“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” – Anais Nin
Sometimes life is viewed through an opaque window. Different things obscure our vision. Many moments in our life recently have looked grimy, tumultuous, and overwhelming.
Two of our sons recently had appointments with a specialist team. There have been some nagging symptoms that we have been monitoring for the last couple years, and one of our Doctors felt it was worth the consultation.
Pardon my lack of eloquence and please forgive my blunt way of proceeding. Three of our children have at least a mild form of a connective tissue disorder. It is genetic, it is carried by the female, and there is a 50% chance of developing the syndrome.
I am the carrier. Our sons have it, as does our daughter.
The emotions that I have experienced run the gamut; no pattern, no rhyme or reason.
Guilt. I feel guilty in some very dark moments for carrying this and not knowing it. I was an athletic trainer, for God’s sake. How could I not have caught this sooner?
Anger. I calmly yet sternly asked God why he would allow this so soon after finding out that two of our children have outgrown some allergies.
Dichotomy. I believe and trust that God is good. I now see that this reality is painful, hurtful, and far from perfect. Yet, I resolutely and deliberately (and even sometimes intentionally) declare that “[I will] give thanks to the LORD, for HE is good, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1 English Standard Version, emphasis mine).
Relief. We now know the why behind their symptoms.
Frustration. New limitations are in place. More caution is required with certain physical activities.
Anxiety. This is the beast that I must overcome most often. Keeping all of the “what if’s’ in check is only done when I stand fully aware of who God truly is. Until I direct my gaze to HIM, to His unchangeable Love and Acceptance, to His Goodness, I can’t move on in faith.
Grief and self-pity. This is often short-lived as I refuse to be an “Eeyore™” of a person. A.A. Milne’s book, “Winnie the Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner” features the glum character, Eeyore™. The following sums up his outlook on life perfectly: “Eeyore,” said Owl, “Christopher Robin is giving a party.” “Very interesting,” said Eeyore. “I suppose they will be sending me down the odd bits which got trodden on. Kind and Thoughtful. Not at all, don’t mention it.”
It would be easy to slip into that pity-filled existence; but honestly I don’t want to be stuck in the muck and mire of the “poor, poor me” mentality. If I did that, my gaze would have to be directed at myself.
No thank you.
I’m familiar with how I feel right now, and I would rather not be consumed with my feelings. In my previous post, “Wildflower Tenacity”,
I explained how our grief is like a puppy on a leash. We need to walk the puppy instead of letting the puppy walk us. We’ve also expanded the illustration for our children so that it is used for their emotions and their hormones. The other day, I looked at our son David as he became caught up in an adolescent whirlwind and I said, “Walk the dog, bud. WALK. THE. DOG.” He quipped, “Mom, it’s a Great Dane!” James and I laughed, and James reassured him, “Yup, it is, son. That’s why you have a BIG God who gave you the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the leash. Let God walk the dog for you.”
It takes effort to “walk the dog”. It takes a deliberate decision to step forward in faith, even when the reality is not what we want to embrace.
“We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable.” – Alexander Solzhenitzyn.
He’s right. It’s easy to blame and stay angry at this reality. The truth, though, is that God did NOT cause this. The truth is that we live in a crooked, sinful world. Sin always causes brokenness. God is love. God is Holy. God is Whole. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away, and look, new things have come” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (Holman Christian Standard).
If I believe in Christ, if I have made Him my “boss”, then I am not the same broken person anymore. I am made new by His sacrifice for me. I am now seen by God the Father as holy, whole, and complete. When God looks at me, He sees Jesus’ blood and perfection.
This is oftentimes a hard truth to embrace. In order to be made whole, I first need to admit that I am broken and stuck in a hopeless mess without Christ. Humility is never an easy decision. Pride is much more comfortable…until you truly turn your gaze to that nagging sickly feeling in the pit of your gut. That place where you feel that something is missing, that something is a little off-kilter.
When you stay in that off-kilter place, it’s as if you are attempting to look through an opaque window. You seek to see out of it, but the view is obscured.
When you surrender fully to Christ, and allow Him to make you new, your eyes are adjusted. You finally realize that the purpose of the opaque window isn’t for you to see out. The purpose of the opaque window is for the light to gloriously display the brilliant colors in a new way.
“Why let what you see get in the way?” – Joyce Kellock
Go ahead. Let Him open your eyes.