Finding Beauty in the Mess
“To all who mourn in Israel he will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness …” Isaiah 61:3a (TLB)
“Heather, I’m so sorry to tell you this, but it seems as though you will not be able to have children naturally.”
My doctor’s words pierced my already wounded heart and quickly made their way through my body threatening to consume me. He continued to explain how the previous tests and procedures had led him to this conclusion, but I’d already heard all I needed to hear … I wanted to get out of there. The next thing I remember was walking through the sea of pregnant women in the waiting area and rushing for the door.
Once my feet hit the sidewalk, I gasped for air, crying hysterically. I made my way to my car, the world before me a hopeless blur. When I arrived home I collapsed on my bed, desperate for God, but too broken to pray.
Three years on this painful path of infertility lead me to a seemingly hopeless place. I was certain there was only one way for me to become a mother. With the confirmation of my broken womb, I mourned the loss of my fertility and watched my dreams burn up around me until all that remained was a pile of ashes … it was my worst-case scenario.
But here’s the thing about our worst-case scenarios: They are powerless against an all-powerful God.
Ten years have passed since that dark day.
This morning, like most mornings, the pitter-patter of tiny feet making their way across the hardwood floors woke me. I sat up in bed and was promptly tackled by my curly haired, sparkly girl: “Good morning mommy!”
Before I could respond, two more sets of happy eyes and wiggly limbs climbed onto my bed, forcing me to lie back down for morning snuggles.
You see, I thought there was only one way for me to become a mom. But in the ashes of my pain and desperation, small bright green buds began sprouting up all around me. As God set me on a path toward adoption, I soon found strength in place of my fear.
Over the years, as I brought not one, not two, but three children home to be mine, the gladness of motherhood overshadows the mourning of infertility. And on days like today, as I lie in the very bed where I once wept out of desperation, I am overwhelmed with peace.
The truth is: This one beautiful life we get to live is messy. So often we trip over our hopes and desires, only to fall into the messes we’ve been avoiding all along. What I’m discovering is when we fall into the very mess we hoped to avoid, we often find God’s goodness there.
My three children may not have my eyes, but they do have my heart and call me Mom. And they have shown me that my finite plans will always be overshowed by an infinite God.
Maybe today you find yourself sitting in a pile of ashes, feeling desperate. While our hopes and desires and plans for our lives are finite, an infinite God Who loves us can take our messiest messes and make something beautiful.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the hope I have knowing You take my messy life and make it beautiful. Give me the patience I need to wait on You and eyes to see the masterpiece taking shape. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Jeremiah 17:7-8, “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made the Lord his hope and confidence. He is like a tree planted along a riverbank, with its roots reaching deep into the water — a tree not bothered by the heat nor worried by long months of drought. Its leaves stay green, and it goes right on producing all its luscious fruit.” (TLB)
Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (TLB)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What messes do you find yourself in today? What beautiful thing is happening because of, or in the midst of, the mess?
Where do you need to trust God’s plan rather than your own?
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