By LIBBO CROSSWHITE
What ‘2020 vision’ means to me
This will come as a surprise to zero people who know me or have read my columns, but I tend to get behind in the paperwork area of my children’s lives. (In my defense, having two in kindergarten this year has rocked my world a bit.) So when the Lions Club permission sheet came home to give consent to have my children’s eyes checked, I patted myself on the back for remembering to sign both forms AND put them in their bags to go back to school.
What I wasn’t prepared for was to be told a few days later that Russell had failed his preliminary eye test. My defense mechanism (also known as my sin nature) couldn’t help but have me a little annoyed.
Turns out, the test was a little off: His eyes were actually worse than the test initially indicated. Thanks to Dr. Dawson, who managed to get drops in Russell’s eyes AND keep him happy for the entire exam, Russell walked out of the doctor’s office that day with a new appreciation for what he was about to experience for the first time: clear vision.
“I can see all the things, Mama!” Russell said as he put on his glasses for the first time. Through tears, I realized my baby boy hadn’t known what he was missing until he was given clarity. And this mama hadn’t realized what he needed until he failed.
That’s the lesson I’m bringing into this new decade. My initial, flesh, gut reaction was to doubt the eye test because of what I thought I knew. I could have been stubborn enough not to get the second eye test done, and it might have been months or years before Russell could “see all the things.”
This moment will not be the last time that I or my children fail at something. I pray that the grace that comes from the Holy Spirit will remind me of the beauty in learning from failure and mistakes.
I think back to how much has changed in the last decade for me personally. In 2009 I was a junior in college, had a horrible mushroom haircut, had broken up with my boyfriend and was living in a sorority house with 41 other girls. Flash forward to 2019: That ex-boyfriend is now the father of my children, my hair has grown out and even though sometimes I feel like I still live in a sorority house with the amount of laundry my humans produce, my life is so incredibly different.
One of the most important lessons I learned over the last decade was that God is so much bigger than we give Him credit for. For a long time, I thought God only wanted or could use my best deeds, the ones I felt really made Him proud and were centered in Him. But I can’t limit God’s power to the best of me; He works in the very worst of me, too.
Recently, God allowed me to learn that one of my biggest regrets in life had ultimately led someone to know and love the Lord — that even in my guilt and shame, God’s sovereignty could work through my failures and mistakes for His ultimate glory.
That’s my prayer for my children. This next decade will have me transitioning from the sweet toddler stage to the scary pre-teen/teen stage. Lord willing, at the end of this decade, we will have another driver in the family. Yikes.
It’s my nature to worry. What if I mess this decade up for my kids? What if my kids aren’t who I want them to be? What if they aren’t kind or they don’t know Jesus?
My prayer for this decade is that I will remember the words Jesus speaks in John 14 to comfort His disciples in anticipation of His death. The disciples are questioning what life will be like without Jesus on Earth. He replies in verses 25-27, “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
May the Holy Spirit be our vision in 2020 through our very best and our very worst moments!
Libbo Haskins Crosswhite and her husband, Clay, live in Madison and attend Pinelake. They have one daughter, Mary Thomas, who is 6 years old, and a son, Russell, who is 4 years old. She is the high school guidance counselor at Madison-Ridgeland Academy and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.