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Finding the Truth About Myself

I’ve been near-sighted since the sixth grade.

That was not a good year. My school had a fire, so I had to walk even farther to another school that was next to the railroad tracks. My desk faced the window, and I would count railroad cars to keep myself awake. (It is not true that naps in school stop after kindergarten.)

In fourth grade I remember being put in a special class to learn “new math,” which was actually algebra.

In fifth grade poetry began to make sense.

But sixth grade was a bust, other than receiving the giant valentine from Bruce’s valentine’s card pack.

Another thing I received that year–other than the death knell of walking an additional mile to school–was glasses.

In addition to being called “fat,” I was then “fatty four eyes,” as another boy labeled me.

That was my adolescent Hudson Valley school experience.

I had not yet seen a mountain, much less been on the top of one. (The Catskills were more like hills.) From the top of a mountain you see life in perspective. You take in the whole view, not just your near-sighted experiences. Things fall into place . . . in fact, your life makes sense.

After moving with my family to the West, I started to experience mountains. The Rockies. The Sierras. The Cascades.

I remember the first time we saw the Sierra Valley, where we now live. We drove up the Gold Highway, Highway 49, from the Sacramento area northeast to the Yuba Pass. We pulled into a viewing area and gazed over the largest alpine valley in North America. Eventually I would joke, “It looks just like Lake Tahoe but without the water.”

It’s important to pull over and gaze for a bit when you have those mountaintop experiences. Look at what life truly has offered you. See the Truth. Soak in the understanding. Let it settle into your heart and mind and soul. Then drive away a different person, a wiser person, a better person.

I would eventually learn that I am not the “fatty four eyes” girl but the “beautiful” sum total of my husband’s fifty years of love.

I would eventually learn that it was not a mistake that my fourth grade teacher put me in a special new math class but that I am cognitively perceptive and can even figure out a few things on my computer.

I would eventually learn that counting things is not a handed-down family curse . . . but a gift when I am counting blessings.

And I would eventually learn that walking farther than I’d like to walk is not only good for me but is also actually a calling . . . so that I can observe life around me and pray for the needs of my community.

If it had been my choice, I would have picked oceanside living. However, God instead chose for me a mountaintop experience. He always has a better idea.

Let’s chat: What truths about yourself have you learned?

Janet McHenry is a national speaker and the author of 24 books–six of those on prayer, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. She has been speaking at online, virtual events for the last few months and would love to serve your group:

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