Have you ever gotten a new prescription for glasses and the first time you put them on, your stomach lurched and your head spun? It felt like you were looking through a fingerprint smeared window? Ugh.
I’m discovering that it’s not only new glasses that can cause your vision to distort, make you dizzy. Sometimes it’s our internal perspective that gets contorted as well. It may be fear, unforgiveness, loss or jealousy that twists our view of our worlds, our lives.
Our hearts and minds are moldable. It depends on what we let mold them. Joy, love and kindness for example can mold them one way. There is clarity in these things. Fear, unforgiveness, jealousy twist our hearts and warps our sight lines. We get dizzy and unfocused. We don’t make good decisions because we can’t see straight, figuratively speaking.
I know this because for far too many years, anxiety distorted my view. Everything I did every day was seen through the fear filter. It was exhausting. It was a joy stealer. It made everyday life hard work and when life got busy or stressful or even happy, it made it terrifying. What about you? What’s the filter you see life through these days?
This is not how we were intended to live. Where was the abundant life that the bible talked about? I had no idea. I believed the bible was true, I just figured somehow I got something wrong. A lie the enemy likes to whisper in our ears. We need to rebuke it.
The warped fear filtered life is not what God had in mind when He created us and then sent His Son to give us victory over death. Not just literal death but the fear, anger, sin that causes us to live like we are dead while we are alive. We live like prisoners when we should be living like victors. How do we get to the victor part?
Just like new glasses, it’s going to take a bit (or longer) to get clear vision so we can see. It’s those few days of that dull pounding in the back of your head and eyes, a little bit of nausea that make it hard. If we are prisoners to our fears then it’s going to take hard work so we can see clearly and begin to live the way God intended us to.
Sometimes it’s about facing up to the fact that we live in fear. Denial is so easy. We make excuses why we react to situations or people. Friends and family will agree with you too because it’s easier than facing a mess. Or they are in denial themselves about you. Some people just don’t want to take you off their pedestal. Do them a favour and take it down yourself.
Sometimes its staring down the pain that remembering pushes to the front. You can try to sweep it away but it’ll just keep resurfacing. We might as well deal with it right now. Understanding the why, what, how, when and where brings forth truth and it will set you free.
Finally it might involve forgiving others or yourself. This road also leads to freedom.
Wherever you are in the journey, because that’s what it is, the goal is to get to the destination of abundant life. To clear vision. That doesn’t mean we’ve reached perfection because we never will this side of heaven. What it does mean is we are no longer mastered by our fear, our sin, our hate, our whatever. It means we have clarity and can make good decisions. It might mean facing a new layer that needs unfolding. Because there’s always one more that needs attention. It’s just the way it is. But fear can’t hold us back any longer. Truth and joy replace the anxiety and anger, which ushers in the path to victory.
We might get brave and try something new. Newness breathes life back into our weary souls. It stimulates the mind. It brings joy. Instead of berating ourselves for being scared, we are proud of accomplishing something, of being courageous. It doesn’t even have to be a big thing. It can be something as small as trying out a new restaurant. Taking a class to learn something we’ve always wanted to do. Deviating away from the old normal. Start a new normal. Get a tattoo. Or funky new glasses.