Recently I switched from wearing glasses to wearing contacts. I’ve worn contacts before, so re-learning how to put my contacts in and taking them out was like “riding a bike.” I feel like having contacts has a lot of perks that go along with them. For one, it does feels nice not having to clean my glasses every thirty minutes, or not having to squint through the smudges on my glasses because they’re dirty and I’m too lazy to clean them.
Another perk is that I can now wear whatever sunglasses I want to wear; no more having to purchase prescription sunglasses every year along with my regular glasses. Plus, if I wanted to wear glasses one day I can always go somewhere and find a nice cheap pair of non-prescription glasses because that’s in style these days.
But one thing I’ve noticed in this process is that I still act like I’m wearing glasses instead of contacts. I am still pushing my “glasses” up at the bridge of my nose. Or holding the imaginary side of my “glasses” in order to adjust them and put them back into place. I’ve also noticed that when I am sweeping my bangs out of my eyes, I automatically try to grab my glasses in order to adjust them.
I guess when I noticed myself doing this I really wasn’t surprised, sometimes the adjustments I made to my glasses were habit and just impulse reactions. But what surprised me was the feeling I got in the pit of my stomach when I discover I didn’t have my glasses on. In this moment I often felt anxious and I was desperately wanting that reassurance of adjusting my glasses.
This told me that adjusting my glasses wasn’t just a habit, it might actually be how I cope with anxiety or nervousness. To my surprise my glasses had become like a security blanket in this process called life. Having something on my face to “adjust” when I was anxious, or nervous, was something I became used to. Then when the glasses weren’t there, the anxiety level in me actually increased a bit because I didn’t know what else to do in those situations, or how else to respond to the feelings that I was feeling.
This lead me to begin thinking about certain habits that I had formed over the years with my thinking. Truth be told, when something triggers a fear or anxiety in me, I have an initial reaction that often seems a bit habitual even if it clearly isn’t a valid response, or if it doesn’t accurately depict what is truly happening at the moment.
I think we are all really good at finding ways to “fill in the gaps” of life when it comes to our fears and how we respond in certain situations. Some situations are so difficult to address because they aren’t something we experience on a regular basis. Or maybe they are difficult to address because of past instances where the situation looks familiar so we automatically respond in a way that is familiar to us.
That’s what I had been doing with my “phantom glasses”after getting contacts; I had been reacting to familiar situations with a familiar response – adjusting my glasses. After I realized this I asked myself, “how can I stop doing this?”
Over the years I have actually been working on how I respond to people, situations, and changing my initial response from one that is negative to one that is positive and that gives people the benefit of the doubt. But adding in the whole aspect of how I was acting like I was still wearing glasses when I wasn’t, helped me to realize even more about letting go of an old mindset and how to retrain my brain on how I think.
It really is possible to change how you think and how you respond to certain situations Jesus talked about how you can’t put new wine into old wineskins, He was referring to the pharisees and the fact that He was bringing a whole new way to do religion onto the scene. Unfortunately, those who feel like the old way of doing things is the only way you can have God’s favor in their life would experience a “bursting” of the wine skin.
Jesus told us that we need to change the old wineskin to a new wineskin in order to receive the new wine. As Jesus walked this earth, He always talked about how to change your thinking. He always said that it is not about what you do, but about what you believe. Repentance, forgiveness, humility, and grace alone cause us to constantly battle with our old way of thinking and embracing the new that Jesus has for us! Often when Jesus was ready to heal someone He would ask them if they believed in Him, or He would tell them that their faith had healed them.
Adjusting our Lens
With every offense, our initial reaction is justice. But God said that He is our refuge, strength, and vengeance belongs to Him!
With every rejection our initial reaction is feeling worthless and not good enough. But God said that He will never leave us nor forsake us, and we are never alone when we walk with Him.
We are so special to Him that He made a great sacrifice that was one big announcement of His love and acceptance for all humanity – all we need to do is to accept and receive His love into our hearts and into our lives.
Like with my glasses, how we approach certain situations is really just about learning how to respond in a different way than we are used to. I feel so strongly that God is calling me to a new place in my life, and switching from glasses to contacts was just a prophetic moment in my life to express exactly what He is doing.
