Do you ever feel like you’ve been beaten up by the pressures of life? Broken inside, like your struggles have chipped away at the person you think you should be?
Don’t we all sometimes?
In case you’re in that place today, I want to share this gift of perception I received from my 7-year-old son.
After a dizzying year of expanded responsibilities and commitments that come with family life, we were able to sneak away for a full week in sunny Florida with JUST the five of us.
It was **amazing** (with a side of drama of course), as any family vacation is sure to provide. But we were so in sync with each other and full of the spirit of adventure, I can honestly say it was perfect to me because I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
One day, we took a trip to a beach, which is known to have some of the best shelling opportunities in the world. While two of my boys body-surfed the waves with dad, my middle son collected shell after shell; he couldn’t get enough.
When I noticed he was picking up cracked ones, my first reaction was to advise him to hold out for the “perfect” ones. Why not? There were many. “That’s the real treasure,” I thought.
His eyes widened, he frowned and said “But mom, the broken ones are beautiful because you can see how strong they are on the inside.”
That made me pause for so long that my toes sunk deep into the sand around me.
Pretty soon, I was collecting broken shells with him and thanking God for the wisdom of that moment.
It was a gift from my son’s innocent heart that I wasn’t expecting, and I think it was meant for you too.
Mamas, no matter how broken we feel at times, we are beautiful too.
When we are stressed to the max by our busy schedules, devastated by the loss of a loved one, beaten up by criticism or dealing with a serious health issue, our core strength is revealed.
When we’re struggling with infertility, feeling unappreciated for our hard work, suffering from financial strain or worries about a family member who is going through a crisis, we are gorgeous on the inside beyond what we can imagine.
Life can chip away at us in ways that hurt like heck and even change the trajectory of our lives to a significant degree.
But like the shells my son so earnestly pointed out, surface-level brokenness cannot diminish the core of our very being.
Our worth is inherent, unshakable and strong.
And in a very real way, it is revealed most when our superficial facade is broken away by the trials of life.
If we can learn to see ourselves with the unconditionally loving eyes of our children, we will begin to see how our biggest imperfections reveal the most precious gifts we have to share.
Then, when we look around us at those who are struggling with issues we don’t understand, we will be able to see their inner beauty with eyes of respect, rather than fixating on their flaws with criticism and judgement.
Before we know it, we’ll be able to see profound beauty, strength and honor everywhere we go in our broken world, which may truly be the greatest treasure life has to offer.
How can you focus on your inner strength, rather than your flaws? How can you affirm the beauty in the brokenhearted people in your life?