
He’s not calling me to ignore
his blessings or my pain,
he’s asking me to bear witness
to life as it is.
The pain and the beauty.

He’s calling me to peace in the tension,
not an escape nor another thing to do
but a place to abide in him
and be met with hope.”

Focusing too much on the pain and darkness can overwhelm us and drain our strength. Turning our eyes toward beauty, especially the love and hope to be found in Jesus, strengthens us. Our calling is to abide in Him and His love and to bear witness of life as it is, both the pain and the beauty.

During my break, I again revisited a 2012 post, Depression and New Beginnings. It helps to remember how God graciously sends beauty in the midst of pain to help us move towards the light of His love and grace and how He gave me the vision for a changed focus at this blog.

It’s good to remind ourselves of past mercies, isn’t it? To purposely look back at how God rescued us again and again. To remember that even when we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, God is still loving us and working quietly to strengthen us to make it through the darkness.

Pain in your heart and life, in mine, and in this world is real, and God doesn’t want us to ignore it or hide it. May we be authentic with the pain and the ugliness but also bear witness to the beauty of His unfailing love and compassion.

Though I have returned, I need to give myself more grace. I hope to be here through the summer, but there will be times when I share something short or even skip a week or two. I look forward to hearing from many of you again. As always, readers, though I would love to connect with you, don’t ever feel pressured to comment. Whether or not you join in the comments, it is my prayer that Jesus wraps you in the safety of His love and grace. I hope you never leave here without His hope!

Steady My Heart
by Kari Jobe

“Even when it hurts
Even when it’s hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
‘Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart…”


22 thoughts on “Not Ignoring Either the Pain or the Beauty In Our Lives and In This World

    1. Thank you, Lisa Beth. I’m so glad your morning was brightened! The memory of those steps still warm my heart. I don’t know if you read that past post, but they were an amazing surprise from God. He always knows what we need when we need it, right? I love the little flowers and am so happy spring is here! May we always remember He is with us every step of the way!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes, even in our most painful moments, if we remember to focus on the beauty around us, and God’s great love, we can find comfort and peace, Trudy. Simply loved letting your words of wisdom soak into my soul today. And just so you know, you’ve been missed!
    Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for missing me, Martha. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you are blessed here. It can be so hard to open our eyes to the beauty when pain overwhelms, but I love that God is quietly strengthening us through the darkness even then. Blessings to you, too! May His faithful love and compassion strengthen us!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So nice to read your words again Trudy. And love how you follow God’s promptings to write and my hope is you continue to not fall into any pressures to write every week, etc. It’s inspiring for me too! Kari Jobe’s song Steady My Heart was introduced to me when I was absolutely heart-broken! Yes, there is hope and light to come at the end of the tunnel and Jesus walks with us in the darkness and in the light.–never letting go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kindness, Lynn. It can be hard not to put too many expectations on ourselves, can’t it? That song is so memorable for me, too. It was one that God brought to my remembrance during that heavy darkness in depression when I was at the Falls. I’m so glad He used it for you, too, when you were heart-broken. It truly is comforting, isn’t it? May we always remember how faithful Jesus is in NEVER letting us go!

