A Change in Perspective
Sometimes life becomes so intense, its difficult to see past the overwhelming moment in which you are immersed. Emotional, physical and spiritual storms all seem to collide, leaving you battered and gasping for air. These times may be caused by external forces like accident, injury, or crime. Sometimes though, the raging storms are completely internal, leaving no visual marks for those observing your life, but tearing your insides to shreds.
Everyone processes times of great trial and distress in their own way. Words like "don't sweat the small stuff" or "God's got this" may be absolutely true, but until each one comes to their own revelation of these simple but powerful statements, they are just words on motivational posters. What you may think of as "small stuff" may be the very things causing me turmoil. Of course "God's got this," but until I can internalize what that really means in my personal situation, the truth doesn't impact the circumstance.
A little over a week ago, I had a complete meltdown on my back porch, as the weight under which I had been slowly drowning finally left me in a crying heap. "There has to be a better way," I said to myself. If the scripture that says "My yoke is easy and my burden is light" is really true, I have to find a way to live differently. It was in that moment I made a conscientious decision to come out from under the weight of my personal burdens. I had let these pressures have authority over me, and they had in turn robbed me of any peace or joy I might have experienced during the last several moths.
Nothing has changed in my circumstances externally. I still have massive decisions to make that will have great impact on many people. I still have teenage daughters. I still have the same problems that need solving. But now I can breath again. Not shallow breaths of survival, but deep breaths of refreshing air.
In my moment of revelation, it became painfully clear that I had been so focused on the problems at hand, I had lost the ability to pull back and see the issues from a different perspective. The intensity in which I had been living blurred my vision. With a little wider gaze, I am now able to see the issue for what it is--part of life, and not life itself.
I hope this simplistic narrative might be a catalyst for those of you drowning in life, to lift your head enough to see the shore. It may be quite a way off, and will require every last ounce of strength you have to paddle that direction. When you finally reach solid ground and have the opportunity to survey the wonders of what you've just come through, take a glance to see if there is someone flailing in the water who you might signal. Until they are ready to lift their head, they won't see you. But once they do, you may be the encouragement they need to make it to the shore and sit beside you.