In the article last week, we continued our series on perspective in difficult times. We had started discussing the perspectives that both people, and the world around us, can give us in our own situations and circumstances in life. This week we continue that journey….
She tilted her head to one side, her furrowed little brow revealing her attempt to make sense of what I had just said, as she softly spoke these words, “But Mommy, now we won’t live happily ever after.”
These were the first words spoken by my three-year-old daughter, many years ago, as she gently wiped away the tears as they rolled down my cheeks. I pondered, for a moment, on what she had just said, in the moments after I had just told her that her Daddy had died that morning. As I looked at that face, full of innocence before me, I thought to myself, “this is how she sees it from her perspective”. She related her Daddy’s death to her understanding of books, the books she loved the most. The ones with the happy ending, “and they all lived happily ever after.”
To her this wasn’t the way her story, with her Daddy and our family, was supposed to end. This wasn’t “happy”. As I thought about what she had just said, and having no idea what else to say, her next words jarred me away from my own thoughts and back to hers as she now, matter- of-factly, exclaimed “But now he can ride a bicycle and hop on one foot.” In that split second, this three-year old child had taken this event and transitioned it from her earthly perspective to her Daddy’s perspective on the other side of eternity.
You see, months before she had been learning to ride a bike and also having much fun jumping on one foot. She had asked her Daddy to do the same, but he told her he couldn’t. He would have loved to have joined his daughter, but tumors on his spine prevented him from doing so. But, she was able to see that now her Daddy had a body, and eternal life, in which his earthly limitations were no longer a constraint. I was amazed how she shifted so quickly from her perspective to an eternal perspective at such a young age.
“A way to look at life with an uncluttered soul”
But then again, perhaps it is an advantage that youth and innocence give us. A way to look at life with an uncluttered soul. As we go through more and more, in life, we often began to lose sight of the reality of an eternal perspective that is so very critical in walking through difficult times.
She had learned to navigate her new life, as her Daddy began his after he “moved to Heaven,” as she would go on to describe his earthly absence to others.
There are so many times, in our life, that we encounter difficult circumstances we cannot “fix”, that no one can “fix”. We are left with the “Whys” that are often only answered on the other side of eternity. Standing firm, on that fact, and learning to live with unanswered “whys” is a critical step in caring for your soul and trusting God.
Learning to live with unanswered “Whys”
I wonder if God looks upon us, as we go through our life’s journey, as I looked down on my daughter that day, if His heart says to us, “But my child, there is always a ‘happily ever after end for My children…. eventually.”
As we journey through life, and all the difficulties it entails, we need to continually remind ourselves that, although we may not have a “happily ever after” end for each “chapter” in our life, it is very grounding when we look at our circumstances with eternity in mind. That we need to focus on the perspective, that will one day be ours, at the end of our story, from the other side of eternity. For, as believers, the last entry in our life’s book has already been written, and it is most certainly a “happily ever after.”
In the next few weeks we will take a look at not only an eternal perspective, to help us during difficult times, but also an attempt to glimpse, our life, from God’s perspective.