Identity crisis

BD2206A1-F7BD-4C2D-82CD-50DD94B1C864
Last week (Lies) we talked about lies and how the lies we believe about ourselves keep us from seeing ourselves as God does. After you take some time to identify the lies that have kept you from seeing yourself more clearly….

We then need to take a look at where we are finding our identity. 

Before diving in, let’s establish our definition of identity. It’s one of those words that we innately understand, yet struggle to define. According to Merriam Webster, identity is “the distinguishing character or personality of an individual.” It’s who we are at our core. It’s the place from where we make our decisions. The definition itself does not sound complicated, but most people I know (myself included) do not find their identity to be simple and straightforward. It feels complicated and unsteady. It feels like it’s always evolving and changing. 

It feels that way because we tend to find it in the wrong places. 

We all find our identity in a variety of places. We are defined by who our friends are, how good we are at a sport or our job title. We are defined by the roles we assume and the parts that we play. 

I tend to find my identity in my job.

When I was 13, I felt a strong calling from God into vocational ministry (meaning I get paid to do ministry). No matter how much I give my time and talents to others, if I’m not getting paid for it, I can easily feel insignificant and insecure. It’s like if I’m not getting paid to do ministry, I feel like I’m wasting my life and my calling.

I’m currently in a job transition. Because I don’t want to act out of impulse or desperation, I decided I would substitute teach while I waited for what was next. Every time someone asks me what I do for work, I pause and have to bite my tongue. I want to go into a 20 minute explanation of why I am substitute teaching and make sure they know it is just temporary. But then I take a deep breath and say with as much confidence as I can “I am a substitute teacher.” Period. No explanation. I know there is nothing wrong with being a substitute teacher. I only have to work 2 days a week and I have full control over my schedule. But somewhere down the line I started to believe if I was not getting paid to do ministry, then I didn’t match up. My identity has become rooted in my job status. 

I also find my identity in being a runner. I am proud of my accomplishments as a runner and my identity is deeply tied to my ability to run. When I can’t run, I feel lost. I also tend to link my identity to my parenting. My joy and happiness rises and falls on the accomplishments and behaviors of my children – the good and the bad.

It’s okay for me to enjoy running, to have a passion to serve in ministry or a desire to be a good parent. It becomes a problem when my value as a person rises and falls based on the failures and successes of those things in which I have placed value. When that happens, it is a sign to me that I have replaced my value with what I value.   

Let me give you an example. Say that you have always been the best runner on the team. For whatever reason, you have a rough season. You could react one of two ways. 1. You could feel sad and disappointed, which are natural and acceptable emotions. You feel disappointed about the season, but you don’t feel disappointed in yourself. You value running, but your value isn’t based on you being a runner. 2. You could be devastated and feel like you are a failure. You quit. You feel like if you can’t win, you probably shouldn’t try. That is a sign that you have placed your value on what you value. 

 It’s no wonder our identity feels complicated and unsteady. It feels that way because we have placed our value on things that are uncertain, evolving and ever changing. In doing that we smudge our lenses. We stop seeing ourselves as God does, instead we see ourselves through the lenses of the roles we assume and the parts we play. 

And we will continue to feel that way until our identity is rooted in the one who does not change. This is the one who is certain, consistent and true. 

Jesus. 

So how do we know when we have a misplaced identity? And how do we find our identity in Christ?

First, check your filters. I believe that God has given us two different filters to use as we seek to find the truth:

1. Our emotions. Yes, our emotions. Our anger, our discouragement, and our despair can be our teachers. Let’s use the previous running example. You had a bad season. Do you feel disappointed or sad? Those are appropriate emotions. Do you feel depressed and useless? If so, you have probably set your value on something you value. Our emotional reactions are a direct result of the condition of our heart. Let your reactions and your emotions help guide you. 

2. God’s word. He tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He has promised us that he has a purpose and a plan for our lives. He has given us the power over fear and he has called us his friend. He says that we are more than conquerors and that in him we are new creations. Those are just a few of the many ways God sees us. So when we feel contrary to God’s truth about ourselves, it’s time to take note. Somewhere along the way we started to internalize a lie or misplacef our value. In turn, our lenses got smudged. When that happens, we no longer can see ourselves like God does. 

After checking your filters, it’s time to get to work.

