There is a phrase I use in these devotions quite frequently. I say something about when life gets ugly. My point is that it doesn't match the picture of normal, or what is expected by the norm. Yesterday, I almost typed it out when I stopped. I understand the concept - life as a caregiver isn't always what everyone else thinks is beautiful. But who cares?
Just as I was about to type life gets ugly I realized it's not ugly at all. Is it difficult? Yes! Is it abnormal to most? Yes! Does navigating the day-to-day get complicated? Absolutely! Do I get tired? Yup! But for just a moment God let me see the beauty in caregiving. Isn't it really about one person laying down their life for another? A life of self-sacrifice that many cannot and will not ever understand? Isn't that what Jesus did for us? That's beautiful.
The way my son looks me in the eyes speaks volumes although no words are used - that's beautiful.
The way my aunt relied on me to care for her - she let me help her in her final years. That's beautiful.
The overwhelming love I feel for my son each time I dress him, pick him up, move him from one place to another - that's beautiful.
Now, I don't know if anyone else can see it or not, because quite frankly I'm on this journey alone. But I'll never call this life ugly again - because love is beautiful and the beauty is even more pronounced when it comes through sacrifice and pain. Sometimes you don't know how much you love a person until it costs you something.
Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame - for the joy set before Him. We are that joy! What a beautiful picture of love. God so loved the world... not the church, not the saint, not the Pharisee, not the sinner - the world - the whole world and everyone in it - that He sent His son. He didn't send Jesus to paint a pretty picture. He sent Him to suffer on behalf of others - us! That's the beauty of love, laying one's life down for another.
Today, as I go through my tasks, I'll focus on the beauty behind the pain. I refuse to see it as "ugly" anymore - because loving someone enough to lay your life down for them - is the most beautiful thing about life. I'll remind myself that you are there - my precious readers - and you are laying your life down one day at a time too. God sees our beauty - whether we can or not! I'll lean into Him on this journey today and thank Him for loving me so beautifully - will you join me?