Seeing with New Eyes

Seeing with New Eyes

As I mentioned here, the month of July has been an introspective one!  Sometimes it’s crazy how the days can feel like they’re flying by endlessly, while you plod along in an almost robotic, going-through-the-motions kind of autopilot.  Same routine:  Moan at my morning alarm, office by 9 a.m., generally work through lunch, inch through after-work traffic back home, get a run in if I’m lucky, bath and lights out for much-needed shut-eye to do it all again the next day.  Before you turn around, summer’s over!  For me, it’s so easy to fall into that mindset, sort of lost in my world, passing the trees and missing the forest entirely.  Kind of in a rut, I suppose, but not even really recognizing it.

Not only do I miss out on the “little” things {birdsong in the morning, a smile from a stranger, a chance to give a compliment}, I become fairly worthless to others and increasingly blue and ungrateful in the process.  A downward spiral of familiarity and whole days of missed joy.   Sometimes you need something to shake you up and make you see life with a whole new set of eyes.

Be careful what you wish for!  That happened for me a couple of weeks ago with an unexpected health scare that rattled my core.  A call from your doctor one day after a routine blood test to schedule your must-have surgery has a way of knocking off your blinders!  Second opinion?  No time, she says.  I ask her what she’s worried about; everything, she says.  {I tucked that comment away in my “Things I’d rather my doctor never say,” file, by the way}.

My sweet mom had flown to Colorado the day before; she caught the red-eye back the next day.  Unfortunately, I got this news on a Friday afternoon and had to wait until the following week for the diagnostic procedure.  Not a fun weekend.  A TON of fear and self-diagnosing from the Internet {always a bad idea, for the record}.  Long story short, I’m just fine.  Her diagnosis was not what she had feared and I’m on the road to recovery.

The whole episode ~ while it really made me rely on my faith {or lack of at times!} ~ produced in me a real gratitude and remarkable new perspective on the flip side.  Sounds silly to say, but I really did notice the birds singing and appreciate God’s sovereign protection in a new way.  When I woke up to hear that my biggest fear was just that, an unfounded worry, I felt like I had a second chance.  All the tiny things I often worry about seemed pretty petty when I got home from the hospital.  What does so-and-so think of me?  Why would she say something like that?  Does this dress make me look big?  Just not important.

What was important?  My sweet surgeon-friend who called me after her LONG workday to assuage my fears and laugh with me until close to midnight.  My other dear physician friend who called me the day before the procedure and ~ to this day ~ prayed one of the sweetest prayers over me that I’ve ever heard.  Another friend who brought me a gourmet meal made with herbs from her garden and a bright, cheery bouquet.  The double armful of gorgeous lilies from my aunt that made my bedroom smell lovely.  My parents who let me rail on them like a punching bag with my short temper and impatience in the days leading up.  My sweet pup who curled up next to me and provided pure THERAPY for me before and after.  God’s gentle way of handling me and imparting real peace when the future, if I let myself go there, seemed awfully dark and scary.

I dread scary times as much as anybody.  But I’m always amazed at how God pitches his tent smack-dab in the middle of it and ~ in the very midst of that tangible, vice-like fear ~ His presence is even more profound.  Like you can almost even see him with your eyes.

Because I know me {and human nature}, I realize that this new lease on life isn’t a permanent one.  Before long, I’ll be back on my hamster wheel and focusing on the every-day-ness of every day.  But maybe now I’ll remember how good it felt ~ if only for a moment ~ to breathe deeply, soak in the goodness and bask in the little blessings that always surround.

I learned that what I see depends greatly on what I look for.  Tomorrow, instead of moaning at my early-morning alarm, I’ll listen hard for those little bird voices just outside my window.  And I’ll make the conscious decision to let them chirp more loudly than my fears.

Claire Signature

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