Perspective Overhaul

Kim Brand
Perspective: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

We took a vacation a few weeks ago. It was planned forever, it seems. My husband and I do the timeshare thing, and you know how that goes. Maybe you'll get the desired area, at the desired time, with the desired weather. We are talking about some major prayers for admittedly some rather selfish desires. "Please, God, make it all perfect for ME!"

See, this was to be our 40th wedding anniversary trip. F-O-R-T-Y YEARS!!!! (THAT is another blog all its own.) Leading up to that desired "time" at the awarding by and of the "Wizard of Timeshares," – there sure were some hurdles thrown at me/us. Minor irritations that had me sidestepping my usually grateful stance through my days. (That is not like me, I do my best to focus on the positive. My glass is always ½ full. I am so very blessed in my days.)  I blamed my stinky perspective and attitude on being tired and burned out on just about everything. Satan being Satan, what I thought I needed to do was turn the KLOVE radio station up louder, get off Social Media and pour myself into my work, grandchildren, hearth, and home, all to reach our departure date to fun in the sun! But, you see, my perspective was off-center, BIG TIME. What happened during this period of wafting about turned out to be a BIGGER than Kim (notice I said, Kim here..) event that kinda sorta threw any remaining good perspective (attitude) out the window. Replacing that good-natured soul, I strive to maintain, with a woman who found herself shaking in her sandals.

On Saturday afternoon, 8/21/21, I answered a phone call from one of my husband's golfing buddies, saying, "Is Bill home yet? When he gets home, make him rest – something isn't quite right with him today." About that time, Bill walked in the door, and I knew his friend was right. Something was wrong with my husband. To make a long story short, I thought maybe it was Covid, as he was exhausted, achy, and had many of those symptoms that could be Covid, but no fever or sore throat, etc. He went to take a nap, and I began to pace. After resting, he said he felt somewhat better, so we went to dinner. All of that went ok, but he was withdrawn. While he is usually on the quiet side, he also always has something to say. But not that night. Sunday morning, he reported feeling "much better" – and gathered up to go play golf. I begged him to go for a Covid test so that we'd know for sure. But he said he was fine and, out the door he went. I got ready for Catalyst worship. In about 20 minutes, he was back home – not feeling well at all, and agreed to go to the ER. What started as tests to rule out flu, covid, & strep, finally transitioned into CT scans of his brain, arteries, and significant attention to his blood pressure, which was extremely high. ER physicians were fairly confident he had suffered a stroke and recommended an overnight stay to conduct all the neurological tests and a brain MRI in the morning. So, after much talking, fussing, arguing, begging. All on my end to him. He agreed to stay overnight and have the MRI the following day.

As the ER physicians suspected, the MRI confirmed what the doctors suspected-and a new reality (attitude/perspective) began to sink into our minds. Bill has had a stroke. What does this mean, what next, what has been affected? As for physical extremities, all was well and remains well – the stroke affected the portion of his brain where speech is formed/produced. It is called Expressive Aphasia – he knows WHAT he wants to say but was experiencing difficulty getting the words out of his mouth.

My perspective immediately went to HE IS SO VERY BLESSED AND FORTUNATE! Finally, his blood pressure is beginning to respond favorably to the various/assorted pills he takes.  I'm not sure life is better through pharmacology. However, I am thankful for better results in the readings, most definitely. The very good news is he has been cleared by his neurologist, and his cardiologist is keeping an eye on his blood pressure.

What does all of this have to do with perspective? Which includes my perspective of my vacation plans? I am glad you asked! What was missing in my days prior to 8/21/22 was a Kingdom Perspective. (Thank you Justin Carrico!)

Without realizing it, I was treating my faith, my relationship with God, much like He is a "vending machine." (Love this easy-to-understand word picture!) In other words, if I follow God, I get what I want. If I follow His commandments, I get what I want (think perfect vacation plans here!)

Guess what? God owes me nothing! I am the one who owes so so much (ALL.OF.IT!!) to Him! And my vending machine offerings have been pitiful as of late! After 8/21/21 I see so clearly (John 9:1-3) the "trial" (in this instance, the stroke) was and IS to show us His glory! What I couldn't understand in the moment, today I am seeing clearer and clearer. In James 1:5, we are to ask for wisdom and believe it will be granted (you can bet I'm doing a lot of asking these days!) I see how God just wanted Kim to stop and ask Him for direction, guidance, WISDOM, and, to trust Him in His timing! But, I can't stop with just these realizations because my perspective prior to 8/21/21 wasn't all that great. If I'm to be honest – I've got to push toward a higher perspective. Toward that Kingdom perspective. I must be diligent. I must persevere in my pleadings and intercessions for my family, friends, our community and my faith must be strong! As it is so beautifully stated in Galatians 6:9, God's timing is so perfect – the harvest is coming if we don't give up and while I could go on and on, finally, 1 st Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice Always, pray without ceasing!

Yes, a Kingdom Perspective was so missing IN me. I was praying for the "TimeShare Wizard" to be gracious to us, as if a vacation was all there was to this life we are graciously gifted?

As we departed for home from our 40th Anniversary trip (Ya'll God is good!) I had a lump in my throat crossing over the Hathaway Bridge that would separate me from my beloved ocean and lead me back towards Kentucky. But my perspective change over leaving this beautiful place is
knowing that God allowed this time for me, for us, to show us His unconditional love because He is a good, good Father. And, He loves us, ESPECIALLY even when our vending machine is empty. If we come seeking and asking with the right perspective, this Kingdom perspective of Honor, Faith, Trust, then  He alone gives us the bounty of blessing upon blessing!

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