“Look!  It’s beautiful, mom!” he said.  I had no clue what he was talking about, and, quite honestly, I didn’t even care to know in that moment.  We were rushing, always rushing, to an event at church, and my mind was anywhere but the beautiful whateveritwas that Carson was seeing.

Turns out, it was the sunset.  It was right there, the pinkish orange hues- the beauty– and I was missing it.  Again.  Even after my son’s prodding.  Distraction has a way of stealing moments like this, shifting my eyes away from beauty.

The past week- heck, the past months- really haven’t felt beautiful.  Far from it.  I can’t sleep.  The pain is constant.  Many days, I spend four hours in the car driving to various appointments.  And there are rumblings of a possible second surgery in my near future.  Some days, it’s enough to overwhelm.  Certainly to distract.  And I’m fed up with it.

Yeah I’m tired of the nagging aches and pains- you guys, it’s enough to make a girl crazy in the head- but even more so, I’m tired of feeling self-pity and doubt creep in.  I’m sick of feeling my gaze shift away from the Giver of it all to all that I perceive to be lacking.

Just as I had done on the car ride the other evening, I’m missing out on the beauty all around me.

Because, the truth is, there has been so much of it right in front of me over the past six weeks…

An opportunity to slow. down.  For the rest my body had craved and the still my heart has needed.

A marriage strengthened through the gift of unexpected heaps of time together.

The ever-present reminder that any ounce of self-sufficiency I was clinging to was but an illusion.  The sufficiency of Christ and my satisfaction in him alone has been a running theme.

A heart increasingly dependent on the hope that God has provided enough grace for this day.  And will provide enough grace for tomorrow as well.

Prayers uttered in despondency and hope, pain and joy, because desperation has this way of bringing us to our knees more than ever.

Beauty in the broken.

It’s not about me.  Or my dumb shoulder.  Or any of these other details and worries that so quickly overcome my thoughts.  No.  No. 

God does not delight in my pain or my late night tears.  But I do believe he delights in my soul learning to rest in him alone.  And he is glorified when his faithfulness and sufficiency and goodness are displayed in the messy lives of his children and we, in response, assume a posture of worship.

This experience has been more difficult than expected.  Honestly, right now?  My heart feels defeated, my soul weary, and my body broken.  But God forbid I miss the beauty in it all.

Because, the true beauty?  It’s in the inextinguishable hope that only the gospel can produce, even when our hearts are weary and distracted.  It’s in God himself.  And no way am I going to miss out on that.