I hope and pray that you're seeing the beauty today, that your eyes are lifted above the current mess, that your ears can hear beyond the present clanging, and that your heart is turned to what you know is true upon testing. But, if you're not, if you can't, and if you haven't, may I share a page from my book today?
I feel left out and uninvited. With a traveling husband and three small people I can grow so tired I forget what day it is and slow down at green lights. (This happened yesterday, no fear we're all still alive.) The heavy for me is not so much that today is particularly hard, but that even on my "good days," there's pain and hard happening in my life that others may not see. There's heavy here, even if I share a photo and words of gratitude, even if there's color in my cheeks, even if my kids are smiling and my husband is loving. There's heavy in my life that I might not share because it's not the right time, or because it's just so normal to me. We all have our own silent burdens we carry. Health problems, relational issues, financial strain, are just a few of the many things we each carry day by day.
And while I don't propose we all share these with one another (there are certain people you know you can trust with the heavy stuff), I do think we'd all benefit from a reminder. You're not the only one. My cousin Chris used to say, "you're not that special." I love Chris and I love that quote. Yes, you are special and your story is one of a kind, but having hardships and issues? That's not unique to you. We've all got them in various forms and I think we'd be so encouraged to remember that.
1.To help us remember how brave it is to show up and to offer beauty. You know those people in your life who are always creating and sharing something wonderful? It took guts, let's not overlook that achievement. She's doing something wonderful, not in the wake of issues, but in spite of them! Her "heavy" isn't nonexistant, it's just non-exterminant. She's not going to let it exterminate the good work and the good word she has to share. Celebrate her!
2. We are not alone. When we feel the heaviness of our lives it's so easy to feel isolated, to feel as if the rest of the world turns with ease and pleasure, not so. Even if we're walking through a particularly difficult season of life, someone else has walked it, too. We are never alone.
3. The season will change. One day you will go days in a row not thinking about this particular issue, or thinking of it with less stress and grief. Our lives are no more stagnant than the seasons. We'd be wise to remember that winter can only last so long, spring will come, either in the form of full relief, or of momentary lifting. Some things will always be hard, but they don't have to be this hard, in this way. There is beauty.
4. Our invitation might come in the form of asking. Sometimes I wish a friend would just ask, I'll wonder if everyone thinks I'm fine when I'm not, and I can run circles in my head 'til my inner dialogue has all but gone hoarse. I need to connect, but I might have to do the hard work of asking, of picking up the phone and calling a friend. Asking for prayer, meeting for a cup of water in someone else's home, or even sending a text that just says, "it's been hard today" can remind us where we stand in the precious fabric of humanity. Unique, beautiful, unfinished, certainly messy, but never alone.
So, as I do my day, I'm thinking of you. I'm praying you can expound on these words and insert your own narrative. I'm so thankful to get to do some life together, in whatever capacity. Whether through real in person meeting, or through shared perspective, shared ideas, I think there's a closeness here.
Praying you can see the beauty today.