“Perspective is everything.”
The more I think about it…and the more I see my friends/family experience things…the more I realize the accuracy of this statement. We live in a world that is full of icky, ugly, hard, messy times. Good people go through the worst situations I can think of. Believers at that! My own family has seen some difficult times lately. At the end of the day, I lie in bed at night and think about how I will choose to look at the day. Was it good? Or was it bad? And the choice, regardless of the day’s circumstances, is really up to me. Do I choose to see the good in the day? Or do I choose to throw a pity party?
Let me go ahead and make sure you are reading me clearly…sometimes things happen and they are awful…and you have to be sad. You may need to mourn a loss or persevere through a VERY difficult marriage. You may have to learn a lesson the hard way or learn what real physical pain is. It is my humble (worth a sack of rocks) opinion that this is FULLY acceptable. It is OK to be upset. Ok to be weak. Ok to even feel sorry for yourself. Ok to be angry with God…He can handle it. Just to make myself clear…
But still…you really can CHOOSE how you are going to endure something. For example…this month I have seen the following:
1. A family was imprisoned in a foreign country while in the process of adopting. Biological children were taken from them and thrown into a foreign orphanage. Adopted children were taken from them and put back into an orphanage. All unjustly. While they were enduring such tragedy…they told the public that they knew that the Lord had a plan. They were an incredible testimony to the Lord and His strength. They chose to see the opportunity they had to share their faith with people. I’m sure there were moments of “HOLY COW!!!” and “THIS STINKS”, but there was light there too. And they chose to look at how they could be used instead of spending their time freaking out.
2. A mother remembers her baby girl on the day she lost her two years prior…what I would think to be the absolute WORST thing that could happen. What does she do? She celebrated the short few months she had with her. She praised God for heaven and the promise that she will see her baby girl again one day – even for all of eternity! And she hugged her little, sweet new blessing from God (another baby girl) a little tighter.
3. A mother who almost lost her child a year ago cried tears of thanks and appreciation for her daughter’s healing…while watching another family release balloons in memory of their daughter who wasn’t healed. The sadness she felt for the family as she watched was something she couldn’t even explain. She was so glad on the inside to have her daughter with her still…and didn’t even think about what a daunting task it is to clean her feeding tube, change her colostomy bags, and worry about her lines. She didn’t let her head go to that place of extreme worry. She was just thankful.
4. A man works…and works…and works to support his family. He makes enough to pay the bills. Not a penny more. But he thanks God that he can pay those bills. He thanks God for the bills he has to work crazy hours to pay because they mean he has a home, a family to support, food to eat, and a job.
5. A family takes their 3 year old to chemo again and again and again. They smile and thank God that they do. It means it is working. And she will soon see remission. Instead of telling everyone their daughter has a disease that could kill her…they tell everyone that she is BEATING leukemia. And they thank God for it.
6. A man is very concerned about his wife’s drinking habit. She drinks too much. It is so ugly…not what he thought he would be doing at this age. But he reminds himself that he committed his life to her. And he trusts in a God that is bigger than addiction. He waits (as patiently as he can) for the day she overcomes it.
7. A family is lead to adoption. They start the process with excitement! They are ready to add to their family in the way the Lord has told them! 2 years later…they ache for this same child. Due to a broken system…they still don’t know what the face of this child looks like. But, they wait. And they know that God has a plan. That God will bring THEIR child when He is ready. And they support other families until their day comes. They watch (with joy) as other families come off the plane with their newly adopted children and celebrate with them.
These are just a few examples. I am sure you have lots of them too. I’m sure you have had those moments where you have wondered…how am I going to take this? And, unfortunately, we all know that hard times will come. When they do…remember that you can pick from a broad scope of ways to react. And if you are struggling with picking a way…ask for help. I know, without doubt, that God will always place someone in your path to lend a hand.