This morning I was struggling with intense feelings – frustration, indignation, anger. Those feelings led to sorrow and an apathy toward certain goals in my life.
Injustice runs rampant in the world, and like most people, I want that to change. I have compassion and empathy for those suffering injustice. But when it hits home, the impact shifts. It feels more somehow. I know this is not accurate – there are many in the world who face more injustice than I do – but this knowledge does not make my feelings dissipate.
When you have suffered at the hands of another human being and they get away with it, it has the tendency to leave you feeling forgotten and unworthy of notice. Sometimes you start to question your memories – a form of gaslighting yourself, to be honest – but then something happens and you are reminded that those memories are correct.
This morning I was struggling with feeling like working so hard to reach my goals was pointless, because eventually my legs will be knocked from beneath me again. This feels inevitable.
But note that through this whole post thus far, I refer to “feeling” some way or what my “feelings” are.
I’ve mentioned before that our feelings are valid, but they are not always accurate.
In my devo time this morning, I asked God to help me. I asked Him to continue to bring healing, restoration, and redemption in my life. I asked Him return what has been stolen from me, like His word assures me He will.
But here’s the thing – God sees long term; He sees the big picture. So His idea of redemption, of returning what has been stolen, is not always the same as mine.
After I finished time my time with God, I got on Facebook and I saw a post by Jodi Detrick
(author of The Jesus Hearted Woman). I very much look up to this woman. Her transparency and authenticity inspire me.
Her post shared pictures of vast arrays of tulips and she said, “If this, then what beauty can He not grow from the soiled soil of our lives? … I wept and talked to God about all the things still growing in dark places, watered by prayers upon prayers upon prayers. If this, then any bursting forth of miraculous beauty is not a hope too far.”
Tears came to my eyes, because I needed to see that today, that reminder that God is still answering my prayers – even if they are “prayers upon prayers upon prayers.” Something beautiful will come out of all of this. But it’s not in my timing. I have to keep praying, keep trusting, keep waiting for the answer to come through.
And in the meantime, I have to keep pressing forward, regardless of what my feelings are telling me. I have to follow the truth. Following the truth often requires a change in perspective.
When I am in the valley, the mountain peak seems so far away – so out of reach – but if I stand on higher ground, the climb seems far more doable. Sometimes my circumstances desperately need to change right now. But sometimes, all that needs to change is my perspective.
Perspective allows me to take life one step at a time. One breath at a time, when necessary.
Perspective shifts my attention from the impossible to the God for whom nothing is impossible. He brings beauty from ashes, from the things “growing in dark places.”
What in your life requires a change in perspective today?