Erin E. McEndree
Define Your Prisms
Prisms filter light by splitting the rays into separate colors. That is why we see a rainbow. Red bends differently than violet and so on to create a fan-like shape. If another prism is put in the path of the rainbow’s separated colors, they are reassembled and revert back to an original point of light.
What prism do you use to gage life situations? Let's say the first one has all the shiny colors that entice the senses with fleshly temptations and false securities. The second one leads to a single point of light that sets you free from hurt, pain and deception.
When people ask how the COVID-19 virus is affecting my family’s life and how we are coping, I have two ways to respond: 1)with the first colorful prism covered in clouds, rain, darkness and uncertainly. The brilliant colors will never be seen again based on the world’s view, OR 2)with the second prism that has lead us back to the one point of constant, never-changing Light that is out of this world.
Yes, school is closed. My kids are doing on-line classes. Many things have been cancelled for my Senior and we are pretty sad about that. We haven’t seen grandparents or other family in longer than normal. My guys need haircuts badly. My nails are thin and sharp as knives since I peeled off the dip. Now I pick my face. But they are great for scratching backs apparently. These are all concerns I see thorough the prism clouded with concern. This virus has shown how unstable and unpredictable life and death and normalcy are on this earth.
However, I don’t compare myself or my situation to the world's impossible standard. I view my life and situation through the Word of God which results in One point of Light. Therefore, I realize that nothing that happens in my life defines me nor do I allow it to control me.
In an adoption support group I am a member of, this question was asked, “How has the COVID-19 affected you as an adopted person?” This question made me ponder what prism I view myself. Do I view myself through an adoptee prism? In this group the adoptee prism is made up of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and a sense of loss. As I looked beyond this world's definition, I realized I set my own definition of adoption. My definition is filtered through the second prism defined with love, choice, acceptance and purpose.
I realized that many adoptees filter their life through an adoption prism where clouds cover the rainbows. It leaves them doubting their worth and their purpose. Trouble is, the clouds over their one characteristic, being adopted, skew the image of the positive aspect of their life also. The clouds taint their whole life, not just one aspect of their life. The prism they filter everything through is defined by a cruel world with unfair circumstance. They don't realize it is temporary. They can't look beyond circumstances, pierces through darkness and rely on Supernatural guidance found only in the dot of Light.
If we find our identity in temporary things we control like career, spouse, status, vehicle, physic or friends, and we loose those things, we will be devastated. Then, when things we can't control storm into our lives such as neglect, rape, spousal abuse, a child’s death, a disease, being adopted or rejection from someone we love, since our identity is built on worldly things, we are plunged more deeply into despair.
1 Thessalonians 3:2-3 "We sent Timothy...to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials."
But what happens if we find our identity in the single ray of unchanging Light offered by the second prism? It is not as colorful and flashy as the first prism, but it comes with abundant peace, joy and hope.
I saw a commercial with an areal shot of Las Vegas. The skyline was dripping with lights. Blinking neon signs lured spectators to come and partake of the sketchy deeds inside. It touted hope that they would open again and be better than ever when they reopen. It made me think of the first prism. It made me think about what HOPE the city offered. It made me wonder about all the addictions being fed, all the lives destroyed, all the marriages being defiled and the marriages starting that should never be and end in divorce. All the glitzy lights promise despair, depression, disaster and destruction for so many thousands and thousands that succumb to its promises.
On the other hand, the second prism with the single point of Light promises joy in pain, peace in hurt and hope unending. The light in Christ shines faith on our worth and purpose based on what God says. The view is not skewed through the world. If you notice, the single ray of light is there in the beginning (see photo above). It is attainable because God’s promises are true. The Light is the power of God and is eternal. It is only skewed when we choose to apply temporal, unhappiness to our lives.
Dwelling in this Light, our identity is not what has happened to us, but our identity is what we do with what has happened to us. My identity is focused on the dot of light who is the One who can forgive, therefore I can forgive the abuser, the birth mother, the ex, the overbearing boss, the backstabbing friend, because I allow Jesus to work that supernatural power in me when I don’t feel it. I can give thanks IN (not for) the illness, the death, the rejection, the job loss and the tornado.
James 1:12 "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."
If you are finding yourself in a pit of despair, examine what prism you are filtering your thoughts through. If you need help in that process, contact me through my website www.steepedinpurpose.com/contact