I often thought that life could only be one or the other. Beautiful or broken.
When my world shifted, and I came to terms with accepting that I had a broken heart, I believed the lie that beauty (goodness, hope, light) were, at best, on the other side of brokenness.
At my lowest, I found a truth that is a promise (for you, for me, for everyone):
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
Isaiah 58:11 (MSG)
I couldn’t quite see how I could have a full life, but I tucked the promise in my pocket and I tried not to close my eyes to life.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Therefore the question I had to answer became:
“What am I beholding?”
To behold something is to see it and hold it in your attention.
To find beauty in the broken is to behold, “to keep and remember the goodness of God.”
I began to try to notice color– to look for beauty–even though it appeared that everything had gone black and white in my world.
Outside, online, sunrise, sunset, a child’s laughter, a grandmother’s hug, a song, a sunset. A touch, a site, a sound, a scent.
Beauty…I was finding was not beyond the laundry pile, chipped paint, dirty dishes, broken table or broken life. It’s in the center of it.
Opening our eyes is the beginning of beholding.
There is beauty in your green toile patterned plates crusted over with last night’s spaghetti dinner. There is beauty in the white paint peeling off the side of the house that you can’t afford to have fixed. Yes, there is even beauty to be found in your broken life that shows no promise of being put together again.
Beholding is remembering the goodness of God.
And the goodness of God promises us a full life–even in the emptiest of places.
I no longer believe life is either broken or beautiful. It can be both. And, furthermore, I believe that Beauty (God is sheer beauty Psalm 100:5) is the answer to our brokenness, the path to wholeness and healing.
This post is part of an excerpt taken from La La Lovely: The Art of Finding Beauty in the Everyday. The book is available for pre-order and releases in less than a week! Pre-Order your copy here (and receive a free gift!).