[tweetthis]I see what, who, whose, and why I am. Yes! My purpose and destiny are clear like crystal.[/tweetthis]
Losing My Sight and Grabbing God’s Vision
Kimberly N. Alleyne
Publisher and Editor, The Harvest Magazine
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Recently I have struggled to embrace the process of aging that I seem to be diving into. I am changing. I am changing physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. All this change has unearthed a new “me,” and unveiled a new life season that seems to have come upon me far too soon; and it’s a season I am not so sure I am ready to dwell in. And yet I know that none of this is optional. Life does not proceed on a flex schedule. It proceeds according to God’s schedule, and we can either ride the ride or not.
In this season I am learning more about myself. Some days I feel empowered and confident, and other days I feel like my canoe just tipped over in 100 feet-deep water, and I am not wearing a life vest; or as if I am choking to death and trying to scream for help but no one can hear me because I lost my voice.
Not everything changes with age. Deep sigh.
I am different — I. Am. Different.
It’s not the crow’s feet splaying out from the corners of my eyes, or the age wrapping itself around my neck, the hollowing of my once-chubby cheeks, or even the various sounds that my joints make if I move the wrong way. I have made note of all that stuff, and it’s hard to swallow, trust me; but I am noticing that I am different in other, more substantive ways.
I am a different daughter than I was 10 or even five years ago. These days I think about how the time I have with my Mom is dwindling. I find myself wanting to ask her everything I can think of, things I have never thought to ask her before, as if I have been granted one, final interview with her. I want to record her voice so that I can still her when…our time together is up.
I think about how our respective roles and relationships with one another will change, evolve as she ages. She will need me more, need my help more. I have always needed a lot of her, and somehow, I don’t see that changing. In fact, the older I get, the more I need her. And I can’t get enough time with her no matter how often we visit with one another. I always want her around. Even when she’s fussing at me about my weight, or the amount of Coca Cola I drink, I want her – need her—around. I appreciate time, my time, our time, more. I “get” just what a precious commodity it is.
My vision is different.
I have had poor vision since my junior year of high school. That’s when I got my first pair of glasses. Later I got contacts. Near-sightedness is what has plagued me since the 11th grade, perhaps even before then. I even considered Lasik surgery at one point. All these years I’ve relied on glasses (or contacts) to correct my distance vision, and now all of the sudden, voilà! I can’t see close up, either. Ha! Yes, it’s that time. It’s that time for me to get a pair of readers. Ugh!! I need a pair of readers as badly as a fish out of water needs, well…water. You should see me squinting and blinking and repositioning papers to see only half-way clearly. It’s a riot. And yet I have been unable to make a move to get a dumb pair of readers. At least not yet.
I remember my grandmother’s readers; they were black frames with tiny silver screws and square-ish lenses. I think the top, right corners of the frames were a bit pointed. She wore them when she did the daily crossword puzzle (in ink). She wore them when she read her Bible, too (She loved reading Kings). And I remember when Mom got her reading glasses. Nope, I am #notready. And yes, my stubbornness is fueled by #vanity.
You know what’s weird, though? The more my natural vision weakens, the more my spiritual vision sharpens. Isn’t that interesting? Now, I “see” things, things of God, things about His kingdom, things about me more sharply. I see how totally hopeless and helpless I am without Him. I see how much damage I cause (mainly to and for myself) when I don’t wait on Him to move, or when I don’t heed His instructions.
Everything is so incredibly clear to me now. I have a panoramic view from the inside. I no longer care about who accepts or does not accept me. I know longer live my life to please or appease others. I no longer dwell in fear over ending unhealthy relationships, or removing toxic and caustic people from my life. I no longer squat so that someone can feel taller or bigger or better about themselves. I no longer dull my shine so that someone else can feel not so dull, or so that they don’t have to acknowledge what they have not accomplished, or want to accomplish. I am no longer moved by people who are miserable and disgusted with themselves, and aim to treat me like the garbage they feel like. And I no longer define my worth, confidence, success or identity based on what someone thinks of me, or how someone treats me.
I am learning to appreciate closed doors. I am learning to have compassion for my enemies, which is a step beyond forgiving and releasing them. I have come to understand that my enemies are human scaffolds that allow me to step up and into precisely what God wants me to have. Every enemy (and attack) has a purpose, and I get that now. Heck, don’t hate the person–hate the spirit behind the person and the tomfoolery that person is an advocate, agent, and zealot for. Bless their hearts-literally! Bless them!!
It is clear to me now that every failure, every sin, every heartache, every betrayal, every rejection, every harsh and negative word, every broken relationship, every cruel and unwarranted act, every closed door, every delayed answer to a prayer, every answer that was far different from what I asked for, every loss, all the abuse, every unfair judgment and misrepresentation — all of it was ordered, and a part of the Plan, a part of the blueprint for my life. Not one event in my life came as a surprise to God, or happened outside His divine plan, or His decision to allow it to happen. Not one thing. It is as if He was casting my vision so to say because I was too blind to do it myself, to think about how my present would shape or impact my future, and ultimately God’s plan…
Thank God for His hand and mercy.
Not one event in my life came as a surprise to God, or happened outside His divine plan, or His decision to allow it to happen. Not one thing. It is as if He was casting my vision so to say because I was too blind to do it myself, to think about my present would shape or impact my future, and ultimately God’s plan…
I see what, who, whose, and why I am. Yes! My purpose and destiny are clear like crystal. Yes! I may not know all the mile markers or traffic patterns. I don’t have a map for tomorrow, or next week, or next year, but I am on the road and most days that’s enough for me…
It’s like I am walking in a blurry haze, but have 20/20 vision all at once. Things, and the world, are blurry with my natural eye, but everything is razor-sharp clear with my spiritual eye. How does that work?
I think it works by maturing in the Lord to a point where all you care about is Him: pleasing Him. Chasing Him. Pouring your love on Him. Trusting Him. Giving yourself over to abandon to and for Him.
I never imagined I would be at this point. I can truthfully write that there are so many things that I once obsessed over that I simply no longer care about. So many things.
I am aging, but I am also maturing, and the latter of the two dynamics doesn’t always necessarily emerge.
I have much more work to do, and miles to go. My vision is not perfect, but I am in a good place. A great place. A place of inward and outward transformation. This is a time to open my eyes wider.
That’s how I see it.