The story of my life and the struggles I have lived with—make that “live with”—have helped to shape me into the woman I am today and the woman I am becoming. My scars, my struggles, my failures, my joys, my private lonely agonies have been forging my soul into something beautiful. Eternal. Good. Yours have, too.
Now, we can fight that process—or we can yield to it. My dear mother had her rough edges; you have yours; I have mine. We can choose to let suffering soften us or harden us. We can choose whether we will allow it to make us more compassionate or let our hearts become jealous of others. We can choose whether we will love Jesus in it or resent him for it. Only one set of choices will make us more beautiful.
The pain we experience, the sorrow and the agony, serve a purpose. God is working all things together for our good. He is etching a masterpiece of stunning design. The beauty being forged in us through the transforming work of suffering is one that will leave us breathless, stunned, and forever thankful. And the crowning glory will be that because of the pain we have endured, we have come to know Jesus in a way that causes us to treasure the trial as one of God’s greatest gifts to us. Amazing.