Perspective

Perspective is a funny thing.  I am pretty comfortable inside my own perspective and am content to stay there.  Anyone else?  Life, however, has a way of forcing me outside of my contentment.  Coming at this with a biblical world view, let me rephrase that.  Jesus has a way of forcing me outside of my contentment, which causes me to count my blessings and shift my focus back to him...which is where it belongs, but as the old hymn so beautifully states, "Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.  Prone to leave the God I love."  Most often, it is the tragedies and hard-core struggles of others that cause me to take a hard look at my priorities.  What I realize, after taking the genuine problems of others into consideration, I realize that I have a habit of making mountains out of molehills.  I get so easily caught up in me and mine.  Just before I become COMPLETELY and obnoxiously out of hand, here comes a hot shot of perspective to bring me to my knees and back to my alleged senses. 

A culmination of occurrences has me in the deep end of the pool.  It's hard to point to one thing as the muse for this entry. 
  • Since August, and within a few weeks of each other, two men from our small town took their own lives.
  • A friend is being pulled and stretched by the failing health of parents on both sides of her family, all the while dealing with her own chronic health issues.
  • Another friend just received the diagnosis of a disease that has no cure.
  • Two different friends (and their families)have taken on the responsibility of raising children because the parents of these children are not currently fit to do so. 
  • Within a few days of the long awaited birth of a long awaited and prayed for grandchild, a friend found herself on the liver transplant list and seemingly, very close to Death's Door.
  • Yet another friend has received the dreaded words..."You have a mass.  We need to do surgery."
  • We just came through a MONSTER of a reorganization at the local power plant.  Monster is putting it lightly.  There are other words I could use, but I must be cautious and remember not to bite the had that still feeds us, all the while maintaining the family friendly atmosphere around this blog.
  • A young mother, of my distant acquaintance,  recently received the diagnosis that the unborn child she is carrying has a fatal deformity.
  • Hurricane Matthew...'nuff said.
Lessons learned?
  • No one can truly know the deepest, unspoken thoughts of our hearts and minds, save for God and God, alone.  We have an enemy and he is relentless.  He would like us all to think that our mistakes are unforgivable.  He would like us to believe that we are unlovable, unworthy, unimportant and alone.  He wants us to believe that needing help, asking for help is a sign of weakness.  Dear heart, if this is where you are, listen to me:  THESE ARE LIES!  Don't you give in, don't you believe them!  You are so very loved and so very important, to such a high degree that God the Father sacrificed the life of His only Son for you!  For YOU!  And because of that sacrifice, you are made worthy and clothed in His righteousness.  He doesn't hold your mistakes against you and NOTHING, let me repeat that, NOTHING is beyond His forgiveness.  Realizing you need help and asking for it is anything BUT weakness.  It is so very, very brave!  It takes great courage to come to the end of yourself and not give up.  Call me, text me, knock on my door...find me at WalMart!  You are not alone!  I will listen.  I will pray.  I will love you through it.
  • This life is full of trials.  No one is immune.  Handling them with grace and honesty is a far better witness than holding a never ending pity party.
  • My children don't know the struggles and hardships that so many have endured in what should be the sweetest, most carefree time of life.  I am so thankful.  I am humbled by the courage and obedience that my friends have shown.  Taking in these children requires sacrifice but I am confident that my friends have carefully weighed the sacrifice and count it worthy of the cost. 
  • I serve a mighty God!  What seems impossible, is anything but beyond His reach.  My friend received the liver she needed...a perfect match!  Slowly but surely, she has set out on her road to recovery.  The mischief and zest for life has returned to her face.  Everyday, she praises God for what she saw Him do. Even in the midst of her crisis, her family remained steadfast in their faith, trust and hope.
  • No surgery date has been set to remove the mass from my friend's body.  When she called to tell me about it, she told me that she has peace and knows that the LORD will take care of her and of her family.  She is resting in that.  She's the friend that I so want to be like when I finally decide to grow up.  If she is going to rest in the faithfulness of our God, so will I.
  • Mr. Snark is still employed and at this point, we don't have to move.  I know, you're right.  We JUST moved.  December will make three years since our SMALLtown relocation.  He had a tricky decision to make.  It was unclear, unknown if his position at the local plant was safe.  Positions at other company holdings were made available.  He put his name in the hat and has accepted an offer with the plant that's about ninety miles northeast of our current residence.  The blessing that keeps us from having to move, is the fact that my dad and dear step-mom live about twenty-five miles from the new job.  He lives with them, in the newly christened "Son In Love Suite" and pretty much has all the comforts of home.  Well except for me and the Boyos.  His work schedule is such that he has long weekends and can come home to us.  There is plenty of room at Daddy's house for us to travel that way and keep him from being absolutely road weary every weekend.  Not ideal, but I refuse...REFUSE...to get caught up in all of that.  We know families who have only been around for about eighteen months and they are being relocated.  We know families that came out of this with no job.  We are THANKFUL!
  • Our boys are healthy and whole.  I never experienced miscarriage or having to carry a child afflicted with a condition deemed incompatible with life.  I cannot begin to know what this young mother is thinking...what her mother is thinking.  They are a family of great faith and know beyond any shadow of doubt that God has a purpose and plan for their lives and that it is perfect...for their good and His glory.  This is so courageous and it humbles me to see such faith in action.
  • A nursing home was relocated to SMALLtown.  Along with the patients came their care providers, the families of some of the providers and some of the patients' families also sought refuge within our borders.  This little town....for all the shortcomings and frustrating idiosyncrasies...went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure needs were met.  Meals, extra nursing volunteers, pillows, blankets, laundry facilities, activities for the children, childcare, transportation...even a community wide birthday party for a little boy's first birthday....NOTHING was too much for us to do.  Y2 and I delivered a box of brownies to help with snack time.  I also spent a couple of hours doing simple arts and crafts with any of the children who wanted to participate.  We had received word that the nursing home was completely flooded and would be shut down until proper repairs could be made.  The residents would be absorbed into other facilities.  Their care providers left without jobs.  As if this wasn't enough, some of the evacuated staff found out that their homes had been looted!  Friends of mine were in this relief effort up to their eyeballs, weary to the bone but blessed beyond measure to have the opportunity to care for those in need.  All of us ever mindful that it could have been so much worse (pray for Haiti and Jamaica) and that one day, it could be us in need of the kindness from strangers.
Maybe this will hold my perspective where it needs to be for the time being.  Maybe, by the power of God within me, I can maintain my focus on the things that really matter.  If not, I feel certain He will find a way to rein me back in....He always does.

Comments

  1. Enjoyed reading your perspective - and am awfully glad Mr Snark and his family don't have to leave us! ❤️

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