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Are you familiar with burls? I didn’t think much about them before I went hiking in the woods with my brother, the woodworker.

A burl is basically a growth or deformation on a tree trunk caused by stress or damage. See the photo above. These growths, or burls, are caused by damage or stress to the tree, from a virus, a bug infestation or injury…something  traumatic.

It’s kind of ugly from the outside, but here’s the thing. Inside, over time, a burl grows into something of beauty.

Wood artisans seek burl wood for its unique grain, patterns and design. They create furniture, musical instruments and so much out of misfortune.

I can’t hike in the woods without thinking about the beauty inside of those bumps. I’m reminded of the beauty that comes from hurt and pain in my own life. I have a few burls from some of the stuff I’ve been through, abuse, divorce, single parenting. Stuff I would have much preferred not to have had to go through.

It felt like I would never come out on the other side of those times in my life. And it certainly never like there could be beauty and something worthwhile from it all.

But God had a different plan.

He didn’t keep me from the damaging circumstances, but he did turn all those struggles into a unique creation, me.

I have my quirks for sure (don’t even ask my husband, he has the list)! But the things I have experienced make me more aware and sensitive to others going through times of suffering and pain.

Now I’m not sharing this to toot my own horn. I’m sharing this because, those struggles you are working through right now…those will become burls too. Great and magnificent works of grace the Father is using to make you into the creation He has planned you to be.

He has plans for you. Big plans. And all the struggle is part of the plan. You need this experience.

It. Will. Be. A. Thing. Of. Beauty.

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

I am praying for your burl will be the most unique and beautiful work yet. Thanks for sharing your Wednesday with me.