Do you ever feel like there are days and seasons of life that you wish you could just skip over or erase?  Maybe you've been there, maybe you're there now, feeling smothered and held captive by a chapter in your story.  Whether it be physical or emotional pain, the path towards healing can sometimes tire us to the point of losing sight of the light at the end of the tunnel.  

In walking with others towards healing, as well as walking my own road, I've found that healing is not accomplished by fixating on the light at the end of the tunnel or even by "holding onto hope."  Healing happens when we become keenly aware of the light IN the tunnel.  In seasons of trial where our spirit starts to waver, we have to become dedicated seekers of what is good and true.  And that is NOT easy.  But as you begin to become an expert of beauty rather than pain, it starts to actually re-wire your cognitive mind, making you more aware of beauty through the brokenness.  You become less defined by your circumstances and more dictated by your perspective. 

Acknowledging the light doesn't make the darkness any less valid, it doesn't drown out distress or gloss over your story.  It doesn't mean you're symptom free or that the scars are gone.  But it empowers you to thrive THROUGH the pain.  It makes you a foragers of delight.  It creates space in your story for both suffering and surrender to coexist.  And ultimately, it becomes integral in binding up the brokenness. 

This season of suffering can be your teacher, creating a sacred molding where beauty and pain can coexist as the eye becomes perceptive to light in the darkness.  It's in this space that everything becomes sacred, because when you experience deep loss, you have the capacity to experience equal depths of goodness.  Maybe you can relate?  When what you once took for granted is taken away, upon it's return you see it brighter, you're more aware of it, you savor it longer, hold it tighter, inhale it deeper.  Slowly preparing dinner over a warm stove, filling a shopping cart with groceries, running hands through racks of soft clothes.  The musky smell of the candle at the storefront, walking under dark clouds through the twilight hour, folding fresh laundry, wrapping your arms around a loved one.  Leaving the house without the weight of remedies, depression, or anxiety strapped to your back.  His eyes, her laugh, their joy.  

You are not a victim, you are a forager of delight, swinging through the shadowed night tethered to a rope of light, eyes wide open, body broken, spirit tired and mind re-wired.  Keep seeking out the beauty, you'll find it, and it will guide you back home to your wholeness.  For grace hands us the gift of suffering, because only then can we know that everything becomes sacred.