Beauty Within The Chaos
By Gabrielle E. Mizner Morgano, Guest Blogger, Asher Family Foundation
Thus far, 2017 has been an intense year for my family. There have been many trying moments, lessons learned, and kindnesses we’ve embraced from family, friends, and especially from the Lord. There have been so many individuals who have spoken tender, yet strong truths to our hearts in the midst of the confusion, sorrow, and frustration that have accompanied our trials. For instance, my sweet Mom has wisely taught me since I can remember to keep all of life’s moments in perspective, including those of late. “There will always be someone out in the world that has worse circumstances than you do, but that doesn’t mean your own pain, trials, and various experiences don’t matter to you or hurt as they are happening,” she has gently said. Her words ring true as we navigate the hills and valleys of this year.
No matter the circumstances, there is so much goodness to be seen in our lives, and we praise God for it all. In the midst of a broken world where we encounter strife and heartache, we have countless reasons to give thanks to the Lord who “gives everyone life and breath and all things” (Acts 17:25 CSB).
The rich goodness of God has been made so apparent to us in this season, because we have been made so desperately aware of our great need for His salvation and the perfection of who He is. Throughout our current life stage, Tony and I have had many a sweet moment reflecting on the countless ways we’ve gotten to witness the kindness, beauty, and greatness of the Lord.
More than ever, I am so thankful that I have a husband who fiercely loves God and chooses to put my needs before his own. A wonderful friend of mine has recently reminded me that in God’s pure design of marriage, Tony is my safe place. He is my “covering” as my friend so dearly put it. Within marriage, the Lord asks for my husband to love me “as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25 NIV). Because we are human, we fall extremely short on a daily basis in our marriage of achieving that perfect love only Jesus can offer. However, being a witness to my husband’s forgiveness for incidents in my tarnished past, for whenever I happen to hurt him with my words, and when I neglect to love and serve him in the ways he needs is the most beautiful mirroring of Jesus’ forgiveness. Miscarriage, recent medical diagnoses for the both of us, and Tony’s unexpected job change have each been experiences that have brought accompanying moments of discouragement, misery, and fear. Nevertheless, I’ve never experienced such a deep, precious intimacy with my husband, nor have I ever loved who he is more. He lifts my eyes to look at Jesus and reminds me to obey His words when He commands us and says to “not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear” (Matthew 6:25 NIV). He has protected my heart, loved me unconditionally, consoled me in my grief, and kept our family firmly grounded in our faith. I find myself rejoicing deeply, because the Lord, in His perfect timing and way, provided me with such a good man to be my mate.
Additionally, over the past few months, I have realized just how much joy my pets bring into my life. We have two cats, and I see immense beauty and wonder in their little beings. I can’t help but to watch them play, cuddle, and live their lives so peacefully and see the perfect magnificence in God’s creation. They make me laugh like no other, and being a witness to their everyday lives brings me great pleasure. Through my time of grief and distress, they’ve brought me such comfort and delight. The night after I found out that I lost our baby, my kitties didn’t leave my side. They slept next to me closely and laid with me while I cried. Having them with me in those tender moments while I was alone meant more to my heart than I can explain.
Tony and I also recently got a puppy, and her name is Lady. It is no secret that dogs are the epitome of loyalty, wholehearted love, and fun, and having a dog in our home has provided us with unexplainable enjoyment. She’s also teaching us patience, and we are reminded while training her that the most special trait of a dog is unconditional affection towards his or her humans. We don’t always deserve it, but her kindness towards us is unwavering, and we joke around saying that we hope we are loving those in our lives the way that Lady loves us! It may sound silly, but I often find myself looking at our animals and praising God for His flawless design when He created the creatures of the earth (Genesis 1:24-25).
Tony’s job change has also allowed us the time to travel to our hometown in Ohio and to attend a vacation in Florida. It has nourished our souls to have time to spend with our families and friends. Recollecting memories, late-night conversations, and laughing until we feel silly have breathed life into our moments of continued mourning and bouts of worry about our future job plans and medical issues. “Every good and perfect gift is from above,” (James 1:17 NIV), and having these precious moments with our loved ones has rekindled within us a spirit of gratitude for the people we care for most and for the unique gifts, talents, and stories God bestows upon each of His children. We’re thankful for the time we’ve had to reflect on these things while at home at while losing ourselves in the fun of vacation.
James tells us in God’s word to “consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4 NIV).
Although it has been difficult to do so some days, we are considering these uneasy times in our lives and marriage as joy. We praise God for the work He is doing in our hearts and how He is revealing His majesty, strength, and beauty to us in life’s small moments and realizations. Our eyes are fixed upon Him in this valley. May our gaze forever be upon Him in life’s every season, and may we never fail to know that our God is good – all the time.
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