Pain, Clarity and Beautiful Things

Pain, Clarity and Beautiful Things

Pain and Beauty
Two years ago a series of really crummy things happened to Emily and me. We got hurt by someone we trusted. I lost a job. We had to move out of a house we really liked. And then a second wave of things happened and it got worse.

Leading up to that point I had been trying to write a book. In fact, over the previous five years I had made about six attempts at this book. I spent hundreds of hours trying to make that thing solid. But the book never came out like I wanted.

The hardest part was God kept shaking my theology. I’d write the book based on one angle and then something would happen and I’d be baffled. The thing that happened would completely undermine the premise of my book. It was frustrating.

So two years ago, seeking an outlet for my pain in the middle of all that crummy stuff, I sat down and spent ten days pounding out a new version of the book I had tried to write six times before.

But this time something happened.

What came out was exactly what I wanted to say. That book is being published this October 1.

It’s astounding really. The book Vision Map came out at the worst possible time. When I had the least vision I’d ever had for my life God gave me words. There’s something about pain that brings clarity. You strip life down to the basics. You figure out what you really believe.

If you are in the middle of a struggle right now I wonder if your best course of action would be to get to work on that dream deep down in your heart. That thing you tried unsuccessfully in the past. That thing that the timing was never right for.

Maybe now is the time.

God loves to take ashes and turn it into something beautiful. It wouldn’t surprise me if the pain you are facing is what God uses to launch you into the next level of great things he has for you.

…to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,

and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:3