Romans 12:2 tells us “do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

Renew is an action word. I think as Christians we often read God’s word and want whatever we read to just happen. But more often than not, we have to put the work in. Renew means to replace something old. It’s super hard work. But in order to see ourselves like God does, we have to replace the lies and values that we have allowed to smudge our lenses and replace them with the truth about who God says we are. To do that, we start by using the filters. Again, ask yourself, what  are your emotions revealing to you about the lies you believe? What are your reactions communicating to you?  How do your feelings about yourself match up with the truth in God’s word? 

Write down what you notice. Make a list. List out all the things that are smudging your view. Then next to them, write the truth.

Example:

Lie: I feel like a failure. Truth: I made a mistake but I am fearfully and wonderfully made

Lie: I am too scared. Truth: I do NOT have to live under the spirit of fear. I am more than a conqueror. 

Carry your list around. Pause through the day and run things through the filters. And then speak truth to those lies. Remind yourself where your value lies. Then do that again – and again – and again until you find that you are no longer looking at yourself with smudged lenses. You will start to see someone who is fearfully and wonderfully made, who does not live under the spirit of fear, who is more than a conqueror, a friend of God, full of purpose – a new creation. 

And when you start to see that person, then you will know that you are starting to see yourself like God does.

Let’s continue to seek 20/20 vision together,

lisa

 

Lies

0DBA6CAD-A68A-4AA9-96DC-FE0BD0D513EB
God has made it very clear in his word how he sees us. Psalm 139:14 tells us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Romans 8:37 tells us that “we are more than conquerors.” 
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come.The old has gone, the new is here.” God sees us as a new creation. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God created us for a purpose. John 15:15 tells us that God calls us his friends. 2 Timothy 1:17 assures us that we are given the power over fear. I could go on and on. 

But no matter how many times I hear those words and read those verses, I struggle to see myself that way. And when I don’t see myself like God does, I don’t act like the person God created me to be. I don’t see myself as fearfully and wonderfully made, so I don’t walk with confident humility. I struggle to see myself as a new creation, because my old self is more familiar. I don’t always understand or know my purpose, so I tend to stumble in my own ways. I can’t really grasp what it means to be a friend of God, so at times I keep him at an arm’s length. Most of the time I am scared, I don’t feel like I have power over fear, so I chose to be timid when God has called me to be brave. 

Can you imagine how different life would be if we actually saw ourselves like God does? And if we, as a result, acted like we are beloved, brave and purposeful? I believe that if we did, the world would be a very different place. 

So how do we do that? How do we start to see ourselves as God sees us?

First we need to learn how to identify the lies that we believe about ourselves. 

As one growing up in the church, I have heard countless sermons about how important it is to not believe the lies of Satan. I have heard powerful messages about how Satan can easily convince us that we aren’t good enough or that we don’t measure up. I’m a fairly confident person, so I didn’t always identify with those struggles. Because of that, I wrongly assumed I must not believe any lies. As I got older, I realized how wrong I was. I believe in plenty of lies, mine are just packaged a little differently. 

Mine sound a little like this. “You will always be anxious, no matter how much you try.” “You have missed your calling because you have allowed your trauma to guide your decisions.” “Change is too hard.” “You are not a good parent because your daughter is anxious”.  I don’t think it would take long for any of us to identify a few lies we have internalized.

How about these, do any of them sound familiar? 

-I have to be strong, because men are strong.

-I was made this way, that must mean I cannot change

-I can’t do this, it is too scary. 

-I do everything right, why doesn’t anything go my way?

Lies can also come in a package that looks a lot like the truth. What we need to remember is that anything that is SLIGHTLY contrary to what God’s word says – IS A LIE! And unfortunately often times these lies come to us from the most godly people we know. 

I was struck by a story a friend told me recently.  Her husband had just been fired from his job. It was super shady and very discouraging. Both of them felt like he was called to take the job. And then suddenly – he was fired. Afterwards, he went out with a group of Christian friends. As they tried to console him they said really nice things like, “I’m so sorry man. You deserve a break.” “Yeah, you should just move on and throw the towel in.” “That just wasn’t right!.” They were doing their best to console him. But what struck me the most was what my friend shared with me afterwards. She said, “Not one of them asked what he felt like God was telling him to do or where he thought God was moving in the midst of the struggle”. The things said to him were really nice and were well intended. There are times when we need to throw in the towel and move on — if that is what God is calling us to do. But nowhere in God’s word does it say we deserve a break. And life is not fair. We are called to obedience and sacrifice – no matter what the cost. 

