The surgeon’s face told us the news wasn’t good. My stepfather’s brain surgery had taken longer than anticipated and we gathered to hear the results. The doctor was blunt: “I assume there is no good way to share this news…”
I’m sure he spoke in complete sentences, but all we heard were the words—brain cancer. Terminal. Six to nine months to live. When he finished and left the room, my mother burst into tears. My sister and I cradled her as she went through a series of emotions.
Always a stalwart of faith, she now said she wasn’t sure her faith was strong enough for this.
I smiled through my tears and said, “That’s okay, Mamma. My faith is strong enough for both of us.” Lord, help me have the faith I just professed, I prayed. Later, when she feared telling her husband the news, I assured her I would do that. Lord, speak through me because I don’t know how.
The next day, God was good and spoke the words David needed to hear through me. But God’s goodness was not limited to the comfort He gave to my mother nor to the words He gave me to break the news to my stepfather.
God’s goodness shone the brightest in David’s spirit when he responded to the hard diagnosis. With tears running down his face David said, “Cheri, I know when my time comes, I will take my last breath here and my next with Jesus.”
Over the next several days, David’s joy was palpable. Some feared he was in denial, but I knew this joy was a gift. David was not in denial. He was not ignoring reality; he was embracing it. David’s joy was not based on the world’s reality, but it was based on God’s reality. As I watched David, I had a question.
Who Determines Reality?
Why is it that when someone views life’s struggles through a rose-colored lens—why is that not reality? Could it be that this joy-filled view is true reality?
Two scriptures brought renewed hope:
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Psalms 3:5-6) NIV
- “We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.” (Psalm 33:20-22) NIV
I had new ears to hear these truths.
- The world’s reality is without hope, without a future, and without joy.
- God’s reality turns hopelessness and “future-lessness” into a reality that is hope-filled, future-focused, and joy-filled.
It isn’t a denial of reality but a redefinition of reality. It is a world in which we choose to hold onto a God-reality that is not tied to this world nor our understanding of it.
Wearing God-Colored Glasses
You may have been told when you decided to become an author or a speaker that you had your head in the clouds. You may have naysayers in your family or among your friends. Or you may have Satan whispering in your ear that this is pie-in-the-sky thinking—you’ll never make it.
I challenge you to put on God-colored glasses. When we do, those God-colored glasses allow us to change our view from seeing life from this reality to seeing it through the reality that says God has the last word. It says God holds our present and future, and His reality is our reality. Others may never see through those God-colored glasses, but you can hold your head high and persevere because you know a different reality.
Then, find a few others—authors, speakers, and publishers—who wear God-colored glasses to encourage and partner with you for the journey.
Question: How has God changed your perspective about your writing, speaking, or about a challenging personal situation? Did He use a specific person to adjust your thinking? At this juncture in your journey, who are you partnering with who wears God-colored glasses?
About Cheri Cowell
Cheri Cowell is the founder and owner of EABooks Publishing, and author of Direction: Discernment for the Decisions of Your Life (Beacon Hill Press). Visit her at www.EABooksPublishing.com or www.CheriCowell.com.