Choosing to See Beyond Your Grief
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” Ephesians 1:18 (NIV)
I remember when I heard the news. I was elated and squealed and cried! I hugged our kids, my husband, the dog and anyone else close enough to grab!
I asked my son and daughter-in-law a million questions. And then, hours later, alone in my bed, I processed the news … alone in the reality of fresh loss. The sadness closed in like the final curtain after a beautiful play. Elation was replaced by reality — a reality that brought feelings I never expected.
The reality is, I’m blind. I am about to become a grandma, and I won’t see my grandbaby’s eyes. I won’t know if he has Clayton’s nose or Caroline’s mouth. I won’t see his smile. I won’t see his tiny hands balled into fists as he toddles on chunky little legs taking his first steps. I was deflated. I wept. I asked God a million questions as I hugged my pillow.
Lord, I won’t be able to care for him or take him to the park or color with him or even play peek-a-boo.
Will he think of me as the grandma who isn’t fun? Will he feel safe with me? Will I be the grandma he’s unsure of until he’s old enough to understand?
As I tossed and turned and prayed and cried, I thought of how much I wanted to feel gratitude, not grief. Joy, like when I first heard the news … before sorrow clouded my vision.
I lost my sight at 15, but now at 53, becoming a grandma is forcing me to grieve blindness in new and unexpected ways.
Grief and gratefulness can share the same heartbeat, but they don’t always share the same viewpoint. I want to see beyond grief and fix my eyes only on gratefulness.
That’s why I need to see with my heart. And, sister, I have a strong feeling I’m not the only one. But we can’t unless God opens the eyes of our hearts, as our key verse says:
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people” (Ephesians 1:18).
When God opens the eyes of our hearts, we can see the hope to which we are called. We’re not called to despair or constant grief; we are called to hope.
God wants to open our spiritual eyes so we can see hope with our hearts. When we see with our hearts, we see blessing and potential tucked within loss and disappointment.
When we see with our hearts, we focus on what we have, not what we’ve lost. We view our situations, our whole lives, through the eyes of gratefulness. And grateful eyes will always see hope.
Seeing with our hearts doesn’t mean we won’t still hurt. It doesn’t mean we see everything through rose-colored filters. Grief is still real, and grief still hurts. But when we ask God to open our spiritual eyes, we see beyond the loss.
I may not see little dimples and dancing brown eyes with my eyes, but I can feel wonder when I touch that satiny skin. I may not see that baby’s sweet face, but I can hear a thousand anthems of praise in his giggle. I can caress infant skin bearing the fingerprint of God and feel gratefulness and hope radiate through my grief. I can and will see that baby with my heart.
You may hold unexpected grief in your heart today. Maybe you carry a burden that makes you grateful or a gift that makes you cry. No matter what life looks like for you today, God can help you see it with the eyes of your heart.
I know He can, my sister, because that’s what He’s doing for me. When we see with our hearts, hope bursts on the horizon, no matter how cloudy or dark the day.
God is the one who opens eyes. He opens eyes of the blind and those who see perfectly but are blinded by disappointment, loss or grief.
So, if what you see discourages you, ask God to open the eyes of your heart and fix them on what is unseen. Because what is seen is temporary, and what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Dear Lord, focus my spiritual eyes so I can see Your hand, Your heart and Your purpose in all I experience. Let me see with my heart today and every day, so I can see hope. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Consider how your perspective will change if you see with your heart. How can your day improve if you’re willingly blind to what bothers you and choose to see hope instead?
Choose one difficulty, loss or hard relationship to focus on today. Ask God to open your eyes to see it through His eyes. Then act according to His view rather than your own.