What if my friend’s husband heard those words from his friends and internalized them. And started to believe that “yes” he did deserve a break. It wasn’t fair and now it was time to move on. That type of thinking over time leads to an entitlement posture towards God and others. Trust me, I’ve been there. Over time you develop a victim mentality. You start to believe that you are a victim. But that is the complete opposite of who God says we are. We are not victims, we are more than conquerors. When we believe we are a victim, we act like one. When we believe that we are more than conquerors, we tend to act like that too. 

What we believe about ourselves guides our actions and ultimately our impact. When we stop seeing ourselves as God does, we sideline ourselves. We step out of the event God has created us to play an impactful role in. 

We will continue this conversation next week. In the meantime I encourage you to start by increasing your awareness. What is your behavior telling you about how you feel about yourself? If you pause and examine your thoughts, do they line up with what God has to say about you? 

Take a few notes and then let’s meet again here next week. Next time we are going to explore where we find our identity and how that can keep us from seeing ourselves as God does.

Lisa

 

Pieces of God.

FB0B0771-56CA-4145-AE82-2EA6AF89AB7F
We are in the midst of talking about how we can see people for who they really are, not who we assume them to be. If you missed last week’s blog post, go back and read that first (Perspective).  Last week we talked about the fact that in order to see people more clearly, you have to pause and try to see things from their perspective. You have to examine your heart, ask questions to seek understanding and ask yourself the question, “Could I be wrong?” 

After seeking perspective, I then have to remind myself that we are all image bearers of God. We have all been made in the image of God. We don’t have to look far in the bible to learn this truth. Genesis 1:26 tells us that “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.’” We are ALL created in the image of God. We ALL possess different parts of God’s character. Even knowing that, this is a truth I find easy to talk about and a hard concept to truly live out.

This fall, my daughter Piper was really struggling with a particular friend. She would come home every day talking about this friend and how much she didn’t like her. It seemed to consume her. That was all she talked about. We tried everything. We prayed for this friend (Piper wouldn’t, so I did). We prayed that Piper would have a soft heart towards this friend. We talked about strategies about how to deal with this friend. We talked about ignoring her, we did it all. I was really frustrated about this situation one day. I decided to take her out to coffee, I do much better thinking and communicating at a coffee shop. She reluctantly went. She knew why we were going. 

The whole time she slumped down in her chair and a few times she rolled her eyes. I pretended that wasn’t happening and continued on. I asked her, “Piper, do you know what it means that we are all created in the image of God?” She rolled her eyes once more and slumped a little lower. I continued “It means that EVERYONE in the whole world was made by God. Because of that no matter how bad someone is or no matter how much we don’t like them, they have pieces of God in them. It’s like you and Cole. Because Daddy and I are your parents, you and Cole have certain parts of us in you. You look like us and you tend to act and think in similar ways that we do. Because God made us, all of us have unique parts of God in us. Like you, Piper, you are strong, creative, bold and persistent – those are characteristics that God has too. He gave those to you so that you could represent those pieces of who God is to other people.” Your friend has pieces of God in her too. 

We all have pieces of God in us. Sometimes they are a little harder to find. After I shared that with Piper, I had her write down 5 things that she liked about her friend. At first she couldn’t come up with any. Then we found a few superficial ones-like her eyes, nose or hair. Over time our list continued to grow and I’m proud to report that today they are friends once again. 

I have been so grateful in my life for the people that have taken the time to see pieces of God in me. I lived under the shadow of trauma for so long. At times it was hard to see those pieces. But I am grateful for the people along the way that stopped to find those pieces and call them back to the surface. When I came across as harsh, I was reminded that I have been called to speak truth – in love. When I’m impatient and I don’t want to wait on God, I have been reminded that God has plans for me in his time and he was the one that created me to run – when he says go. When I react out of judgement, I have been reminded that I do have a good sense of discernment -but there is a time and place. Over time, with enough reminders, pieces of God in me started to emerge.  

And you know why people were able to see those pieces of God in the first place? Because they stopped. When they found themselves reacting to me out of frustration, judgement or assumptions – they asked me questions. They asked about my day and my week. They asked my story. They sought to understand. And when they did that, they had a much more clear picture of who I really was. They saw the pieces of God in me. They called those pieces back to the surface and reminded me of who I was created to be. Without those people, I would not be sharing with you today.

So friends, who are you struggling with? Is it your spouse? Your co-worker? Your brother? Your neighbor? Who do you see with a smudged lens? 

