“Two men looked through prison bars, One saw mud, one saw stars” (Oscar Wilde). What do you do when you feel like your circumstances have created a prison like atmosphere in your life?
At 23 weeks into my recovery, I looked at my situation and even though physically I was coping with the pain and most recent surgery, my acceptance of the place I found myself in was extremely low. It was true that my PICC line dressing (the place where the IV entered my body) was irritating and my right leg was tight and swollen but something else was going on.
The deeper challenge I faced was the mental battle of feeling like my days were being lived with no purpose. I felt like I was wasting an opportunity as I was being forced to lay low longer than anticipated in order to heal, be repaired and eventually recover. Words I used to describe this loss of purpose were:
- Out of the game
- Eliminated from the action
- In prison
As I reflected on this, it dawned on me how my current perspective needed to change. I firmly believed that God had a purpose in all of this and makes no mistakes in what He allows or disallows. Because of that core belief, I assumed to simply be missing my assignment for this season of my life.
So I challenged my thinking. I confronted what I perceived to be true (that I was sidelined and out of the game) with what was more likely true – God did have a purpose for me right now not just later! I wasn’t going to have to wait until I “got through this” to find a reason to get up in the morning besides another day of sitting in my recliner and waiting.
With this new perspective, what did I notice to be true? Where did I see impact and purpose now that I was choosing to “look for stars” through my prison bars?
- My conversations were making a difference.
- My positive attitude was encouraging others to see the good in their lives instead of the mud they were staring at.
- I realized I could control what I chose to think about and dwell on.
- I remembered the old saying “bloom where you are planted” and took it to heart.
- I realized my writing (emails and newsletters) were reaching people in ways that surprised me
A spiritual insight came clear and anchored me to a new perspective and purpose for my life while in this prison: “This accident was God’s incident He was using for a greater purpose not yet fully realized. It was from Him, had been filtered through Him and was what I needed to daily surrender back to Him so He could use me as He saw fit.”
What perspective do you have that may be limiting your view of the stars and keeping you from finding God’s purpose for your life right now?
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