Seeing Past What's Ahead

Choosing a new pair of glasses doesn’t rank up there with one of life’s most difficult decisions, but somehow it always trips me up. I have four pairs of glasses and I don’t like any of them. 

These glasses are for at-home wear only {since I wear contacts for the public version of myself} so I guess I don’t think it’s that important to take someone with me to help me decide.

I always think I know exactly what I want. 

But it's not been very successful.

I love the glasses at the store, but when I try them on at home and look in the mirror, I get this sinking feeling. Yep, I hate them. Again. 

I was in a hurry choosing this latest pair {#5} and now I’m second-guessing my choice while I wait for them to arrive.

So I asked an expert to weigh in {even though it's after the fact that they've been ordered} because she happens to have a high success rate of being right.

I asked my eight-year-old niece Devon what she thinks. 

She claimed she could tell what I’d look like in them if I showed her a photo of the new glasses. When I asked her how she could do this, she said, “Because I have a picture of you in my mind wearing your glasses.” 

She went on to describe exactly how I look when I’m ready for bed. 

“You have a clip in your hair, your face is freshly scrubbed, and you’re wearing your glasses with black frames.”

{Hmmm — sounds lovely, doesn’t it?}

She intently studied the glasses in the photo I pulled up on my phone for her to view. She even closed her eyes and motioned to her brother to stop talking to her so she could concentrate.

“Yes, I think you’ll look good in those,” she finally decided, opening her eyes and handing me back my phone.

It seems silly to think I’m relying on an eight-year-old’s opinion of a photo, but I felt relieved when she said she liked them.

Confirmation eases the doubts. If only I always had this certainty.

When I can’t see past the current roadblock standing immovable on my life’s path, I remember how I’ve navigated the difficult passages in the past. 

When I can’t see what’s up ahead, I look back.

I see how God has not only gone ahead of me and but walked right beside me. 

I see how he’s purposed every part of my life to bring me to the place where I’m now standing. 

I see how I’m standing on the answers to prayers of long ago for a job, home, health and friends.

And I also think about those who lived long ago, during Jesus’s time. How sometimes they couldn’t see what was right in front of them.

I’ve been reading in Luke's gospel about the men on the road to Emmaus who were disheartened and uncertain after Jesus’s death. 

They told Jesus {although they thought it was a stranger walking beside them, not Jesus himself} how they had hoped he was the one, not realizing that their hopes were already fulfilled. 

They couldn’t see it, but their hearts sensed it.
“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” - Luke 24:32

I find their words to Jesus so poignant and yet so brave. 

Because when we open our hearts to hope for what's in front of us, we know there’s a distinct possibility that what we hope for may not ever be fulfilled. 

Those desires and dreams God plants in our hearts that we follow, not knowing, and yet we still dare to hope.

And it's this waiting for what God unfolds in our lives and instills in our hearts, that I think pleases him since he is the God of hope, after all. (Rom 15:13)

I wonder how many times I ask God for hope, for stronger faith, for greater joy, for more peace, and he’s standing there in the midst of my requests holding out his hands with all that I’ve asked him for, saying:
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. -Rom. 12:12

My new glasses are due to arrive next week. 

I’m reluctant to admit to you that the frames are purple and turquoise since they sound rather flashy, but they were the only ones I liked in the entire store. 

When I told the optical assistant that I didn’t care much for the color purple, she said, “Oh, no that’s not purple. It’s eggplant.” 

{A savvy saleswoman, wouldn’t you say?}

Hmmm, eggplant. I like the sound of that a whole lot better than purple. And who knows? I might even like the glasses. 

Devon thinks I will. 

And a girl can hope, can’t she?

A little note on the photos: photos 1, 4, 5, 8 & 10 are from Villa del Balbianello; photo 3 is San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore in Milan; photo 6 is San Giacomo Church in Bellagio, Italy; photo 7 is the Duomo in Milan.

I'm linking up with my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart!


