Sunday, April 15, 2012

when i miss what's right in front of me...

Chris and I have really worked ourselves up this week amidst the stressors of buying a home on the other side of the country and adopting on the other side of the world. The problematic details that each of these endeavors present have swallowed up our minds. We start projecting into the future, feel burdened about all the things we can have no way of knowing or planning for, and try answering questions that are basically unanswerable. As two individuals who equally despise uncertainty and instability--or any situation that disables us from relying on our own self-sufficiency--it is like the blind leading the blind. Thank God we have good people and a good church to knock some sense back into us.

Sometimes it's a bit jarring to hear how vastly different peoples' perception of me is compared with the way I view myself. Last night I had my Red Tent dinner and I ended up gushing and purging all of my angst and built-up tension regarding the upcoming changes in my life. I can tend to focus on all the negative things, the hard things, the things that feel like impossible mountains to overcome. But as I talked and shared and cried last night, I got to hear myself speak, and I got to hear my friends speak in response to me. They are all so excited for me regarding all the changes ahead...the new home, the fresh start, the beautiful boy who will be our son. As I've chewed on their responses today, it's become apparent to me how much I've been totally MISSING a lot of the beauty, excitement, celebration, and blessing that's right in front of me. Yes, there are many stressors ahead, and yes, there is a ton of uncertainty, but I am also aware that these potential stressors are linked to a life of immense blessing and privilege. It's easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. All of this was reinforced this morning in church, where the message was on "Trusting God...Even if..." Oh, how often I need to be reminded of His goodness, His love, and His sovereignty! It's incredible how easily I entangle myself in the myriad of stress-inducing details rather than focus on blessings at hand.

Gratitude reframes my perspective on life. It rewires my heart and mind. It is a choice that allows me to see the goodness that's right in front of me everyday, and it cures my festering tendency to cocoon myself inside of my own flawed and often pessimistic mind...the one that says "whoa is me, no one understands, I'm so alone, blah, blah, blah." Gratitude says that that's just a bunch of hogwash. Gratitude says, "DUDE...WAKE UP...SMELL THE COFFEE...SEE THE GLORY THAT IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!!!"

I'm not alone. I'm blessed. And even if I think that people don't understand my situation completely, who cares? Understanding is sometimes over-rated. We each live different lives and no one can totally understand our life except God. But we can walk alongside one another and listen to each other, accept each other, and speak truth to each other regardless. Shoot, I barely understand myself anyways.

Today I'm thankful for a weekend of rest and renewed perspective. I'm thankful for the exciting times ahead, and I'm thankful for relationships that get me outside of myself.

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