Before You Swing Your Feet off the Bed


“Please come with me to the conference room,” the voice said above my cubicle.

I swallowed hard. My hands began to moisten and my heart drummed. Days prior, I’d fought a lump in my throat when my closest co-worker was escorted to the parking lot. With purse in hand, she exited the premises, leaving behind a couple of decades of dedicated employment. Looks like I was about to follow the same pattern.

“Sure,” I said as I walked behind the manager to the conference room. It might as well have been a gas chamber.

With a few minutes of “We’re very sorry,” followed by other clichés too empty to consider, my job ended.

A friend related the above scenario, which mirrors thousands of other situations all over, on all levels and in all industries.

So, what do you do when a change like that spins your head with shock? The change affects the family, everyone’s routine, and disturbs your frame of mind. Discouragement jabs while the bank account threatens to dry quicker than a puddle in Orlando’s summer.

This writer tasted the unfairness of a similar loss. When a retinal disease robbed my sight, the resulting darkness ushered self-pity, anger, bitterness and disbelief at the misfortune. All people around me were affected. But then, a crazy thing happened--eventually those negative emotions drained enough out of me to begin to look beyond what I’d lost and focus on what I still had.

True, my choice would have been to live a life with sight—not an unreasonable request. But God paved other paths for me. The paths that would strengthen my character stir my creativity; teach me to see the positive side of all situations and the determination to persevere. These attributes have enriched my life in ways that 20/20 vision could not.

The trauma of losing something lies in the fact that we grow accustomed to a certain way of life, a specific routine and a comfortable pattern. When that’s disrupted, a sense of protest threatens to explode within us.

And when that happens, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4: 12-13)

Although we don’t know the exact timing, glory and triumph is a promise, guaranteed and certain. That’s why God created us with the ability to withstand, to endure and to overcome. And it’s those survival instincts—a gift from God’s grace-- that keep us going, readjusting to new patterns and even finding a bright side to the change.

Although they might bring on a bit of discomfort, they nudge us to do things we never entertained before. And that brand new change is like clicking the “refresh” button on the computer screen of our lives.

There’s no reason to have a party when adverse events occur in our lives, but celebrating in some way should still follow. With a deep sigh of acceptance, we need to focus on what we still have rather than on what we’ve lost, and adjust the lenses of life to see a new horizon. But a new beginning waits around the corner, with vibrant sites to ponder and new possibilities to consider. A renewed sense of adventure stirs in us each morning as we swing those feet off the bed and face a brand new day.

Janet Eckles jeckles@cfl.rr.com http://www.janetperezeckles.com/ 

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