This story comes from a woman named Gail. I met her at CFNI in Dallas. We have both since moved but keep in touch through facebook. She recently, and very suddenly, lost her husband. One morning in November he was sharing at a men’s bible study. By that evening, He had passed from this life. She has now been thrust into an entirely new role as head of her household and a single parent to their four children. She is in the throws of accepting what has happened and looking to her new life and what challenges/adventures it may hold. Through it all, she is finding God and His beauty…
“My aspiration this year is to find no less than 365 scenes of beauty, not limited to physical beauty but spiritual as well. I believe that when one travels through a mountain(trial), that God places beauty around them to encourage them to keep going, and to bless them as they follow him. Sometimes these beauty blessings are obvious and other times they are hidden. It is my hope to be continually awestruck by the beauty of God in the midst of the journey, so that I may be continually drawn to my knees in worship.” – Gail
Beauty – Can I see it in the chaos? Can I find it amidst the heart ache? Is there beauty in the broken dreams? Is it lurking close by as we face our greatest trials in life?
Almost a year ago my husband and I drove our family of 6 to a little town at the base of the Smokey Mountains trying to figure out if this might be the next stop in our journey after bible school. I remember the breathtaking beauty of the mountains as we saw them on the horizon. As we assented up the mountains, we were surrounded by the wonder of God’s creation, and were amazed at how beautiful creation could be. At one point on our journey we reached a plateau of sorts. I remember being struck with how anti-climatic it was. The journey up the mountain range, was so much richer then the view at the peak.
A still quiet voice spoke to me in that moment. “If mountains are like trials, can you see beauty as you approach your mountains? Can you see beauty as you journey over your mountains?”
The question has stayed with me. Am I willing to see God’s beauty in the struggle? Is God’s beauty there? What does this beauty look like? Thinking back to that moment, I had no idea the mountain range that was stretching before me. We have lived now in the view of the Smokey Mountains, for a little over six months. On one day not so very different than any other day, our lives were turned upside down. My husband woke up early in the morning and took our oldest son to a men’s breakfast, where he gave a message. Later that day, an aneurysm took my beloved husband home to Jesus, leaving me a widow and my four young children fatherless.
So now I face a life I never dreamed of living. I feel a grief I never thought would come so soon. I know the anguish of loss, and I must hold my children’s hands as I see them experience a sorrow that no child should have to experience.
This is my mountain range, and in it I choose to seek out beauty. I experience beauty as I see the body of Christ surround me with support, and love. I marvel at beauty when I see my 10 year old dance her heart out to God, despite her struggle. I find beauty in the words of wisdom and drawings of my 7 year old son. There is beauty as my two littlest ones snuggle in close, not really understanding but cuddling anyways.
As we start to muddle our way through this next season in our lives, beauty comes in the form of tears shared, laughter that begins healing, small victories celebrated, and a legacy remembered.
And so as we continue through this journey, may I continue to find beauty.