We’ve had a saying for years in the Jones family. Painfully Beautiful. How in the middle of the darkest places of pain there is always beauty to be found. That thought has pounded through this season of trying to, like you navigate the myriad of emotions while adapting to a new reality. But I love looking for beauty in the moments of pain. Because I know God is seen sometimes the greatest there. C.S. Lewis wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasure, he speaks to us in our conscience, but he SHOUTS to us in our pain.” 

Some painfully beautiful moments I’ve discovered. 
Important things lost/More Important things found
Church gatherings cancelled/Church waking up
Children at home…a lot/Children at home…a lot
No eating out/More family dinners
No concerts/Easier to hear the symphony outside
Longer drive-through lines/No one is honking horns
Fear/Strangers opened to prayer
Can’t see our sequestered loved ones/Realizing how much we really love them
Can’t do the things we want/Finding time to do the things we need
Too much free time/Cleaner closets then we’ve ever had before
Hoarders/Extravagant Givers
Rationed Toilet Paper/Making friends with a stranger waiting in line for it
Empty Grocery Shelves/Treasuring there is food on the table and making sure others have some.
Precious parents in nursing homes/Making them laugh as we find creative ways to see them.
The technology we’ve cursed/the technology we treasure. 
The fact our friends can see we are still in our pajamas when we facetime them/the fact that we can see their face on facetime.
The God we have resisted/The God we are desperate for.

There is never a time in our life where there isn’t both the painful and the beautiful. Sometimes one screams louder than the other. Yes, this is a season where pain seems to have a megaphone. However, beauty does too…if we will look for it. This season also has the opportunity to grow things in us that times of peace don’t. Pain brings babies into the world. Pain brings butterflies out of cocoons. Pain pulls bee stingers out of little feet and thorns out of fingers so they can heal. Each of us gets to choose what we will do with this Painfully Beautiful season, how we will view it and how we will grow inside of it. May we choose well.