Eternal Perspective Shifts

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I'm back! It's been two months since my last post, and I surely enjoyed the little break from having to try to form cohesive thoughts. That's hard enough to do just for myself some days, much less for others! But I'm happy to be back here sharing my heart with you, so I hope you're happy to be reading this as well!

I've been thinking a lot about perspective lately. It's such an important thing when it comes to almost every aspect of living that I can think of. Our perspective on any circumstance or narrative can either make or break it. Our perspective on this life in general will greatly affect our ability to experience it well or not. I'm in the process of teaching myself to have an eternal perspective and not just focusing on the ins and outs, the ups and downs of what is happening each day. I still want to do the little things well, but my ability to do that can be greatly hindered if I'm so caught up in the circumstance of this one moment that I don't have the big picture in mind.

This notion first struck me in a conversation about hope. How do we have hope or hold onto hope when our circumstances never seem to change or improve? This life is continually hard and it is difficult to see the good. There's a verse in 2 Corinthians that references our struggles as a momentary, light affliction*. SAY WHAT? Our troubles definitely don't feel momentary and light when we are in the middle of them. But when we consider this life here on earth in the flesh, it is just a vapor in comparison to the eternal life we have with Jesus. It's so hard for us to even wrap our brains around that because we are not experiencing that life free from tears or sorrow here and now, and we have never experienced it before. So we have to have faith that Jesus has better for us and we will be healed even if it's not on this side of eternity.

Other perspective shifts I've had recently:

-Thinking of others and not just myself, and trusting that the way things happen and change in our lives is an opportunity for Jesus to reveal something new and for faith to grow. So instead of questioning "why did this have to happen?", we can take Him at His word when He says that He uses all things for our good, and He makes all things beautiful in His time. And my present comfort and happiness does not hold weight to my heart or someone else's heart learning to trust His more.

-Changing the way I discipline and communicate with my kids to have the bigger picture of their future selves in mind and not solely trying to produce acceptable behavior in the moment. Yes, it would be awesome if they just learned to obey and "act right" everyday, but it's their hearts that matter. Just as God reminds us over and over in the Bible: hearts, not actions and deeds, are what matter most. I want to raise children that truly love Jesus and love others. End of story, because those things dictate everything else.

This summer and this break from a lot of the things I've had on my plate have been so good for my soul. It's allowed me to have the space to think, reflect, pray, ask God to refine and redeem areas of my life that desperately needed it. I keep saying how crazy this last year has been, but then I find myself saying it month after month as He has been so faithful to reveal Himself to me, to help me understand and know His heart more and more. Difficult circumstances are usually what brings us to the point of growth, and that's definitely been the case, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Because it means I know Him more and know Him differently and better. That will always be worth it. I'll take these momentary light afflictions any time, because eternity with the Savior of my soul is what is both here & now and also waiting for me.

*For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18