Thursday, March 18, 2010

Perspective


Perspective. It's all in our perspective of a what comes at us each day, much more than the actual events that take place. How does one person overcome and persevere tragedy seemingly effortlessly, and another person crumbles in the midst of the same set of circumstances? Well certainly there are more reasons than can be counted for why this is true, but I would like to suggest that there is one common thread that flows through the stories of success, well actually there are two. One is Jesus. That one is easy. But the other I believe is something that flows from the first, and that's perspective.


I visited a friend of mine yesterday that was in a car accident about three weeks ago. She was on her way home from a doctor's appointment and saw a car moving into her lane, and so she swerved. She swerved her vehicle directly into a picket fence that lined the road, and then found herself pinned in her car in the middle of a field. When the car came to its' resting place, she looked down to see her right hand holding her left hand...that was no longer attached to her arm. Her left hand had been completely cut off. Clearly and understandably so, she was in shock and remembers thinking "this is not good". She then remembers resigning herself to the fact that she was about to die and she told God or "Bud" as she will sometimes say, "I am ready". A few more blurred minutes passed and before she knew it, she was in an ambulance heading to the hospital. An unidentified man had tied a tourniquet around her bleeding arm, which is ultimately what saved her life. Her hand however could not be saved.


I do not know what I expected from my visit with her, but I certainly did not expect what I saw. Jen was still Jen. She talked a long time about life before she talked about her hand. When I could no longer handle the pink elephant in the room that clearly was only crowding me, I moved into my questions about the accident. She was so calm about the whole thing, very matter of fact. I didn't get the sense that she was in denial, or guarding herself from feeling the gravity of the situation, I just sensed perspective. She said, "Amy, those picket fences shot all the way through my car like spears, some missing me by no more than an inch, I am lucky to be alive". I was a little taken back, but then later I wondered why such truth and clarity would be so shocking to me. She was alive and so she was grateful. She continued with "I have two choices. I can be mad at God, the devil, and everybody else and be miserable for the rest of my life. Or I can choose not to, and I choose not to. It's a choice".


A choice. Just like that. I left our visit impressed with her, but honestly I think I was really more impressed with our God. He impresses me with the strength He has. He impresses me with the grace He pours out. He impresses me with the "eternal-ness" of all that He is. He doesn't tire, He doesn't grow weary, and He never runs out of all that is good. He didn't dump out a truck load of grace on Jen and then sit down in order to replenish His supply, the flow of life never ceases to flow. That is impressive to me, and it made me glad to know Him. I didn't think I could be any more smitten with Him then I already was, and yet I was surprised once again...and I was grateful for her life and for the much needed perspective that she unknowingly handed to me.


Amy

22 comments:

ntignor said...

WOW!!! So true, thanks for reminding me, which lately you seem to do dailey and I love that about you. Love You!!!

Andrea said...

What a great message, thank you so much for sharing that! That is horrible what happened to your friend, I hope she has an easy recovery and continues with her positive perspective. :)

sara said...

Wow, your friend is a very special person - we should all have such a positive perspective on life. My prayers to your friend for a smooth recovery.

rachel @ perfectly imperfect said...

beautifully said... really- your words are just lovely! and i agree with you completely. God gives us His peace & strength, and we have only to accept those gifts & move forward through our challenges. we had a chaotic year in 2009 (cancer, chemotherapy, remodeling a home, moving- all at once), and i was often asked how i was able to continue with my life & parenting & working. my response was always, 'what else would i do?' i may not have been a pillar of strength & encouragement & joy to everyone around me, but i had peace & strength enough for each day & each setback. God sustains us all in different ways- He gave me quiet fortitude, and it was enough.

melifaif said...

That is so amazing. I am glad your friend is okay. So it is true what they say...What does not kill you, makes you stronger! Amen.

sassy seamstress said...

So glad your visit went well. I prayed for you yesterday morning...knowing you were visiting her. God is the ultimate provider of peace!

Jill said...

This post just brought tears to my eyes. It makes me happy that God has given her strength to make it through such a horrible thing. Praying for continued healing and strength for your friend.

The Starr Family said...

Praise Jesus for sparks of sunlight in a dark world... When we are honest, forthright, and come to terms with our "situation" (whatever it may be), the Lord can lift us. Truth is light, anger/darkness is so heavy!

Thanks for sharing Amy!

Jemsmom said...

What a beautiful post. It really makes you stop and take stock of your life when others are facing things that you couldn't imagine and showing such strength through it all. Makes our daily complaints seems so pititful. You are absolutely right...it is about perspective. I will pray for your friend to continue to heal and to find her strength in God. Thanks for your perspective today! As always so thoughtful and well written!

The Fab Five said...

thank you for sharing... wow

Between You and Me said...

i'm impressed with him, too. :)

Cha Cha said...

It is amazing that He really does give and give and give. We can't wear him out or be to much for him to handle, what ever we have He is enough to cover it and if we/I will remember that it changes my perspective every time.

Cha Cha

Carmen said...

AMEN! Thanks for sharing this story.

Virginia Belle said...

Thank you for sharing this message and your perspective. Your friend is so incredibly inspiring and God and his grace are truly amazing.

Amy S. Norris said...

there is not much that i love more in this world than perspective. it seems to find me everywhere, thankfully since i tend to go on into drama fits. but don't tell my husband i admitted to it.

this is a very touching story, and it did serve me as some perspective this morning as i am sitting her tired after not sleeping well last night being overwhelmed by life at the moment.

it is all relative. thanks amy!

grandmapam said...

Isn't it just amazing the people He puts in our lives? I am always in awe of God's lessons.

Your friends story of courage will have far reaching grace today. Thank you for telling it.

The Wheelers said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful message & experience.

Richella said...

What a story, Amy. I am so sorry that your friend lost her hand--yet I am so glad that her life was spared. . . and I am mostly glad that her spirit glows with the love of God! She's absolutely right when she says "It's a choice." We can all choose to be thankful, no matter what our circumstances, and rejoice in what God has given us. Thank you for sharing this with us!

jojo said...

This was my first visit to your lovely blog and I am so grateful to have found it. What a beautiful post and such an inspirational story, thank you for sharing it...jj

julie said...

wow! what a wonderful post! i am so sorry for your friend but so happy for her at the same time! she made the best choice she could make! thanks for sharing!

carolyn said...

Your post was beautiful and your friend, inspiring.

Thank you for such a poignant reminder about perspective and the gifts that He makes possible.

Kathysue said...

Beautifully written Amy. It truly is all about perspective. I have always said I can not change the circumstances arouond me or the attitude of others but I can change mine, so that is what I try to do when I feel at sorts. I think your friend Jen gets the picture. Thanks for sharing, Kathysue

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