My guess is that it doesn’t take long to bring that person to mind. Once you have, it’s time for a little cleaning. Start by taking a pause. Evaluate your heart, sit back and seek the big picture. Seek perspective. Look for pieces of God in them, no matter how hard it may seem to be to find them. Call those pieces back to the surface and then remind them of who they are over and over and over again. It may take awhile for those pieces to emerge, but I have a feeling that once they do, what you see will look a whole lot different…

My guess is that they will look a lot more like Jesus to you.

Lisa

Perspective

 

perspective

Confession time. By nature, I am incredibly judgmental. Not only that, I am also a professional assumer. As you can imagine, the combination of those things can make me react pretty harshly at times. Grace isn’t my natural reaction to people and situations. And to make things worse my husband, Bryan, is known for having good perspective. People seek him out in life, work and (eventually) at home to help see the big picture and the different influences at play. His natural reaction is to step back, evaluate the situation from all angles and make an informed, yet humble assessment of the situation. My natural inclination is to take a quick look at a situation, assume things to be true based on the little that I know and declare myself judge over what is right or wrong with the situation, even if I’m not involved.  

So as you can imagine, I often times don’t see what is going on around me very clearly. The lenses in which I see people and situations tend to be pretty smudged. It is a discipline for me to see the real truth, not my assumed truth, of a situation or person.

Last week I wrote about ways that we can see God more clearly. I want to share a couple practices that I have to use on a daily basis to see the people and situations around me with more clarity. 

First, I have to pause and seek perspective. 

I am very visceral. So when I am reacting out of assumption or judgement, my body seems to follow suit. I tend to sit up straight, talk a bit louder, get a little warmer and start being a bit too animated. As much as I don’t like that this is my body’s natural response, it does help. It helps me know when it is time to step back, evaluate and take a pause. When I find myself reacting that way, I am learning to take a deep breath, slump back down in my seat and listen. When that happens, the first question I am trying to ask myself, is “why?” Why am I reacting this way to this person? Am I reacting to this person because I really feel that strongly about what is happening? Or am I actually projecting my emotions about something else onto this person? I can tell you that 90% of the time when I react to Bryan, it has nothing to do with him – it has something to do with an unsolved issue from earlier in the day. 

It may have nothing to do with you. You might just be truly struggling with the person in front of you. So after you check the state of your heart, start by asking questions. Ask people about their life. Hear their stories. Get the big picture. After hearing people’s stories, I am so much more quick to respond with grace. Their negative, rude, awkward or judgmental interactions generally come from a place of insecurity or baggage from their past.  

Maybe even before asking about their stories, ask about their day. Ask about their week. What is going on that could be causing their negativity? Are they struggling at work? Do they have a sick family member? Context is everything. I recently had someone respond to me in a way that felt really out of left field. My initial reaction was to respond in defensiveness. I wanted to show them that I was right and they obviously needed to work on their reactions. Instead, I took a step back, took a deep breath and started listening. I started asking questions. And when I did that I understood why they reacted that way. Knowing that made it easy for me to respond with grace. 

I was challenged recently to ask myself this question throughout the day: “Could I be wrong here?” My feisty temperament and tendency towards black and white thinking lend me to think that I am right all the time. I assume my suggestions are right and my opinions are wise, people just need time to come around to my ideas. I often feel this way in a group setting. When you are working with a team you are going to encounter a large variety of opinions. If I’m not careful, after I share my ideas, I can easily tune out in group discussions. Why do I need to keep listening, when the solution, my solution, has already been spoken? That sounds extreme, and it is, but I don’t think I am alone in my thinking. When you find yourself frustrated or irritated about people and opinions around you, ask yourself this question, “Could I be wrong here?” and then listen – truly listen. If I’m honest, I am often wrong. 

Pausing and seeking perspective is just the beginning. But this week as we start to dig-in,  if you feel yourself starting to react out of assumption, defensiveness or judgement, start by asking yourself this question, “Why am I reacted this way to that person?” Check the condition of your heart. Do you have unsolved issues from the past or even today that are causing you react this way? Start asking questions about their life and about their day. I think you will be surprised by the grace that wells up in you as you understand their context. And then keep this question on the forefront of your mind “Could I be wrong here?” Like I said, I can’t speak for you, but more often than not – I’m wrong.     

Let’s keep digging. People are complex, we all come with unique experiences and baggage from the past. It’s not easy to see people with clarity. Stayed tuned for more next week as we continue to explore ways that we can see the people for who they truly are – image bearers of God. 

