By Lydia Jentzen Will

She’s all beauty, holding my smallest in the back of the sanctuary, swaying in the way that only someone who has walked the hard/happy of raising small people sway. My husband pulls up the van and packs up kids and they’re all waiting on me but I’m caught, not wanting to leave.

When someone tells me their story of struggle, I can’t help but listen carefully. To lean in for a closer look. I know that this is where grace abounds and I need to straighten up and pay attention.

I know that this is where grace abounds and I need to straighten up and pay attention.

This why it’s OK to share the struggle. To admit to one another that our humanity makes all of this so hard to comprehend, to come to terms with, to accept. That, although we know how fallible we are, sometimes we trust our own selves more than we trust an infallible God.

It’s OK to share the struggle because in it and through it all, God is glorified. When you cried over the positive pregnancy test and emerge, nine months later, exploding with joy at the gift of new life. When you don’t know how you’re going to get through this hard season of your marriage without a broken heart and He puts you back together.

When you put your most prized possession on a plane and walk away. Or when it doesn’t turn out with a happy ending but you keeping living, day after day, in the center of His mercy. This is witness. This is truth.

The Christian life was never about photoshopping pain. It was never meant to exclude struggle, to be waved like a magic wand over life that gives you everything you want.

It is about knowing there is absolutely nothing exempt from His overwhelming goodness. Nothing to hard or too wrong or too hurtful, nothing too dark, nowhere too far that His grace doesn’t extend over.

Sharing the struggle just showcases how impossibly incredible He is. When we are all weakness, He is all strength.

When we are all weakness, He is all strength.

I can admit that I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds it. It’s held by One who works only in crafting beauty, turning brokenness into brilliance and transforming the gutted into glory.

When we share the struggle, we uncover one of the graces God always meant for us: the witness of one another. When we share our stories, we invite others to take a front row seat to see all the ways God shows up.

He always does, in beautiful and unexpected ways. By living this hard honesty, we expand the gift of His presence to include those around us. We become the blessing.

It’s one of the many ways God redeems the hard and holy of our lives. He includes us in the honor of drawing others to Him.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set
eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God 
has done from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

This post was reposted with permission from Lydia, the author. To read the original post  and other posts by her click here.
Click to watch the sermon from the Scenic Overlook Sermon series called Oasis.