  1. 8 year olds don't lie!

    Those purple / eggplant frames are going to be stunning!

    Can't wait to see a picture!


    1. Well, Linda, it depends on how they look if I'll share a photo or not! But I appreciate your vote of confidence in the color palette! :)

  2. ooooh those glasses sound fun!! We could also go really fancy and call them aubergine...! I too like to have my doubts confirmed. I think it's human nature. Thank goodness for a savior who confirms his love for us daily. With him, we never have to doubt we've made the wrong choice. And yes looking back at prayers and promises fulfilled is just the 20/20 vision we need to tackle what lies ahead in a future that still feels fuzzy. Looking up and back with you friend and can't wait to see the new spectacles! ♥

    1. Heather,
      Aubergine -- fancy indeed! I had to look that one up! :) A future that still feels fuzzy is aptly described, because it feels like at this stage of my life, I should know, shouldn't I? But I'm thankful God knows what's ahead. Grateful for your encouragement, as always!

  3. I think your eggplant eye-ware will be fabulous. Stunning photos!!

  4. I love the story of the Emmaus travelers. It gives me hope that even when we can't see Him, Jesus is right here with us. Your niece sounds like quite the 8-year-old. :) She must be beaming that her auntie asked her opinion. :) I'm sure you will look good in the glasses!

    1. Trudy,
      That's one of my favorite stories too -- so glad it gives you hope too! Yes, my niece is always eager to share her opinion (kind of like her auntie!) and I appreciate your confidence in my glasses choice! :)

  5. Valerie-This was good for me- We moved our daughter into college today and I have found myself overwhelmed with sadness and fear of the unknown, but this morning God held me to remember his faithfulness and how he has seen us through so much. It helped to recall this and it gave me courage. Glasses are so hard to pick out!! Sounds like you made a good choice in that you really liked them! They sound pretty! :) blessings :)

    1. Susie,
      What a stressful yet exciting time for you and your daughter! And it's truly an overwhelming time to know your daughter is on her own for the first time, making choices independently. But when you know God already has her plans in his hands, it is comforting, but not necessarily easier for you! Praying with you during this transition time! I'm always grateful for your sweet encouragement Susie! xoxo

    2. Thanks so much for praying for me! am very grateful to have met you through blogging!! You are a blessing to me :)

    3. Susie,
      I am so blessed by your beautiful words of poetry and your gorgeous art that accompanies them every week! You are a true kindred! :)

  6. Looking back and remembering God's faithfulness, touching on each memorial stone (or glasses!) once again, is great encouragement for the road ahead. Remembering brings hope! Beautiful post, and beautiful pictures! Thanks Valerie!

    1. Ellen,
      So glad you enjoyed the photos! A memorial stone -- love that imagery to remember his faithfulness to us! :)

  7. Valerie,
    I love how you asked your niece...and how you pointed out how it is brave to can be scary...working through that right now...and my daily glasses are "eggplant" :-)

    1. Dolly,
      I LOVE how your glasses are eggplant! Maybe we are trendsetters?? :)

  8. Lovely pictures, Valerie.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your Bible Study too.
    I am glad God has great plans for us.

    Blessings to you

    1. Thanks for stopping by Ifeoma! I am so glad about God's plans for us too!

  9. Oh Devon sounds so adult! She is a very gifted girl. I would definitely trust her instincts :) Your story is inspiring me to try not to bury my hopes this week, and to think about some brave new eyewear, too. Hmmmm...I may have to see about this hot new eggplant craze...

    1. Christy,
      Maybe we can be the trendsetters in eggplant eyewear -- LOVE that idea! ;)

  10. Oh Valerie, the way you tell a story is so charming! Your glasses don't sound too flashy at all and I'll bet you'll look great in them! Yes, pictures pleezzzz . . .
    Blessings dear one,

    1. Patti,
      Thank for your very sweet words! Yes, a photo will be coming soon! :)


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