Lisa

The God I once knew

07576D2E-ECC5-4EE6-A6D3-7546D053B6DF

(In order to understand this blog, it would help to read Transplant  to get context.)

It was a cold day. I remember where I was standing on the sidewalk. I had been walking with a friend. He innocently asked, “Do you think it was sin that caused your liver to fail?”

“What?” I thought, “Why would he think that?” As he continued to process out loud he said “Well, God is sovereign, so we know he caused it.” I had radically followed Jesus my whole life, but somewhere along the way, I must have missed the word “sovereign”. How could the God I knew and loved so much cause something so horrible to happen to me? My heart was broken, the God I knew and loved my whole life no longer made sense.

It wasn’t my transplant or my body rejecting my liver that changed it all. It was that moment, that conversation, that changed everything for me. That day I lost the God I knew and loved.

And I’ve been trying to find Him since.

I have talked about this in previous blogs, so I don’t want to belabor the point, but as I said – that was the day everything changed for me. I put my guard up. I put a wall up between me and God. If God would cause such horrible things to happen to me, I would still believe in him – but I couldn’t trust him. God became scary, distant and confusing. I decided that day that I would need to do everything I could to keep something like that from happening to me again.

You see the God I knew growing up would never cause something so awful to happen to me. He loved me and I loved him. I was confident in God’s love for me.  I shared my faith with boldness. My faith was simple and strong. I knew bad things happened, but I honestly didn’t think too much about it…until something bad happened to me.

I didn’t realize it, but up to that point God looked a lot like my Dad. My Dad has always been an incredible provider. He worked hard and we were never without. To a fault (love you Dad), he made it his mission to keep us from danger. I felt very loved, protected and trusted by my Dad. My Dad made me feel safe. Therefore God made me feel safe. Because we don’t see Jesus in the flesh everyday, most of us, without knowing, create an image of God that looks a lot like our parents or someone that has played a similar role in our life. And that image may or may not be a good one. Maybe you were abused by your Dad and because of that you feel like God is scary and distant. Maybe you felt like you could never measure up to your Mom’s expectations, so you feel the same way about God. You felt like you can never measure up. Maybe your parents only prayed when they wanted something from God, so you came to see God as the magic genie.

Maybe it isn’t your parents. Maybe your God looks like your girlfriend that introduced you to Jesus. As a result, your faith in Jesus is tethered to conditional, imperfect love. Maybe your God looks like your ex-husband who claims to love Jesus in public, but emotionally abuses you in private. As a result, God doesn’t feel worth it – he will only hurt you in the end. Maybe your God looks like the youth pastor you only met once but they remembered your name. As a result, you feel seen by God and feel confident going before him with the little things.

I think if we all thought about it, at least at one point, God has resembled someone close to us. No one has a perfect image of God. And no one will until we die and see him face to face.

But the problem is that when we see God through the filter of imperfect people, we miss out on the benefits of knowing the true, perfect God.

When we see God for who he truly is, our joy doesn’t waiver based on our circumstances. When we make mistakes, we are able to make amends and then move on. We don’t sit in shame. We don’t live in fear. We don’t seek security in imperfect people and places.

One thing you may not know about me is that I’m a super clean person. It can get obsessive actually. A couple months ago we cleaned one of our windows. It was amazing how clearly we could see outside. We usually clean our windows once a year. Because of that, the buildup of dirt is gradual and we don’t notice it’s happening. That is until we clean one of them. Then the dirt becomes obnoxiously obvious. After I clean one I immediately feel the need to clean ALL the windows. I want to see clearly from all sides.

It’s like that with God. Our view of him builds so gradually that we don’t even notice. We don’t notice the smudges that block our view. When we finally get a glimpse of out of a clean window and see who he really is, we want to see it all.

So how do we see God more clearly?

To get a clear picture of who God really is we have to first find the dirt. When hardships come your way, what is your initial reaction? Do you keep God at an arm’s length away until you want something from him? Are you afraid of him? When you make mistakes, are you buried in shame? Does your security ride the waves of the mood or reactions of others around you? What are your reactions telling you about what you truly believe about God? 

Recognizing the dirt is a big step in the right direction, but seeing it is not enough- you need to start cleaning. You do that by filling yourself up with the truth of who God is. Read the bible. Worship. Surround yourself with people who love Jesus. Figure out who God truly is.

Who is God? What do we know about the true nature of God? Here are a few to start with: He does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is slow to anger and quick to forgive. He is gracious and compassionate. He promises we will experience trials, but that he will make good out of bad.