I feel like the Lord is calling the body of Christ to change our perspective, and redirect our focus.
Just like I am learning to go from the habit of adjusting my glasses, I feel like we, as the body of Christ, are learning new reactions to what is going on in our own personal lives, and to the world around us. We are taking off the glasses that have acted like our security blankets. Those old reactions to life that we felt were keeping us safe and secure are now gone. Instead we have traded them in for a life of freedom. Think of all the time and the effort you will save by not adjusting your glasses all of the time, or by taking on a mindset that is unhealthy to you and those around you.
This is a season where God is saying take off the old wineskin and put on the new to prepare for the new wine that He is about to pour into your life. I feel like God is saying that when we change our focus and shift our perspective in life we are going to have moments where we automatically react in ways that we used to; however, when we take a shift towards what we focus on, when go to react in the old way it won’t hold any weight because just like the glasses I keep adjusting, what we are reacting to is gone!
The only way to get rid of the old glasses is to find something new to focus on, and decide what you believe to be true about God. I have written on this blog before that sometimes when I journal I write down “I believe” statements. Just today my husband pointed out to me that it takes faith to believe in the truth or to even believe in a lie. Whatever you believe in takes faith because sometimes we don’t have proof that the lie is real, and sometimes we don’t have proof that freedom is real, either.
But when we decide to focus on the goodness of God we change our perspective. When I go to God in prayer, and claim what I believe in, I am changing my perspective. So whenever I go to “adjust my glasses” and fall back on my “knee-jerk” reaction to certain events in my life, I realize that the validity of this reaction is not there. Yes, we might feel anxious because we have been hanging onto our reaction and old way of living as a way of bringing security to our life, and protecting us form every potential bad thing that could possible happen in our life, but even that reality is a lie. We always have the opportunity to believe in something good, and fix our eyes on the hope that is set before us. Just read Hebrews Chapter 12 – this is my life chapter in the Bible. Lord knows I can’t just have a life verse, I need to cling to an entire chapter!
I truly feel like God wants to release us from the old mindset, the old wineskin, and He wants to give us a new “set of eyes” to see with in this world. God is so good that He will do what He says, and I truly believe that. Maybe it is easy to keep the old perspective in life, and in changing our perspective and reactions we feel vulnerable and exposed in some way to the enemy and the bad things that could happen in this life; however, we need to remember that Jesus wants us to change our perspective and He gave us hope to believe that even in the darkest of times in life there is always a light and a future we can cling to.
So how do we change our mindset? I just feel like the Lord is calling us to change our perspective. To look for the good, and to praise Him for the blessings that we encounter on a regular basis, every single day. One practical way you can do this everyday is to simply write down “I believe” statements because what you believe about God, other people, yourself, and this world, matters.
P.S. I know y’all are used to me adding a printable at the end of every post, but I do have to apologize that there will be no printable here today. I have been super busy trying to complete some projects with my books that have been put on the back burner for quite some time. So all of my graphic design skills have been poured into creating brand new covers for all of my books. As some of you may have noticed I am have been adding the new book covers everywhere; however, not all of the books have been updated on Amazon. But I will be working diligently to have all the books covers updated within the next two weeks. I hope you all enjoy these new covers, they are a part of the re-branding I am working on over at Becoming Press. Right now, I am feeling like it is time for a change, and I am having a a lot of fun in the process. I think ministry should be fun, so that’s what I am embracing in this season. I would love to hear your feedback on the new book covers. Also, be on the look out for a whole new design here at my personal blog by January 1, 2018. Again, it’s going to be all about the FUN in 2018 so I will also be adding some new blog post content then, too. Thank you all for reading my blog, and for supporting me on my journey. I hope that what I write and all that I do encourages you and inspires you to become all that God created you to be! God Bless YOU!
Our faith begins with what we know and believe about God. Our faith will carry us how far we are willing to let it take us. Faith is a choice and we need to begin by choosing to believe in Jesus and His power to move mountains, heal the sick, and save us from all our sins through His sacrifice on the cross.