Why Your Life is Like a Magic Trick

Lately, this season that my husband and I have been walking through has been long, treacherous and quite painful. We battle not only my sickness, but desires, dreams and goals that go unmet for various reasons.

In the past few weeks, we have not only been hit with a financial burden that was completely unseen, but physical struggles we weren’t expecting. Our marriage has taken the brunt and after just over a year of wedded bliss, we found ourselves unfulfilled and wishing for more.

As I sat back and analyzed all that was happening around me, I realized that quite often our conversations spoke about what we didn’t have, what we couldn’t do and where we weren’t in our lives. I heard us say “When you/I get better, we can enjoy our life for a few years, then have kids.” Or, “If only we made more money, we could have some fun.”

After several days of reflecting on these statements and the mindset behind them, they grew more and more unsettling in my heart. I realized that we, for some reason, are in a routine that says our “now” isn’t good enough.

I realized that once we get what we think will satisfy us, or go where we think will make us happy, we will always—and I mean always—be looking for more. Ecclesiasties 6:9 puts it this way: “Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.”

Recently one morning, before my husband left for work, I stopped him in our kitchen and said “Babe. You know how when you watch a magic trick there is a magician who is trying to sneak something by you. He is doing some kind of slight-of-hand or other trick and needs you to be distracted so he can ‘pull it off’. During that moment, there is usually something huge, loud, bright, or attractive going on just feet away from him; but it draws our attention away so the trick can be completed.” I continued to explain to him that I felt like our life was a huge magic trick. There is a lot going on right now—no doubt. However, we need our focus to be diverted to something else so the “trick” can be completed.

Not only is there plenty of negatives happening, but there are just as many positives. I will be the first to admit that I have a hard time seeing them most of the time. It’s as if the positives sneak past you in camouflage while the negatives parade by in bright clothes and loud music. They stand out and stick for much longer in the recess of our memory.

What if we shifted our thinking just slightly and thought about life as a magic trick with God as the magician. He’s got this amazing “trick” He’s trying to complete, but He doesn’t want us to focus on the how, when or why.

Let me ask you this. When you watch a magic trick and the ending happens, what feeling are you left with? I don’t know about you, but I am in complete awe and stopped dead in my tracks by sheer amazement.

You see, that’s how our lives can be. It will be filled with those “awe struck” moments if we just let God do the magic trick while we divert our attention elsewhere. We need to get out of the “when things get better” or “when we are more secure financially” mindset and realize that we are living right now!

We have this imperfect—and if you’re honest—beautiful life in front of us TODAY. All we need to do is enjoy the here-and-now, stop wishing for the better tomorrow and embrace the broken today. Count your blessings, bloom where you’re planted and just enjoy the magic trick!

I’ll leave you with this. My husband and I aren’t perfect. We are the exact opposite of the newly-wed picture-perfect couple. We have our ups and we have our downs; but right now, our change is happening one day at a time, one distraction at a time and one positive at a time.

Why I’m a Christian and I Believe that Love Wins

In the past few weeks, our news channels and social media feeds have been consistently bombarded with unimaginable and terrible news. These reports vary in intensity and devastation. First, we heard of the young boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit which resulted in the shooting of the animal in order to save the boy. Then, there was recently a 22 year old singer, who was openly Christian, gunned down by a crazed fan during an innocent time of autographs and pictures following her show. The next day, a man entered a gay nightclub and shot and killed 49 people and wounded 53 innocent people. He then proceeded to claim to have ties to ISIS which turned that into the largest mass shooting and the second largest terrorist attack on American soil. A few days later, a disgruntled Walmart employee in Texas decided that taking his boss and another employee hostage over a disagreement about his promotion was a wise choice. The latest tragedy brought to the public’s knowledge was the 2 year old boy grabbed and drowned by an alligator while he and his family vacationed at Disney World. All of this tragic news surfaced amidst the already unsettling daily news of crime, corruption and deceit. It becomes a noisy intrusion on your attempt for peace and joy in life.

As I write this article, I am in no way minimizing the gravity of the situations that have arose; however, as if the news itself wasn’t horrible enough, we are consistently bombarded by opinions from people who fail to think before they speak- people who were in no way apart of the situations. It’s extremely easy for someone sitting in the peace and safety of their own home, behind a computer screen, to profess to know exactly what happened and how they would react in each situation. The truth is, I don’t know how I would react in a volatile circumstance such as an active shooter situation. I’m not a mom, yet, so I don’t know how easy it is to turn your back for 5 seconds only to find that your child is in the grasp of a deadly animal. I do, however have sympathy for the people involved in these situations.

Unfortunately, there are Christians who speak lies and words of criticism that are so far from Christ-like and in turn they are skewing the reality of what Christ’s love truly is. The phrase “Love Wins” has become ever-so popular by the gay community in an effort to gain acceptance for gay marriages. As a Christian, I too believe that “Love Wins”- just in a different context than its initial intention. I believe that as Christians, we are to love in order to win others for Christ. Spewing hate only creates a lack of respect and integrity for all who call themselves Christians. I do not agree with the gay lifestyle, however, if I claim to be a Christian (which is in fact a “little Christ”), then I need to learn from how HE responded.

Romans 5:8 But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Let’s take a look at the story told in the book of Luke about the woman at the well. She was a Samaritan; and in the Bible times, the Samaritans were the worst of the worst, yet Jesus went out of His way to show love and to minister to the Samaritan woman! Just like you and I, she was a sinner. She had multiple husbands and lived a life that was driven by her fleshly desires. If He could extend that love and mercy to a woman with a past like hers, why is it so difficult for us to love others with as much compassion and mercy as Christ? We are ALL sinners, we just sin in different ways. Why do we possess a mentality of such entitlement that we imagine that somehow we are better because we are in straight marriages? Or how can we believe for a moment that we deserve God’s love any more than the ones who are in a gay marriage? It’s time Christians start acting like Christ and adopting the “Love Wins” mentality!

To the moms who suffered criticism and hatred because for a split second you let your child out of your sight and a tragedy ensued- I’m sorry. I’m sorry that your tragedy happened in the spot light and that there are a plethora of nasty accusations aimed your way. Like I said earlier, I am not a mother so I have not experienced how fast they can escape your view. No one else was in your position at that moment. No one else has any right to criticize you or your parenting abilities. The only thing you deserve is our prayers and kindness.

To the people who are being blamed for not thwarting a senseless attack on many, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that from the comfort of our homes, behind our keyboards with no accountability or thought given regarding your feelings, our initial response is to criticize you. We cannot begin to imagine the fear that gripped your body, the realization that this might be the end for you, or the pain your body may have been in. I’m sorry that instead of prayers and love, people focus more on your sexual orientation. I am glad that you survived the horrendous actions of that man and I am sorry that Christianity is now skewed in your mind. Please recognize that not all Christians hate. God loves you, and so do I!

To the people who commit the heinous act of cyber bullying-  I urge you to imagine that the tragedy you are referring to, happened to you. Walk for just a moment in their shoes and then re-read your comment. Would you want to read that if you were truly in their position? How can you really be sure that you would be brave enough to tackle the shooter in a moment of darkness and utter chaos? What would you do? The answer is probably the same as mine- I don’t actually know! Imagine that you just received the news that your beautiful two year old son’s body was just recovered from the bottom of the lake. Would you want to be accused of being a horrible parent? No! No human being wants to be criticized in the face of tragedy!

So, it’s time we stop hiding behind the screen and accusing others of not acting in what seems to us as an “easy” manner and remember that love does in fact win!

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