You may have noticed semi-trucks with safety decals on the back of their trucks stating, “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you,” or “The No Zone,” with blue highlights of unsafe areas around the truck. They are designed to warn you of well-known, possibly deadly areas around their truck that they cannot see. These blind spots can be fatal for whomever is in them and the truck driver as well.
I was driving home one day on a small two-lane road when traffic came to a standstill. Someone disregarded all of the warning signs on the truck and came alongside the truck as it was making a wide right-turn. Not seeing the car in its blind spot, the truck driver proceeded into the turn and the car slammed into the side gas tank, rupturing the tank, leaking diesel onto the street and into the drainage ditch. Thankfully, the diesel did not ignite , but there was still a mess to clean and we had to wait for the hazmat team to soak up all of the fuel. While we all may not drive trucks, we do have our own blind spots.
Do you know where yours are, these areas of our lives that something could be creeping up unexpectedly?
What’s in the blind spot is not always something bad, but it can be. It could be a beautiful view of a mountain range in your side mirror or a motorcyclist, a surprise promotion or a family illness, falling in love or a spousal affair, or one of an infinite number of situations. Why they happen varies from ignorance to distractedness, a busy life, to not knowing what clues to look for, and even literal blindness.
As a child, I had a freak accident where, floating in the middle of a lake on a tractor innertube, my brothers and I, as brothers often do, started wrestling and jumping on top of our tubes. As I came up over the edge of my tube, from under the water, my brother released his grip of the metal stem used to inflate the tube. The tip of the stem struck my eye and, with intense pain, I fell back into the water and struggled to get back to shore, wailing in pain.
Thirty-something years later, during a visit to my doctor’s office, we got on the topic of blind spots. I’d recently noticed that in that same spot where I got hit with the tractor tire stem, I now have a blind spot. I noticed one day as I pointed at something that I saw only the lower half of my finger. The tip of my finger disappeared as if it was stuck in a vortex of time and space. I pulled my hand down a little and I could see the whole thing again. I moved my finger up even further than before and I could see my hand and the tip of my finger, but the base of my finger was gone. It was the oddest thing I have seen.
Mr. Doctor said it was likely some sort of Charles Bonnet Syndrome, explaining how the human mind will fill in the blanks with random images or samples of the area around the blind spot, because it can’t make sense of the lack of information it is receiving.
In my case, my mind is likely filling in the void created by the injury to my eye, blending the surrounding area over the blind spot. It’s not a big portion of my vision, however it’s enough to make me conscious. My awareness of it allows for me to look around to ensure that my mind is not playing tricks on me.
The same principle applies to our spiritual lives. Many of us have been hurt or injured by someone or something in our lives. Our mind’s defense mechanisms put a wall around that pain so it isn’t injured anymore and so the pain will subside. We eventually become numb to it and just start looking past it. God didn’t want it to be this way though. We were created to bring everything to Him, to be able to see things from His point of view.
The belief that the hurt is too great to address and there is no hope of it stopping is often a symptom of the real issue, a belief that God doesn’t hear, doesn’t care, or isn’t there. Could it be that we just can’t see Him because we have become blind to His presence? What if our minds are just playing tricks on us, covering up His existence and all that He has done for us?
Psalm 147:3 says that God “…heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” What if God is inside the walls of that pain waiting for you to peek in and allow Him to heal your broken heart and bind up that wound? What if that blind spot is just where we need to look for healing?
Jesus left the disciples, but He did not leave them alone, nor are you alone.
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:25-27
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you?
Author of What Lies Beneath: From Lies to Love and’
Do you ever feel like you’re a disappointment to others? Like you can never meet their expectations? How can we approach people who have unrealistic expectations of us? What are we responsible for and what isn’t ours to take on?
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Continuing along on our journey of being a foster family, I wanted to chat about THE question that inevitably always comes up when talking to someone unfamiliar with or new to foster care: “How will you be able to let them go?”
Well, last week was our first personal experience with this, so I feel like I finally have a credible answer to give. First of all, every family is different and every child’s case is different. Some kids end up going to places that are less than ideal in the eyes of the foster parents. Others go to safe, loving homes. And still others go to places that have been proven unsafe and unloving, with a good chance that this child could end up back in the system. So, I will not presume to touch on every varying possibility, but I am more than happy to share our own experience and hopefully it’s an encouragement to you.
Last week, our sweet little foster daughter left us to go live with a relative. We had the privilege of caring for her and including her in our family for four months. We got to see her first steps, teach her new words and smother her in love. In return, we were blessed with her smiles and kisses and the peace of knowing that we were exactly where God wanted us to be.
Looking back over the course of those months, I see God’s favor everywhere! We worked with some amazing people, from CPS workers (yep, it’s true!) to hospital staff to our agency, support group and more. The people on this case cared about her well-being most of all and it was such a blessing to see that happening. It was a crazy mixture of emotions that swept over me when we were told that she would be leaving “next week”. Suddenly we had to think about gathering all her possessions and inventorying them, all the while feeling so grieved and saddened that we may not ever see her again. I vacillated between peace and mourning, relief and deep sadness, excitement for her and fear about her transitioning. Up and down for days!
But one thing helped us the most: from the very beginning of this journey for us, we kept in mind that until God tells us otherwise, these children that we invite into our family are not “ours”…at least not yet. We are the caretakers standing in while their forever home is prepared. Our hope has always been to adopt, and that is still the case. But until that is legally available as an option to us, God has helped us give love freely and fully, while still holding them loosely in our hearts.
People often say, “I could never do that! I’d get too attached and wouldn’t want them to go!” I get it…we got attached too. She was so unbelievably precious, it would’ve been a lost cause to even try to avoid attachment. And that’s exactly what I said when I tried to avoid walking this road two years ago. But God dropped peace on me, over and over and over again. I knew that it was okay for my heart to get a little bruised and it’d be worth it if I could be a safe place for God’s little princess.
Along with peace and favor, God just showed off in so many little ways! Without seeking it out, I was invited to meet the out-of-town relative that would be the new guardian for this sweet girl. That meeting alone dispelled fear and gave me reassurance that she’d be safe and well-loved. I was thanked profusely for everything we did and was assured that we would be able to maintain contact and hear updates as she grows.
So, when the day came to say good-bye, along with the rest of her things, I tucked in a scrapbook with pictures and prayers to say how wonderful she is and how much she touched our lives. We had one last dance party in the living room, watched her shake her little booty to the rhythm, shared tons of hugs and kisses and waved bye-bye as she was driven away. The house was noticeably quiet that day (even with our two kiddos)! I looked around at the baby things and felt her missing. But even as we started to pack those things away and go on with the business of life, like the excitement of grocery shopping, God drenched us in peace.
Peace amidst the heartache and sadness. Peace that helps me enjoy the back-step to two children in the house. Peace to trust that God knows better than I do. Peace that I am confident this adorable little girl is safe, loved and getting comfortable in her new home.
As for us, we are taking a break for a little while to rest and rejuvenate and most importantly to listen to what God has next for our family. His timing is perfect.
If you’re a foster/adoptive family or are considering it, visit Chosen Ones! God brings special families together and this amazing ministry provides support and encouragement to make these families successful. They have immensely blessed us in our journey and I can’t imagine having walked this road without them!