Today I’m joining the Five-Minute Friday flash mob over at Lisa-Jo Baker’s. Our task? Write for five minutes about the the prompt of the week. This week, the word is: reflect. Ready. Set. Write!
I’ve been an absolute pro at reflecting. I can always rehash a scene in my mind and think of something witty and clever I could have retorted with to make everyone laugh, or to make a heavy point with a light-hearted nonchalance. I rewind conversations to figure out if I understood correctly or misread something along the way. When I look back on relationships I wonder if I could have been kinder, if I should have reached out more or if I was too pushy or too shy.
When I reflect I tend to do so with a slanted look at my failing points. I can always find some reason I should have done more, spoken better, acted classier, or at least looked prettier.
But I’ve been taking lessons.
God tells me He loves me, just the way I am. He also tells me He will direct my paths and lead me in the way I should go. He tells me He created me and that I am to serve Him with my whole heart and mind and soul. He assures me that I have a future with Him and He blesses me in my everyday life – even when I reflect and come up short in my own eyes.
My lessons haven not been easy. He’s blessed me with three children—who are now all teenagers. While that single issue is enough of a lesson all by itself, He wasn’t done yet! He’s put me through cancer caregiving. He’s moved me around the country. He’s allowed loved ones to pass away before I thought it was appropriate. He’s dedicated my heart to teaching—which is fun and rewarding but doesn’t benefit with high monetary rewards. He’s pulled me far away from family.
He’s been giving me lessons. But see, I asked for them. I asked Him to do whatever it takes to ensure that I spend eternity with Him. I’ve asked Him to do whatever it takes to save my children. So He’s giving me lessons.
And the lessons tell me that I am a great big bundle of nerves that messes up frequently. My lessons remind me that my intentions are quite good—but that I don’t really know what I’m doing. When I reflect I can see all my failures, clearly.
In fact, I can see my failures so very clearly that when I look closely, I can see God’s reflection shining back at me. Each time I’ve said the wrong thing—He has helped me grow. Every time I feel hurt or lonely—He has assured me of His love. All the times I feel misunderstood or misrepresented—He reminds me that I’m not there to represent myself anyway, but to represent Him. The times I’ve gone through things that I declare are “more than I can handle” He reminds me that He didn’t ask me to handle anything, but to let Him handle it all.
Oh. I am an absolute pro at reflecting. But I am learning to redefine my tough moments and view them through His lens. I can find joy in the journey. Through reflecting on my past, I can see all my failures, or I can choose to look more closely, and see the beautiful reflection of God.