Contemplating one’s life can have both a positive and a negative effect; depends on the eyes one uses. I’ve been looking at my life through eyes of sadness, regret, and I wish it were different.
For example: Hubby and I were enjoying lunch at a local restaurant. I observed several elderly and some physically challenged people. I watched as a spouse, a daughter,and a friend assisted the person dining with them. An uneasiness began to arise. What will my life look like in a few years? I find myself watching people and yearning to turn the clock back. Most of my friends have no physical limitations and are in good health. I watch, without a word, as they glide from one place to another without thought. I watch as they bend down to pick up something which has fallen to the floor with ease. I salivate over the fact they can eat whatever they choose, without concern for a disease or diagnosis. Over the last few years my physical capabilities have changed, due to disease, surgeries and bodily injuries. I experience pain of varying degrees every day. I cannot simply walk or turn without literally thinking about every step or motion. Bending over to pick up an object which has fallen is no simple task. I’m certain there are times when people chuckle just watching me try. As for squatting down to pick something up, forget it! Not gonna happen; not if I want to stand up again. The foods I used to love are no longer on the okay to eat list. And lately, there are few new health challenges potentially rising in the wings. I battle fear of varying levels at every corner; fear of falling, fear of the future, fear of surgery or horrible life debilitating illness, or being alone and forgotten in my old age. There are times I fear my being vulnerable and transparent in my writing will be misunderstood and come back to bite me. Not my finest hour to say the least. Certainly not a way to age “gray”cefully”
The flip-side of this discussion… when I’m in looking back with sad eyes, I don’t see the good. I don’t see that God has been with me every step of the way. I don’t notice the little ways he encourages me daily, the myriad of things, thoughts, or people he sends which give me hope and say, “I’ve got you, Sandra”. Believe me, God has been with me every step of the way; my life could be very different. I can walk. I’m not in a wheelchair. I don’t need a walker and for the most part, I don’t need a cane. Every single one of my health issues, up to this point, has been treated with successful surgeries without complications, or meds or a change in diet. The emotional traumas which I have experienced from childhood God has redeemed in unusual ways – I’m able to come alongside others and walk with them compassionately, without judgment with an understanding wrought through pain. I have some really wonderful friends who uphold me in prayer, who offer support of varying kinds and whom I love dearly. Yep, my life really is a good life!
Looking back with eyes of how come, or I wish and why, are not God honoring. It’s not the character I wish to possess. I’ve become a little too “me” focused this year (and it’s only day 9 of the year). Each year God gives me a verse and a word, handpicked, personally for me. This year God gave me 2 words; gratitude and prayer. I totally understand why he picked these 2 words. I need to look at my life with eyes of gratitude and thankfulness. I need to look at my life with eyes of goodness and abilities, not the in capabilities and the I can’ts of my life. I need to be intentional in looking for God’s favor and blessing. I need to be more aware of Satan’s interaction in my life. He would have me look… in the past of woulda, coulda, shoulda and the I wishes of life.
I am excited to share with you over the next year my journey in gratefulness and prayer. It promises to be an adventure.
Next week a brief look at my second word, prayer and how to start a Gratitude Journal.
Until next time,
“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Colossians 2:6-7