I’m a visual learner.
You can throw heaps of words and numbers at me, but I need a picture. I need to engage my imagination and wrap my mind around some sort of visual cue to help me work things through. It’s how I process and learn.
When I write, inspiration begins in my mind’s eye. I’ll see something and it will trigger a flurry of thoughts. Those thoughts will overflow into a cascade of words and you, dear reader, are typically the recipient. Though, lucky for you, my perfectionist bug brings you a very well edited, streamlined version of the avalanche in my brain.
Sometimes, I get stuck in my head. Here in lies my double-edged sword.
While good thoughts frolic in the playground of my mind waiting to be matched with perfect words, the not so good thoughts – they swirl, jab, provoke, and linger just long enough to breed doubt, fear, and insecurity. These are the thoughts I have to take captive, reign into obedience, and sift through truth (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Faith isn’t visual. Faith is a matter of the heart.
Faith is believing in what you cannot see. Trusting in what you hope for.
Faith doesn’t say “show me” – it says “believe”.
I have to make a conscious connection between my heart and my visual mind. My flesh wants to combat faith. It wants the picture, the proof, the evidence that God will do what He says He will. I want to know what comes next. I want to prepare for it. I want it to be neat and tidy and if at all possible, I want it to be simple. If it could be wrapped in a pretty package and tied with a beautiful bow, that would be the proverbial icing on my imaginary cake.
I want to know that my son will grow to be a man after God’s own heart.
I want to know that my husband and I will get trillions of more days to love each other.
I want to know that hurts will be healed – for me and for the people I love.
I want to know that dreams will come true – that what my heart longs for will be mine.
Are you laughing with me? It’s nice to want, right?
I can want until I’ve turned blue and passed out, but faith will still stand tall and whisper, “trust”. I won’t be handed a crystal ball. I will not be rubbing the lamp and wishing. The cards won’t be dealt laying out my future.
I have something better. Jesus.
He bought my future. He paid a price I could not afford even in the richest of fairy tales.
Every want I wonder over, rests in perfectly thought out plans, knit together by mighty hands,
set upon everlasting arms, leading to shoulders that bear the weight
of every burden my future might hold.
That’s my visual. That’s my God. Can you see Him?
I might not be able to see what is up ahead, but I fix my eyes on Jesus.
I run towards His promises and cling to what they hold.
I trust that He knows what I do not and His wants for me are greater than any I could dream up on my own.
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus.” Hebrews 12:1-2
Because He is gracious and because I have walked the path of faith for many years – I have seen with my eyes the goodness of God in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13). He has shown me time and time again, that He is worthy to be trusted. My faith is not in vain.
God has run the race before me.
He has marked the path ahead and He doubles back to stand at my side.
Can you see Him?
He’s right there – walking with you and cheering you on.
Lean into Him. Lean into grace.
When your path ahead seems dark and uncertain, know that He will illuminate your shadows.
Get out of your head and fix your eyes on Jesus.
Stand fast in faith. Trust. Believe.
**Now…here is the very practical application of my visual learning. This is my “spirit board”. It sits right next to my bed and I fill it with words, promises, and pictures that I can daily fix my eyes on.
It isn’t a substitute for God’s word or the Holy Spirit whispering into my life – but it is my visual. And some days, when I can’t figure out where God fits into my mess, when I can’t hear Him, when I’m stuck in my own head and my brain tries to betray me OR the enemy tells me lies – this is where I go. I read these words and I look at these pictures and I remember that I am not standing in the mess alone.
You are not standing in the mess alone, either.
God is standing with you and I am trailing close behind.