Then go back and compare the view. I have a feeling when you get a glimpse of who God truly is – you will want to see it all. You will look back through some of those dirty windows and begin to wonder what took you so long.

It was 19 years ago that I lost the God I knew and loved. It has been a painful and joyful journey to find him, one I am still on. Often times I find myself wiping off one window, while creating a new smudge. But I keep at it because each time I get a glimpse of who God really is, the view takes my breath away. And all I want to is to see more.

Let’s keep on cleaning together,

Lisa

ps. I do want to make sure it’s clear that I don’t believe a sin caused my transplant or that he necessarily caused it. It was the  possibility of those things that rattled my faith. All I know is that he allowed it and he has promised to make good out of bad.

Blind spots

car rearview mirror

It is a new year – it’s a new decade even. Happy New Year!

Because it’s a new year, it seems natural that I would write about goal setting. Many of us during this time are pausing, evaluating and planning for this next year. I could definitely write about how to create and keep New Year’s resolutions. I’m actually really good at setting goals and following through on them. But I have a feeling that you will hear a lot about that over the next few months. Instead, I want to invite you to join me as I unpack one of my personal goals for this coming year.

I want to see more clearly. I want to have  20/20 vision. 

I want to see God more clearly. I want to be confident as I hear God’s voice. I want to see him as he is moving in our midst. I want to have assurance in where he is guiding me and be bold as I follow him. I want to let go of the crafted image of God I have created. I want to see him for who he really is. 

I want to see people with more clarity. I want to walk in people’s shoes and see life from their perspectives. I want to listen well. I want to be quick to respond with grace and be slow to judge. I want to see the big picture. I want to see people as God sees them – as his image bearers. 

I want to see myself more clearly. I want to have a greater awareness of what I say and how my words affect other people. I want to recognize the areas where I need to change. I want to notice when and where I need to stake my claim. I want to be humble enough to remember who I belong to and out of that sense of belonging – act in faith. 

I want to see more clearly because what I see drives what I do.  

None of us, myself included, ever fully see God for who he really is. To varying degrees, without realizing it, we all have created our own version of God. We invent a God that makes sense to us and our world. We create a God with similar characteristics to those around us who represent God to us. When the God we have fabricated is challenged, we lose our footing. Only when we can see God for who he is can we walk securely on rocky ground. 

We can say the same about the people around us. I have learned that no one is usually as good as they seem and on the flip side-no one is as bad as I think. We get a small glimpse of who people really are. No matter how deeply you know someone, we will never get the full picture of who they are. The reason? Because our lenses are smudged. We see people and the world around us from behind our lenses. Our lenses are smudged with judgement, expectations and assumptions-whether good or bad. 

We don’t see ourselves clearly either. Often times we are blinded by pride and think too highly of ourselves. If we aren’t blinded by pride, we are stifled by guilt and shame. What we see in the mirror is clouded by lies we have believed in the past, words spoken over us that we have internalized and/or expectations of who we are supposed to be. 

I don’t want to see the world like that anymore. I want to have 20/20 vision. In order to do that I need to clean my lenses – I need to get rid of a few smudges. 

No one has 20/20 vision, we all have blind spots. Where are your blind spots? Do you find yourself disappointed with God? If you are honest, has God started to resemble someone that makes sense to you, not necessarily who he really is? What about your people? Who is it that gets under your skin? Who are you quick to judge and slow to extend grace to? Who do you struggle to see from their perspective? How do you see yourself? Has your success made you overly confident? Are you tethered to your past by guilt and shame? 

Surprisingly, the bible has a lot of say about both physical and spiritual blindness. As I did some research, I found several references. One stuck out to me. We are warned of the importance of our spiritual sight in Matthew 6:23. It states “but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

Based on that verse, clear vision seems important. So how do we get 20/20 vision? Join me this month as we explore ways that we can clean our lenses and see more clearly. I’m on this journey with you. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I am sure of where we need to start – we need to pray. We need to ask God where our blind spots are. We need to ask God to help us clean our lenses. He has come to open the ears of the deaf and open the eyes of the blind. Psalm 146: 8 reminds us that “the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.” 

This week start by praying. Humbly go before him and ask him where your blind spots are. Ask him to open your ears and to open your eyes. Surrender your ideas, assumptions and expectations about him, others and yourself. He will meet you there, we just need to be ready. 

Join me and let’s seek 20/20 vision together,

Lisa