When You’ve Lost Perspective


I lost something the other day.

Disappointed in myself, I knew instantly that there would be no way I could ever get it back. The most frustrating part–I knew where it would most likely be, yet there was no way I could retrace my steps to retrieve it. I was in an airport terminal halfway around the world, on my way to board a connecting flight. I was pretty sure they weren’t going to hold up a flight full of passengers just for me to embark on a scavenger hunt.

The gold bracelet that I’m sure must have come off when I had removed my jacket earlier wasn’t particularly valuable, at least not in a monetary sense. It wasn’t the material loss–it was the sentimentality of it. The bracelet was, for me, a constant reminder of the word I had chosen to focus on for 2024. (Can you guess it?):


While it may seem almost humorous now, that I would “lose my perspective”, I can assure you that was not my first reaction! The word already implanted in my heart and mind for almost 4 months now had been a constant reminder of the importance of getting in God’s presence and looking for His perspective. The journey I was on began long before the calendar turned the page into a new year, and I really wanted to hang on to it for this once-in-a-lifetime trip to Greece. But it wasn’t meant to be.

Although the Journeys of Paul trip was planned many months before, it was something even more important in my life that lead me to choose the word perspective. When I flipped the calendar page over to 2024, I was nearing the end of a different kind of journey. For over six years, much of my time had been consumed by caring for aging parents. Even the days that I wasn’t with them, I was “on call”. Knowing that my time with them was limited, I wanted to live our last moments together without regret. It was early in January that my heart and mind to started to see those moments from an eternal perspective.

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. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

While it might be easy to say, it is often hard to see the “big picture”, or the eternal perspective. Life happens. Circumstances get messy, or we just plain mess up. Our focus so often is on what is happening in the moment and what that feels like, rather than what eternal significant thing might be happening because of the daily.

Here’s an example of what I saw in the last days of my Mama’s life here on earth:

I saw with my own eyes that something had changed. Mama was suffering from dementia, and though she lived mostly in the past, she still had days when she would be less confused and even recognize some of her visitors. But this day was different. When I looked in her eyes they were empty. She was void of emotion and didn’t really seem to be focusing on anything at all, though her eyes were open. She was more confused and had no desire to eat. I asked the nurse what was going on with her and they responded that they had seen a change in her as well, but no answers, so they called in a hospice nurse.

By the way, our experience with hospice was in every way positive. We are so grateful for the extra care and attention they can provide. Hospice came and did an evaluation and after consulting with other nurses who had been observing her, they declared that she was “actively dying”. Now that was a term I never heard before, but what it meant was, that Mom was in her final hours and that her body was shutting down. They presumed it would be 24-48 hours… but she lived for ten days after that day.

Why? Why did God allow her to heart to keep beating when her mind and her body had already failed? So many who came to see her were surprised to find that she was lingering so long, but as the hours stretched into days, I was blessed to see each person’s heart connection to my mother. Her life mattered. She lived and she loved and God used her to make a difference in other people’s lives. The things she accomplished and the things she accumulated wouldn’t matter one bit in these final moments–but the people she touched did. In her last years, she had little to contribute to society, yet she offered hugs and words of encouragement to any who would take the time to listen. Her most common words? “I love you.” Even to strangers. If they took the time to talk to her, she would tell them she loved them and make them promise to come back to see her.

Ancient Corinth, Greece

Life is a journey. Some days are uphill and hard. Others are beautiful and peaceful. Sometimes we choose our own path, but other days we aren’t afforded that luxury. We can see those days as good or bad, but recognizing every day as a gift changes your perspective. Even the hard times can be opportunities for good– for growth, for personal introspection, and for a closer dependence on the One who created you. I personally have grown even closer to the Lord because of the difficult times. While humanly speaking we don’t wish for hard things, it is often the hard things in life that remind us that there is an eternal perspective in play here.

When we left for our trip to Greece and Turkey, I was excited to see those places of the New Testament where Paul had travelled on his missionary journeys. For me, it was an opportunity to experience God in a new way. I wanted to experience more than a trip to a foreign country–I wanted to experience God there. Definitely a privilege i don’t take lightly, I knew that getting to see these places would change how I see and read the BIble. I am very much a visual learner, and I knew this would bring those words alive on the page.

That’s the thing about perspective. Those words–God’s Words–are alive. He uses His Word to actively change lives every.single.day. Just because I hadn’t seen those places didn’t mean that they weren’t real or that the events didn’t happen–and just because we don’t always see what God is doing doesn’t mean that He is absent or inactive. God is always at work.

When we lose perspective we have a choice. We can focus on the momentary affliction or we can choose to focus on what really matters. While it’s easier to see what’s right in front of us, the choice to look at the bigger picture can show us a better way. While we might not understand the why, we can often see the “So what do I do now?” It doesn’t always come naturally or easily, but when we choose to look for God’s perspective, it is always to our benefit. Instead of looking to the world for answers, look to God and to His Word. That bracelet was a small thing, really. I could have easily let the disappointment and frustration take over, but I didn’t. Not this time at least. I decided to let it go and recognize that God must have wanted to teach me something. And He did. He taught me another lesson on perspective.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding. Think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

When I tried to understand all this,
it seemed hopeless
until I entered God’s sanctuary

…But as for me, God’s presence is my good.
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
so I can tell about all you do.” Psalm 73:16,28

Editor's Picks