Perspective is a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something, a point of view.
Last year a woman who I grew up with since I was in 5th grade made what some would call "off-color comments." Over the past few years, this individual and I have slowly headed in two directions in life, dissolving our friendship, but we are still bound in other areas and communicate. In her conversation, she explained that both she and another woman were discussing me and how it irritates her that people say I am so happy because I was such a witch (she used a derogatory term). She expressed how she wished people knew me back then and they wouldn't say things like that about me. I assume most people would be angry in what I call her moment of honesty, yet I was not. I was shocked by her bold comments, but I was not upset.
This remark speaks to my heart and confirms everything I have been working for over the years walking with Christ. It is true as an adolescent, I was angry, bitter, and mean. My anger came from unhappiness at home, and I would show it with a mean streak mixed with partying. Over the years in my youth, my aunt would often take me to church and help lead me to Christ. For many years I was half-hearted. After my husband and I had our daughter, God had taken me to a new place of brokenness that would make all the difference. I was in the position of having another life to raise, guide, and love, and I was unsure how to do that myself. My family was loving, caring people, providers who did their best with what they had, but they too were broken. Riddled with addiction, alcohol, anger, depression, all types of sin were rampant in their lives. I had this overwhelming feeling that I would ruin this child, but I was at a loss of how to raise her any different from what I was taught. So in my despair, I cried out to Jesus on the floor of my mother's bathroom.
I want to say after that, with a snap of the fingers, but they weren't. Day by day, I would come to Jesus, declaring my lack and leaning on his sufficiency, seeking his wisdom for my life and our family. I connected with a spirit-filled, bible-based church and came at his feet daily. Over the years, he has worked on my bad attitude, lack of trust, rebelliousness, surrender, just to name a few. He continually works on me daily as I come to him. I am a constant work in progress, making many mistakes along the way, but I fail forward. My attitude is I am a child of the most high God, and he can use me to make a difference in my family and for this world to bring Glory to him, despite my past and my mistakes.
"He is the lamp unto my feet and the light onto my path" (Psalm 119:105)
With that being said, as I reflect on the criticism of this woman in bold honesty, I realize how much work Jesus has done. I wear the attitude of gratitude because if this woman thought these things of me, how many more did? It is a testimony to know that I exude happiness and peace only God can give when things are good and when things are not. Even when I am unsure and scared as I lean on the power of the Holy Spirit that God shows himself through me, in ways that only he can. Perspective is a gift! I choose to reflect and thank God for the work he has done. That is what the devil may have tried to use to cause pain and anger, but I choose to be grateful for the work God has done. If this is what people see regardless of who I was, then may all Glory be to God! If he can do this for me, he will do it for you!