For the past year or so, I have been working on keeping a positive perspective. I am a perpetually negative person. I typically see the glass as half-empty and I would like to tell you that I am truly just seeing the glass as it presents itself. I gravitate towards the negative of a situation. Often, I find saying negative things seems more truthful than saying positive ones. This is because I rarely notice the positive in a situation. I sometimes feel it would be lying to state something positive because I cannot look past the negative to see it.
This is certainly not a way to keep friends for very long. People simply do not like to be around a negative Nancy. But I wasn’t being negative to be annoying. I simply did not know how to see a situation as positive. I (by the grace of God, and a few other people) finally realized that all of this negativity stemmed from my perspective, not my circumstances. No matter the situation, I could find something to complain about. I was even able to complain about classes being cancelled because it meant this or that which I wasn’t prepared for. It was my heart that needed to change.
So I began a journey, actively pursuing the positive side of life. I am certainly still on the journey, but I have come to a place I never thought I could be. I am not overly optimistic about things, and I still on occasion complain about things that should be happy or at least good. However, I have had a heart change. I have prayed often for God to show me positive things. I know my tendency to complain goes much deeper than circumstances or even personality. If I cannot see the positive things, I cannot say them. So I work hard to see them. Every time I feel the warm sun against my skin I feel alive. When it’s hot outside, I remind myself Texas is hotter, and winter is colder and I am content with being hot.
My circumstances have changed. My life has been abruptly interrupted by news. The life altering sad kind of news. A year ago, this would have shattered my world. A year ago I would have dwelt on it, obsessing over every known and unknown detail. I would have told everyone I saw.
But I’m not worried. Another thing about positivity is that is infectious. It is a paradigm shift and therefore it shifts everything else. A year ago I would have said that I trust God with this situation, but it wouldn’t have stopped me from worrying. Now I know with my head and my heart that worrying will not help. What will happen, will happen and it will be whatever can best glorify God. And it’s good. That is how people praise God for hard things.
Even in the midst of sorrow, I lift my praises high. Because He is good. Not because I think He will miraculously change my circumstances. Not because I think I deserve this. He is good because He cannot be bad. He is good because His love will never end. He is good because He does not change. He does not cease being good because my circumstances change. He does not cease being loving because I am unlovely.
It’s in these moments–the ones we would not prefer. That sticky messy part of life that no one plans for and always hopes won’t happen, that’s when we feel God’s love best. People gather around us in support. We feel the love and grace of God through their support. We feel it through sermons and scripture readings and notes of encouragement. We feel it through promptings of the Holy Spirit and well timed phone calls. It’s these moments that we would not prefer that the love of God is evidenced strongest. And these are the positive moments that I choose to hold. The suffering is hard. The pain is real. But so is the blessing. Even in the worst moments, the positive is there. And today I choose to see it.