      Like

  3. Though I’ve seen the picture of those steps before it is still such a powerful reminder of God’s presence with us through the good and the bad. I agree, we do need to turn our thoughts to looking for beauty and hope at times, otherwise it’s too easy to be overwhelmed by the darkness. We do have to be real about both but I love the insight that focusing on the beauty gives us strength. I’m glad you’re back writing here again, but please don’t feel any pressure. I am happy to read whenever you want to share, whether it’s shorter posts, or less frequently or whatever is going to work for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind understanding and encouragement to not feel any pressure, Lesley. πŸ™‚ That means a lot. I did revisit that 2012 post in 2016, so I’m sure you saw the steps in that one. Yes, it truly is a powerful reminder. It can be hard to focus on the beauty when we’re overwhelmed by darkness, can’t it? I love that God gives us grace to look toward the beauty and helps us through. May we be authentic with pain but also remember God’s beauty!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Trudy,
    Welcome back! It is so lovely reading your words here again.But I sure understand the necessity to not take upon ourselves those pressures and responsibilities! God continues to uncover more and more in my own heart about that very thing. I am so thankful that we can encourage each other along the way, to trust Him, and to speak what He asks us to share. I love those lines from Alia Joy. They are all so true! May I let Him open my mouth to be a witness to the truth of the darkness, but also of the greater light that is HIS shining around us. It’s not always easy to do that, but He is helping and leading us still. You are such an encouragement to me. I pray Blessings and love for you Dear Sister!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your continued support and understanding, Bettie. I’m thankful, too, that we can encourage each other along the way. It’s definitely not easy to “let Him open my mouth to be a witness to the truth of the darkness, but also of the greater light that is HIS shining around us.” But yes, “He is helping and leading us still.” Blessings and love to you, too! May we cling to the promise that our light affliction is but for a moment and there is a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory awaiting us!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Welcome back, Trudy! It’s good to read your words again, though I’m glad to hear you’re giving yourself the same grace, compassion and understanding you extend to others. We so easily fall prey to the pressure to perform and achieve, don’t we? Even as God gently ushers us into His rest. I love Alia’s thoughts about beauty and pain. The two sit side by side, coexisting but often with the one that shouts loudest to us dominating in our hearts and minds. I’m heartened by her fresh perspective to hold them together and have “peace in the tension” as well. And your words here are truly helpful too: “May we be authentic with the pain and the ugliness but also bear witness to the beauty of His unfailing love and compassion.” Amen! May it be so. Thank you for the encouragement, inspiration and hope you offer here. Blessings and love! xo ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your continued support and understanding, Joy. I’m so grateful you were encouraged and inspired. You have been a help in reminding me not to pressure myself. May we keep encouraging each other! I was so heartened, too, by Alia’s perspective of that “peace in the tension” of both pain and beauty. I’m glad you join me in the prayer to be authentic with the pain and the ugliness but also bear witness to the beauty of God’s unfailing love and compassion. It’s not always easy, is it? I’m so glad God gives us His all-sufficient grace so freely. May we continually open our hearts to receive it! Blessings and love to you, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. How good to see you out and about again, friend!

    Alia Joy’s book is on my pile to read … she is a profound, powerful communicator, so gifted at sharing her soul.

    Over time I’m learning to ask ‘what’ questions instead of the ‘why’ ones which always seem to lead me nowhere.

    Like ‘what are you inviting me to God in the midst of this mess / disaster / loss?’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Linda! I love your “what” question! I need to remember it. I started reading Alia’s Glorious Weakness, and I really love it. May God give us the grace to let go of the whys and ask Him what He invites us into!

      Like

  7. Thankful to see you back in this space, Trudy! I hope you’ll continue to give yourself grace to step in and out as you need. We all need to do that.

    This is so true: “Focusing too much on the pain and darkness can overwhelm us and drain our strength. Turning our eyes toward beauty, especially the love and hope to be found in Jesus, strengthens us.” Thanks for the encouragement, friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lisa. I’m so glad you were encouraged. I often need to remind myself to turn my eyes toward beauty. Though I didn’t comment much while I was on break, I did read some of your blog posts and saw the photos of your cute granddaughter and the good news of another one coming. Congratulations, Grandma! Another beautiful blessing! πŸ™‚ Grandkids certainly can brighten our days, right? May we daily open our hearts to the beauty of Jesus’ love and grace!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s a blessing to see you back in this space again. The lessons God is teaching you are ones that I know I need too. You do a beautiful job of sharing openly but in the process, you always point us back to God and how He is working in your life. I look forward to seeing you whenever God has put it on your heart to share. Many hugs and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your words bring tears to my eyes, Mary. It’s my desire to be authentic about pain but to always point to our hope in Jesus. Without His love, we can’t make it through, can we? Thank you for your kind encouragement. Many hugs and blessings to you, too! May we always be open to God’s leading and the beauty of His love!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Awww, Trudy, such a beautiful post. Those why’s do burden our spirits. And yet, it’s hard not to ask them sometimes. I guess ultimately, we must come to a place of trusting God with those things we don’t understand . . . or not. But, when we trust, we find peace for those nagging unknowns.

    I loved this: “May we be authentic with the pain and the ugliness but also bear witness to the beauty of His unfailing love and compassion.” Thank you for your sweet wisdom and encouragement! Sending you love and hugs, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jeanne. I’m so grateful you were encouraged. “Nagging unknowns” are hard, aren’t they? Sometimes Jesus reminds me that I don’t need to understand. I just need to hold His hand. He’s so patient with our questions, isn’t He? Someday all the messed up threads will come together into a glorious tapestry, right? Love and hugs to you, too! May we ever more deeply trust God and surrender our whys into His All-wise, loving hands!

      Like

  10. Thank you! I pray this will always be my perspective as I walk through difficult days! Beautiful thoughts; powerful encouragement, dearest Trudy! Thank you! Happy Mother’s Day, my friend! ❀ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lynn. I’m so grateful this encouraged you. Happy Mother’s Day to you, too! It can be hard to have that kind of perspective, can’t it? In the midst of difficult struggles, may we keep turning our eyes to the beauty of Christ’s love for us!

      Like

Leave a Reply to Lesley Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s