Honestly, sometimes it seems like going to church is just a reason for me to put on “real clothes.”
Most days I stick with workout clothes or yoga pants or sweats and a t-shirt because I know that by the end of the day my clothes will be covered in stains and sweat and drool and snot.
Sometimes Sundays feel like a day just for me to get prettied up. And I have to admit, it feels good to wear nice clothes and a couple pieces of sparkly jewelry. But the beauty on the outside doesn’t erase the brokenness on the inside. And so often I walk through those church doors with my heart, soul, and mind absolutely wrecked. And maybe a lot of people feel that way.
But today I was reminded that church isn’t just about real clothes.
It’s about real life, real suffering, and real hope. It’s about real struggle, real pain, and real purpose.
Because without suffering how can there be hope? Without pain how can we understand our purpose?
I can’t help but think that struggle shows me how God sustains me.
I can’t help but think that grief causes miraculous growth.
I can’t help but think that tragedy leads to transformation.
And while these changes are slow and painful, I know that the end result is something more beautiful than I can imagine. Without struggle there cannot be success. And it’s the hardships that slowly strengthen hearts, even while fighting against trials.
My struggles are part of my story, but they aren’t my whole story. Suffering is a part of my life, but it is not the total sum.
Because while each day is a real battle, it is also an opportunity for real redemption, and that makes the difficulties of life look a whole lot prettier.