Years ago, I thought God had given me a title to a book, workshop or something. The title was, “Having a Glass-Half-Empty Mind, Living a Glass-Half-Full Life. This represented how I viewed life. Yes, this mindset is not of God. It is really the opposite of God’s Word and what He has for us/me. There are so many scriptures that challenge us to view life more positively. Believe me, I have read and quoted them frequently. In fact, reading and reciting God’s promises and assurances inspires me to push through my natural (flesh) tendency to look at ½ empty and taste the world of ½ full. What is this phenomenon? Is focusing on the “half empty” scenario a form of protection from disappointment? Yes. Is there a hole in my trust in God? Of course. But thank God, He always sends someone, a word of wisdom, a testimony, and an abundance of scriptures to bring me back into His Purpose. But ½ empty represents how I grew up viewing life. When I was very young, an artist in a department store etched a picture of me. When she was done, I didn’t believe it looked like me: a very solemn face. My mother in her very frank manner said something like this, “You know Lael is a sad sack.” Gotta love my mom, she didn’t pull any punches. The realization that this ½ empty mindset started years ago in my life.
At 18, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness, Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have been fighting this chronic ailment for 46 years. Anyway, I don’t want to focus on that but on an example of a “half-full” glass. Some thirty ago when my daughters were still young, my rheumatologist made a memorable statement. She knew I had 2 daughters; her conversation was encouraging. She discussed the medications I needed and told me essentially that you need to feel better because you will want and need to comb your daughters’ hair and enjoy them. Because God throughout the years directed my path to the physicians I needed, I was able to take care of their hair: washing, greasing, combing, braiding, curler setting, and shh… I even put in a few relaxers. Not a beat was missed in caring for my family. I think often about that conversation with the doctor and thank God! Yes, a “half full” life. The next story of illustrates how God continued to change my mindset.
I worked as a Mental Health therapist for 18 years at the same agency. About 7 years ago the county I worked for made a decision to close the therapy department and contract it to other agencies. Well, what was I going to do? Right away feelings that are in that “half-empty” glass haunted me. Not just the financial concerns but feeling low, worthless, not valued, etc. Though ending the department had nothing to do with me, I still struggled. Soon after leaving the job, I needed high risk spinal surgery. At the same time our oldest daughter and her husband were expecting our first grandchild. I believed God for a successful operation and reminded God of His promises to us. God’s word is true! Consider Romans 8:28,” For we know that ALL things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”.
After successfully, coming out of surgery, I was instructed to participate outpatient rehab. At the same time my daughter was 9 months pregnant in Houston, Texas. Because I wasn’t working, God opened the door for me to receive rehab in Houston. This allowed me to be present for the birth of my baby/our first grandson. Not only that, I was able to stay in Houston caring for my grandchild for six months! And… since both daughters lived in Houston, I was able to hang and enjoy being with daughter #2. My main takeaway? My glass wasn’t just half-full but overflowing! That was a time I will never forget. I can hear the song “He’s Able’” running through my head. “Half -Empty”, really Lael? Writing about this fills me with tears of thankfulness.
Though there are many, I would like to leave you with one more testimony. Anyone who knows me, knows I enjoy traveling so, so much. As a teen, I imagined myself being an airline stewardess (oops! flight attendant). I figured that would give me lots of traveling opportunities. Is traveling a need? No, but it is a desire. God has brought many opportunities to do just that. I could go on about how God has been so gracious. But I will end with this statement. “Lael, what is with this half-empty stuff?” I can now declare, “My glass is half-full and overflowing.
In closing, let me declare that these testimonies are not unique to me. It is just good to focus on the overflowing blessings of God in our lives. We can easily allow our minds to focus on “lack” and gloss over the big picture. But watch, the enemy will try to shake you as soon as you change your focus toward God’s work. Below are a few scriptures to encourage you and clarify your perspective while walking with God.
2 Samuel 22:33