Focus on blessings

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As winter is in full swing and the snow is currently falling in blizzard style, I find myself thinking of hardships and how hard it is to get out of a dreary way of thinking.

Life has not been easy for my family with disease, heartbreak, and losing loved ones shadowing our paths. I’m sure this is the same story for many families, but it is so easy for me to only focus on my own story and point of view. It is so easy for me to focus solely on my own suffering and despair.

There is an ice-breaker (winter pun intended) game that is often played when meeting new people called “two truths and a lie”. In this game, each person has to say two truths and one lie about themselves and the rest of the group need to guess which statement was the lie. There are two truths and one lie that I like to remember in times of hardship:

Truth: There are people in the world right now who are going through a worse situation than I am.

Truth: God loves me, has a plan for my life, and will never forsake me. (John 3:16, Jeremiah 29:11, Deuteronomy 31:6)

Lie: My life will never get better.

When my life is not going as planned and is harder than I ever imagined, my first step is to take deep breaths and think about how there are so many people going through worse things than I am going through. I have a roof over my head tonight. I have food on the table every day. I have a family that loves me. Many people do not have these basic needs. I also remember the truths of God. He saved me as a sinner through Jesus Christ, and I can’t do anything to earn that gift. It is freely given. That is how much God loves me. I can trust him to continue to make me new and live a life that honors him. Jesus has already overcome the world, so despair on earth cannot destroy me. After I remember those two truths, I mentally tackle the lie that tries to overpower my thoughts. I state firmly with conviction that my life WILL get better. What “better” looks like is different for every person. When I’m going through a hardship, having my life get better usually means I can finally cope with my grief and continue living a healthy life. Things are always brighter in the morning than they were at night. Time heals all wounds. These sayings would not exist if people didn’t find them to be true.

Going through my own “two truths and a lie” game during a devasting circumstance allows all the blessings in my life to shine through the darkness. I am blessed to have basic needs taken care of. I am blessed to know God and have Him in control. I am blessed to have the life that I do even with trials and tribulations. Many people have survived horrific circumstances to still lead a happy life majorly due to their perspective. Focusing on blessings instead of everything wrong in life can lead to peace with life. Positive thinking and peace with life might just be the end of the pursuit of happiness.

2 Comments

  1. I was very happy to see and read this, Rachel. I didn’t even know you blogged. I’m so happy you’re a part of our family, as unusual as it may be. Pam and I often speak of a trip to Minn. to see you and Ben (and my grandson, Johnny, who goes to Univ. of Minn.) Warm weather is not far away.

    You know how challenging the last few years have been for me (everything from craniotomy to pain pump implant, mouth cancer laser surgery, and insulin pump; at a total of 39 medical appts. in just the last 6 months), but I have a wife like Pam, a family who loves me no matter what, and a faith that served me well my entire life. I pray the prayer of Sono every day which I’ll share with you: “Thank you for everything; I have no complaints whatsoever.”

    Thank you for being you!!

    1. Thank you so much, Jim! That is a great outlook when you have been through so much. We love you and hope to see you soon!

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