Perception: Better than 20/20 Vision
Divorced, rejected, embarrassed, bitter and broken, yet it took one scripture to change the trajectory of my life. Proverbs 31:18 reads, “She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night” (ASV). After hearing several sermons about the Proverbs 31 woman, I knew I wanted to be this most revered woman, wife
and mother. This longing stirred in my spirit for weeks, and then God sent a messenger with the answer.
Pastors Matthew and Vashti Ferguson hosted a woman’s conference and the guest speaker was the bold, uncompromising, powerhouse of a Christian educator and pastor, Dr. Beverly “Bam” Crawford. She challenged the attendees to study the lives of the women in the Bible to see whose life closely resembled our life’s journey.
I immediately went on the hunt to see if there were any women in the Bible who could remotely resemble CeCe. I purchased a book on women in the Bible to make my research easier. I stayed up night after night looking for a sister who was my sister. Could it be Eve? No! Mary? No! Deborah? No! Esther? No! Vashti? No! Hoglah? Noah? Tirzah? Milcah? No! No! No! No! Nearly hopeless, the Holy Spirit led me back to Proverbs 31.
The Clearing of My Vision
I had often read this passage through the eyes of a mother, but this time was atypical. Reading the passage again, I prayed for God to give me a fresh view and when I got to verse 18, I read it over and over again. I read it in different translations and I meditated on it time and time again. I read it and I read it and finally, it read me!
I had given everything I had to my family, but I was divorced; to my community, but I was unimportant; to my church, but I was misunderstood; to my country, but I am a veteran without war preferential treatment. On this day, Proverb 31:18 challenged me to reconsider my value, my worth and to see myself in light of my blessedness and not by my brokenness. For the life of me, I could not get pass those first two words, “she perceiveth.” This woman had acquired a confidence and conviction about what she had of value and how it added to the worth of her person, her family and her profession. I begin to wonder why I didn’t perceive my contributions to my family, community, church and country as profitable. Those two words “she perceiveth” dismantled my blame game, finger pointing, and giving others power to validate and or acknowledge me. Those two words gave me the power to begin the journey of self-discovery.
I began to appreciate the “me” that God saw and God knew. I began to applaud the works of my hands and my labors of love. This mother, this wife, this business woman, this neighbor, this friend, this divine design by God was able to have it all, do it all, and achieve it all, simply because “she perceiveth”. I began to regain my composure and my compassion to live life absent the opinions of others. I started to hear the voices of the elder women serving on my church’s Mothers Board who would say: “You’ll be all right.” “It’s gonna be okay.” “God can use you.” “God is calling you.” “Don’t be afraid to live.” The faces of the people in my circle changed as I prayed that all toxic relationships be removed from my life. The places I frequented changed. My life, likes, and must haves changed. As I began to perceive my worth, I began to receive confidence.
I am now open to love the things about me that I had previously abhorred. I see value in my nakedness: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Physically, those stretch marks that prohibited my wearing a bikini have become my medal of motherhood. Emotionally, guardedness and cynicism have been replaced with humility and meekness. My once confused mind has been renewed with the promises of God. The defeat in my spirit has disintegrated before the knowledge that Jesus came to give me abundant life.
Perception changed my life, my heart, and my mind! I now know that my “merchandise is profitable” and my “lamp does not go out at night.” When hard times come (and trust me, I have endured so much more since receiving this revelation) perception illuminates my journey, I do not recoil into rejection, get stuck on stupid, or dangle on dumb. When my perception changed, so did my value, my worth, my purpose, my peace, my joy, my love, my life! Perception is better than 20/20 vision!
I now challenge you, dear Sister. Search the Bible and find a woman whose life closely resembles your life’s journey. Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the path of victory given to this woman. Know that God wants to lead you to a victorious life also. It is time to stop seeing yourself through the eyes of difficult situations and toxic people. Receive the 20/20 vision of the Holy Spirit and perceive yourself as your Father in Heaven sees you: valuable beyond measure and as bright as the light of the Son.