Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Perspective. Part 1


I was reminded so powerfully the other day about how utterly and literally our perspective affects our life, for better or worse.

I’ve just come out of the most difficult season of my life. I became so downtrodden, anxious, neurotic, and devoid of peace that it became almost impossible to picture my life being whole, healthy, and joyful again.


I was caught in the midst of my circumstances, looking around me and seeing nothing but defeat and repetition of my deepest fears come to life. I felt outsized, outnumbered, and utterly exhausted to the breaking point.

But, oh, perspective.

I took a walk through Central Park the other day. I do this on many days, but this particular day was quite different. What started out as not being the most pleasant stroll in the world, soon turned into a powerful, spiritual, surreal experience that I will never forget.

It was very cold and extremely windy outside; not an ideal atmosphere for a leisurely stroll with God in the park. As soon as I stepped out the door, my body reacted and jerked uncomfortably to the cold. The wind was so crisp and sharp that my ears began to scream and alarm with discomfort. My flesh began to think about how much more comfortable it would be in my nice, warm bedroom, cozied up comfortably on my bed in my sweats with a hot cup of tea…in safety…in isolation.

I knew, however, that this park is my oasis. It is my path to freedom from a season of painful isolation, obsessive repetition, and fear of the outside world. It is my secret place with God. It is my saving grace in the midst of a chaotic metropolis.

It is my park.

Those are my paths to stroll with the Lord and I was not about to let uncomfortable temperatures and circumstances dictate my pursuit of peace and beauty…my pursuit of Him. My desire for freedom and the restoration of joy to my heart far outweighed my desire for comfort and security; a security which in essence was a false sense of security anyways since I am always secure with the Lord being with me wherever I go. The four walls of my bedroom do not provide my security and safety. I am reminded that Jesus provides my security and safety, always.

My walk becomes brisk as I combat the frigid air. I take my usual path through the park, but soon find myself being wooed to walk down a different path that I had not taken before. This path led out to an area of the park that I had seen in films, but had never experienced from that vantage point in person.

Set before me was an amazing vista of the park’s winter ice rink completely surrounded by a 180 degree view of the magnificent Manhattan skyline along Central Park South. To my right was a massive rock that provided a view that was about 10 feet higher and 30 feet further from where I was currently standing. A significant number of people where gathered on the rock, peering off into the beautiful view and taking pictures that strove to last a lifetime.

I felt the Lord nudging me to go over and step up onto the rock for a better view. I said to the Lord, “That is not necessary, Lord. I can see just fine from here. Besides, to get to that rock, I have to go off of the path and step through muddy terrain. It could be dirty. It could be messy. My shoes could get dirty. It’s not necessary, Lord. I can see just fine from where I am.”

Quietly, in that beautiful but powerful, still, small voice, the Lord replied back, “Amanda, sometimes you have to go through the mud to gain a new perspective and go higher.”

I knew in that moment that the “clean” and “safe” path was no longer an option. It was time for me to step off the paved path and step through the mud so that I could step “up” onto The Rock (pun intended) and see from a new angle.

The result was absolutely incredible.

Even though the rock was not that much higher from where I was originally standing, the view was completely different. All of a sudden the skyline literally jumped out at me as if I was wearing 3-D glasses. I could see the expanse of the gorgeous park beneath the skyline’s mighty width and breath. I saw…




… in all it’s magnificence and splendor. It was as if a veil had been removed from my eyes and I could really see the beauty that had been there all along. It was the beauty that had been clouded out by a fog of difficulty and desperation, but praise God, that fog was now gone. What had previously felt like a concrete jungle that I simply needed to survive in such a difficult season, now became a work of architectural, limitless, living art upon which to thrive.


Gazing there upon the expansive skyline and the world’s most famous park, my mental and spiritual enemies that had tormented me for months suddenly became my footstool in a single moment (Psalm 110:1, Luke 20: 42-43). I was now seeing the world around me from the Almighty’s perspective. The higher perspective. Heaven’s vantage point.

I was reminded once again that God BROUGHT me to this city. I did not move here on my own volition and self will. He placed me here. He literally opened every door for me to be here that no man could have ever orchestrated.  What the Lord has ordained, no darkness can destroy or override. He brought me to this city not to simply survive, but to thrive and have dominion and to see His goodness in the land of the living.

I was flooded with memories of all the incredible miracles that God had worked in my life in this beloved city over the past year and a half. The wonderful memories began to outshine the dark ones. My God-given love for this city began to overcome my temporary, frustrated distain for it.

This perspective, however, did not come without choice and sacrifice. While the Lord led me to this vantage point, I had to make the choice to step up and step through the mud and walk through uncomfortable temperatures and terrain to reach the point to which He led me. His Spirit guided me and lovingly wooed me on, but I ultimately had to choose to take each step…after step…after step…over the carriage horse poo, through the mud, and upon jagged rock to reach heaven’s vista. My hand was held the entire way (thank you, Jesus), but the choice was ultimately mine.

Thank you, God, that I chose to say yes.


Perspective built upon a Rock.

Matthew 7:24-27


  1. I love this! So happy you joined the blogging world!!! :)

    1. Thank you, Jessmina!! Can't wait to chat more with you about it ;-)

  2. So glad you are writing Amanda. This is beautiful!

    1. Thanks, Erika!! Your writing is beautiful too! Glad to be in it with you! :-)


Kind replies are always greatly appreciated. Thank you!