Getting new perspectives in life.
It is easy to look back over this past year and think about all of the new experiences and perspectives that God has given us. The “newness” is always right before us, still to this day.
But what about the year before? One of the toughest years of our life? I often think of new perspectives as a “positive” or “happy” experience, but Dan and I have both humbly admitted that the most life changing year has been the year it seemed our world was turned upside down. An opportunity for new perspectives. An opportunity for new roads. Roads filled with pain, hurt, and tears, but roads that offered a renewed perspective that we are thankful for each day.
As we near another Mother’s and Father’s Day, we see both of them with new perspectives. They won’t ever be the same, but we can rejoice in the beauty of them. They have given us a realization that life is fragile and each day brings newness (whether positive or negative). We have learned that even though we don’t have biological children here on earth with us, we are blessed yet again, with a family of children in youth ministry. A family that we would do anything for.
With another heart appointment on the horizon, we will always have that wonder if maybe one day, the leaking and other heart issues will disappear. Yet in our deepest heart of hearts, all we want is what God wants. That is a new perspective. This is something we are working on daily, but if God sees Himself most glorified through just us two here on earth, then you bet, that is exactly what we want our life to look like. It took going to the Keys to help us realize that more fully.
Even though one of the biggest reasons we go on vacation is to step away from our “normal” day to day lives, we always carry with us who we are. Youth ministry is part of who we are. The first night we were in Fort Lauderdale (before we headed to the Keys), we went to a small pizza place for supper. When we walked out, this college-age kid asked us if he could ask us a question. We both hesitantly said “sure”, and even though we don’t remember what the question was, we found ourselves talking with him for 5-10 minutes, ending the night by praying for him, in the middle of the parking lot as people looked at us with wonderment. This man’s intent was to share the gospel with us, through fundraising for a Christian organization he was with. He was selling sun-catchers and even though I didn’t need or have any desire to fly home these sun-catchers, we asked if we could just give him money instead. He was taken back. As he was talking, he soon realized that we understood what he was talking about and said “I feel like you are catching my drift…” and Dan said “well, I am a youth pastor actually.” His eyes lit up. Dan ended up encouraging him to pursue youth ministry, we ended up talking about relationships, and Dan asked if we could pray for him. We walked back to our car realizing, “God has given us new experiences and perspectives in youth ministry…even on vacation.” Who we are never leaves us. Life’s circumstances may lead us in different directions, but ti doesn’t change our desire to glorify God.
We never imagined our life to look like it does, but God has given us experiences that have blessed us beyond our wildest dreams. God started that vacation with a confirmation that youth ministry is a lifestyle and you never know what divine appointments God has scheduled for us.
What new perspectives has God given you? What new experiences has He used to grow you? Take time to see the things God wants you to see. Seeing life through HIS perspective. It is easy to hurry through life, not recognizing or reflecting on what God is doing. Don’t miss an opportunity and be thankful for each new perspective and experience of EACH day!