Guest Blog by Roxanne & Rob Maroney, Authors of Hope After Hurt
Years ago, I took golf in college. The instructor constantly told us to visualize, or focus, on where we wanted the ball to go. My tendency, though, was to scan the fairway for sand traps, trees, and water … and inevitably I would hit the ball right where I didn’t want it to go. This is just a simple example of how important it is for us to train our focus, not just in sports but in every aspect of life.
I am often my own worst enemy when it comes to maximizing the size of my difficulties and oppositions, and minimizing the resources available to me to overcome them. I run into trouble when I lock all my attention and mental energy, or my Gaze, on my problems and circumstances. I carefully measure out the depth and weight of them, while only giving a fearful, worried Glance toward God, and sending up the occasional SOS prayer. When I find my perspective spiraling down I lose sight of God and His grace, His mercy, and His power … and my problems become overwhelming and gigantic.
It really is a matter of focus. No matter how big my opposition may really be, God is bigger! As I shift my focus and attention to the awesome power and love of God, my worry, concern and fear becomes less. I’m drawn closer to Him and I find rest. My problems become smaller in light of His character and I have peace in the midst of turmoil.
During the struggles in our marriage, I was often hyper-focused on how it seemed we were missing the mark and falling short in our relationship. When I’m struggling with my health, issues with children, or any number of other hard circumstances, I can still fall back into focusing on the problems.
Years ago, however, I became acquainted with the concept of Gaze and Glance. Unfortunately, our human tendency is to Gaze (focus, ponder, worry) about our circumstances, especially the ones that trigger uncomfortable feelings and emotions, and we Glance (occasionally acknowledge) toward God with a quick prayer or reading the Bible. But to grow in faith and have peace in the midst of our trials, the opposite is necessary. Throughout scripture God invites us to Gaze at his character, his goodness, his power, and Glance at our circumstances. It’s impossible to not notice painful events in our lives, but where we put our focus in the midst of these events will lead to either peace and growth, or worry, fear, and defeat. When we get this backwards, our circumstances become huge and God becomes very small … leading me to rely on myself more than Him.
I keep this poem in my Bible as a reminder of this Gaze and Glance principle. The question I ask myself is, “Am I focusing on my problems or circumstances … or am I focused on how loving and amazing God is?”
“Not my measuring the waves can you prevail, not by gauging the wind will you grow strong. To scan the danger may be to fall before it, to pause at the difficulties is to have them break over your head. Lift up your eyes unto the hills and go forward, keeping them on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith.” – Streams in the Desert
Available at your favorite on-line bookstore!
Hope After Hurt
By Roxanne & Rob Maroney
In Hope after Hurt, Roxanne and Rob reveal not only how their marriage was rescued from becoming another casualty but how they were set on the path to creating something entirely new. Opening up about secrecy, lies, broken trust, loss of connection, and damaged intimacy, this is not just a story of two flawed people and their need for repair but also an honest account of more than forty years of healing using practical tools for greater connection and intimacy in marriage. Hope after Hurt offers real-life examples and a roadmap to healthier relationships for all couples.
Whether single, dating or married, this book will transform your relationship. If you struggle to find hope, read Hope after Hurt before you do anything else.
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I also provide one-on-one coaching; if you want to improve your relationships, let’s connect through e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. My hope for you is that through these blogs, references, and resources, God will transform you from being bruised or broken to an abundantly blessed child of God.