The Beauty of Pain

by Chrissy Hampson

January 24, 2018

Flowers in the dark with sun streaming in

Somehow, in the groveling midst of pain, the sanctification happens.

Somehow, in the blinding chaos of lost dreams, the gold shines.

Somehow, in the utter darkness, the light gleams.

Somehow, in the blinding tears, the eyes open.

Somehow, as we walk with God, He walks us through it.

And we don’t really understand how, especially in the thick of the darkness. We don’t feel it, don’t want it—cry out in natal non-words because we’re speechless. In shock. We lean on the body of Christ to hold us up in prayer because we have nothing left to pray.

“Why is this thing happening? How can it be? What good can come of this?” The questions do come later. But they echo . . . echo. Because now we’re in that vacuous new place that the unexpected brought us to and it’s still empty and new and we’re stretching our limbs to get our bearings and crouching low because we haven’t yet learned how to walk in this place. We squint in the surrounding murkiness, but it’s all so unclear still. All so unclear.

We miss that old place, that old person that we were, but there’s not a choice. The new place is our place, whether we like it or not. It’s our new home, our new personhood, our new life. We cry a lot there for a long time.

Finally, the moment comes to stand. All of our kicking has strengthened those legs so that now they’re stronger than before. All of our flailing has toned those muscles we didn’t know we had. All of our weeping has cleared our vision. All of our time in that dark, empty place has brought us to our knees and our renewed eyesight can see things we didn’t comprehend before: things like idols, self-reliance, and pride.

With a shake of the head to clear the past, our knees straighten as we stand with strength: eyes up, fixed on the Father. We step forward with confidence, not in ourselves, but in our Creator, our Comforter, our Sustenance. We step forward in submission and thankfulness for this new way, though we still can’t see it all. We step forward knowing that this new life has purpose, God’s purpose, and that with Him we can be beautiful in spite of it all.

Chrissy is wife to James and mother to four—Isaac, Adela, Elijah and Annika. She loves to find points of beauty in the normal, as well as in the midst of a storm. Read more of her writing at

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