“Try and find the beauty in the process of becoming…there is more.”
I recently found these words flowing out of my mouth as I was encouraging a friend going through a tough season. I have previously embraced the idea that there is purpose in pain, but finding “beauty” in that pain is a concept that I had to reflect on for a while. Is it really possible to experience beauty during a painful process? I understand that even calling it a process is in itself a statement of faith as there are times when it does not feel like a process at all – just purposeless pain. However, having sat with this idea for a couple of weeks now, I decided that it was worth sharing some of what I have found in the hopes of encouraging those of you experiencing a difficult season.
We often connote the word ‘beauty’ with mere aesthetics. However, I have found that beauty can do a lot more than provide a nice view – it enables transformation.
I find it useful to consider the process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly – metamorphosis. For a butterfly to do what it has been purposed to do (fly), it needs to “struggle” out of the cocoon. Upon researching I found that trying to cut this process short or making it easier for the butterfly to exit the cocoon, can actually prevent it from being able to fly once it gets out. This is because it is only through the butterfly’s struggle that the necessary fluids can be pushed from its body to its wings, enabling it to fly.
It is not difficult to see that there is a lot about a butterfly’s process of becoming that can be translated to the human experience. As it is often during the struggle that we develop the “nutrients” – the character, skills, relationships, that we need to live out our purpose. So, although the struggle is not itself beautiful, the beauty is in the opportunity it presents for us to be transformed. The beauty is the process itself. It is in the fact that if you should choose to lean into it, like a butterfly you can come out of the process with enhanced features – a version of yourself better suited to the spaces you have been created to impact.
Of course, I say all of this with a lens of faith in God, as I do not believe that we as humans can endure the hardships of life in our own strength. Rather, I believe in grace: God-given strength, which gives us the ability not only to endure painful seasons, but to come out as a refined version of ourselves – with impurities or unwanted elements having been removed by processing. Therefore, it appears that human suffering is an inevitable and paradoxically, helpful part of our existence.
So, if I were to rephrase the words that I shared with my friend that day, I would tell them, and I would like to share with you too that:
There is beauty in the process of becoming. It is in the very fact that you are becoming.
Romans 5:3-4(NLT) 3. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance 4. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
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