Posted by : Karen Friday, August 10, 2012

Glennon Melton coined that term in her blog, Momastery, and I think it is the most apt term I have heard all year.

Life is brutiful.

I love that word. It's an interplay of something beautiful, and something brutal. And life's that way for all of us, in different ways, on different levels, whether we recognize it or not. Christ even spoke of it - knowing that we will have suffering whilst living an abundant life.

Surrounding me at the moment are women recently married, whose marriages have rubbed off the rough edges on each other enough so that they are now truly cleaving to one another and making a new oneness. Beautiful. There are women who have been married for a few years, whose marriages are falling apart at the seams; women who have been married for a few years now realizing their vows aren't being upheld by their husbands and there are still others whose children are more or less all grown up whose husbands have chosen to simply walk away. Brutal.

There are women in my life who are carrying the wonder of new life, women who have just brought some sweetness into the world. Beautiful. Women enjoying the wonder of a child reaching those special milestones along those first few years. Beautiful. There are women whose children have been in almost fatal accidents, now helping their paralyzed children learn how to cope with the life that lies before them. Brutal. Women whose young children have just passed away. Brutal.

Brutal and beautiful life, in different seasons, and yet sometimes at the same time.

There's the joy in my heart when my children have friends over, and the angst when their heart requests are turned down. There's the thankfulness when a friend extends pure grace to one brother, and that sinking feeling when a brother is teased. There's the delight in seeing my little girl make new friends, and the painful desire to protect her forever from the blows of female relationships in her life.

There's the ease and delight of friendships, coupled with the pain and awkwardness of hurt and strained relationships. The joy of spending time with close friends with whom one can be oneself, coupled with the pain of being incorrectly judged by others.

Relationships, for me, have been the most brutiful part of my life over recent years. Relationships seem to make the most devastating blows on my heart and send me reeling for longer than I ever expect. All too often I make a decision to risk, and end up with a heart tattered and in shreds, and really, is it worth it? And personal faults aside (although not unnoticed), I know I am not alone. Hearing a friend's heart, or looking at the blogging world, I see this trend time and time again. Women like me, choose to withdraw, to shrink back, because it's easier.

Relationships are ALL risk.

Loving well, stepping over hurt, laying aside self and desires, draws on more of our interior resources than investing in a career, a skill, a personal pursuit. And yet, there are no promotions. No public status. No guarantees.
Relationships grow only in the soil of humility, selflessness, open-handedness.Relationships are inherently risky: for all that, you can’t control the outcome.
Investing in relationships requires courage. It mandates daily fortitude and intentionality to make moment by moment decisions to prioritize relationships while balancing vocational demands.

No guarantees. 
Great courage. 

Are we up for it?

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