A friend of Scott’s came to visit us at the hospital the other day and he made a comment to Scott that I have been mulling over ever since…
“The same thing that fuels anxiety, fuels gratitude – Perspective”
I have always been a realist (still am) but years ago when I first moved to Nashville, I met a lady named Gina (through Scott so I will give him a little credit). I started meeting with her weekly every Friday morning with my only friend in Nashville at the time, Kyle. We met to talk about the Gospel, to read the Gospel; those first several months maybe even years, we rarely talked about anything else.
I now refer to Gina has my mentor and the most influential person in my life upon moving here. Why? Because she revealed to me the secrets and mysteries of “Good News” and my Savior, Jesus that I had never heard or considered before. It’s not that I have it all figured now, I am still learning and growing and thats the beautiful thing about a walk with him but really, how did she do it?
Simple: Each week she would tell us to pick a (just one) scripture and let it “marinate” on us throughout the next week. I didn’t know anything was changing, I did believe I was gaining a better understanding of who Jesus IS, but then one day, Scott told me I was different. He said things that used to cause “anxiety” or “stress” didn’t anymore, circumstances and situations that would make me lose sleep at night didn’t seem to impact me as greatly, the ‘melancholy’ tendencies in my personality didn’t seem to be as present (and what he really meant is I didn’t turn on the show ‘Friends’ as often since that use to serve as my ultimate escape, ha).
So practically thinking back on this, what I started doing was using a principle Gina taught – words have power so speak the truth of the Gospel out loud to yourself. I believe that this simple exercise is ultimately what started to shift the truths I believed in my heart. The Big One – I Am Loved.
Yes, I knew my family loved me, my friends loved me, my husband loved me, but did I believe whole heartedly that my Father in heaven loved me or I was even worthy to receive his love? No.
Do I now, yes. I know even in all my imperfections and shortcomings, he still calls me his Beloved (Colossians 3:12, Romans 9:25, Ephesians 1:6).
During a lot of my training runs over that time period, I can remember praying to feel a breeze, just a little wind because it was stifling hot and the air felt stagnant. When I asked, I received – ever so slightly I could feel the wind. This produced in me gratefulness, and I would say out loud “Thank you, you must really love me.” That’s all I did and I am sure at first it was something I did flippantly not understanding the potential impact it may have on me. But that’s all it took…one day Scott said I was different, because overtime, I started to really believe this truth.
Since then I have realized it’s easier to see Jesus and his love in my circumstances. Over the last 7 years, he (not me) has built my faith, it’s expanded. And in that process, I can remember so many conversations in which I would encourage others to “shift” their perspective. I would say, “Sometimes a simple shift in your perspective can change everything.”
Today, one of the things I am so grateful for, are the seeds that were being sprinkled 7ish years ago that are now in Harvest (1 Corinthians 3:6-8) that allow me to stay grounded, to shift my perspective and focus on the things that are life giving. Here are just a few examples.
I choose too:
– Be grateful that we live 8 minutes from the hospital when so many families we meet are not from Nashville (not that we are in the hospital)
– Be grateful that although I have always considered my dogs my first born (they still are), their care and exercise is a lot easier to arrange and manage then if we had another child at home to love and pour energy into (like so many of these families)
– Be grateful that I get to plant flowers in my pots next weekend so I have beautiful flowers at home for the couple of hours I am there everyday. Spring is almost here and we all need a little bit of sunshine!
– Be grateful that we have not just some of the best doctors and nurses in the southeast, but we also have doctors and nurses that listen to us. They genuinely take our comments and wants into consideration. (not that I have to have doctors and nurses in the first place)
– Be grateful that our son is able to bottle feed when so many cardio babies can not (not that I can’t breastfeed)
– Be grateful that the staff encourages us to make our room like our home with our blankets, swaddles, clothes, and decorations (not that we are not at home).
So if I focused on the opposite of these, it would produce anxiety, stress, frustration definitely not gratitude. So today in reflection, I am so so so thankful that almost 8 years ago the Lord orchestrated the meeting of my mentor, Gina and that Jesus used her, his servant, to teach me about him.
It doesn’t mean this is easy or that we always get it right or that every day is a good day, but it does mean we have a foundation of support and a Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:19-22).
As for Townes, he is one precious little boy. I look at him and I do not see a child connected to IV’s and medical lines, I see my son. He is developing his own personality and as he gets older more is revealed (I think he is a lot like his daddy…that will have its benefits but also….). We celebrated his ONE month birthday, and we are thankful he is thriving! He is gaining weight somewhat consistently now. He did receive another blood transfusion this week and its amazing how this simple procedure dramatically improved his heart rate and other measures the doctors watch (I will save you of the details). He successfully convinced the doctors to remove the CPAP at night for the foreseeable future as the harm of his ‘fits’ outweighed the benefit. And with that came an increase of 2 bottle feedings at night so we are now at 6 (the max). Like many of your own children, he did not get the memo of daylight savings time so we still have some work to do!
We have so much to be grateful for – I hope you will try this exercise of speaking out loud to yourself too; I promise it will make a difference and can simply make the slightest shift to your perspective.
Until Next Time,
P.S. Hopefully I can add some more pictures – especially of his One Month Birthday but for some reason “technology.”
Often over the years, I’ve found myself pondering God’s love, his grace. I’ve asked myself what does it look like to fully experience his love overflowing, to feel as though you are walking in his grace abounding? Have you? I know it happens, Townes’s miracles upon...