Sentence of Isolation or Window of Opportunity? By Rhonda Wise

Sentence of Isolation or Window of Opportunity? By Rhonda Wise

Over the past few months I have had to deal with some physical issues that have led to the doctors putting a lot of limits on what I can and cannot do.  I’m the type of person who loves being around others and usually hates having to depend on others for anything.  In fact, for the last 5 years I’ve generally faced life with a “God and I can do anything” attitude, staying strong for my kids, family, and friends. So when the doctor said, “ You can’t drive for at least 2-3 weeks. You can’t lift heavy objects or even walk without being attached to a tank of oxygen,” it kind of threw me for a loop.

At first, I was tempted to go into a dark place, feeling sorry for myself and wondering how on earth I was going to get my kids to and from school, pay bills (without working), and basically keep life going at all.  I felt like I was being given a sentence of isolation and being punished for something I had done. Fortunately, I had friends and family that reminded me of some things I learned through my experience with The Journey Training.

In The Journey Training I learned that I always have a choice and I was challenged to see circumstances that I face from a different perspective.  Even the Bible says, “My brothers and sisters, be very happy when you are tested in different ways…” (James 1:2)  In every situation, we have a choice on how we view it and respond to it.

I was seeing the restrictions placed on me by the doctors as a sentence of isolation and a form of punishment. I was dwelling on the fact that I couldn’t get out and do all the things that I enjoyed and be around those that added to my happiness.  I saw myself as weak, stuck in the house, alone and broken.

As I was talking to a friend about my situation, they gave me a different perspective that I could possibly choose to see.  They brought to my attention that there are people who pay large amounts of money to go someplace where they can be alone, have time away from everything and to refocus.  They told me that I was being given this kind of opportunity for free.

A light bulb went off in my head and made me say “hmmmm”. How could I look at my situation differently than a sentence of isolation?  How could I turn this situation into a window of opportunity?  What could I do during this time of limitation that would take me closer to my dreams after this season of rest was over?

As I contemplated these questions and realized, I actually had a choice, new thoughts came to me.  I could: spend more time with God, journal about where I wanted the next phase of life to look like, allow myself to get the rest I needed to heal properly, spend time dreaming more, and a multitude of other things.  Instead of focusing on the “bars on the prison window”, I could focus on the light of the sun that was shining through it and all that the light could possibly represent.This brightened my attitude, increased my energy level and allowed me to enjoy the season I was in instead of dreading it.

What are you facing right now?  Are things that are beyond your control placing limits on what you can do?  How can you turn your focus from the prison bars to the sunshine?  The Journey Training and the friends I made there have truly changed my life and given me tools that help me in everyday life continue to reach for my dreams and actually live life rather than just exist in it.


Join a Gang

Join a Gang

I am sitting right now at an RTX conference.  You don’t know what that is?  Well, it is kind of like comic con— only for video games.  You don’t know what comic con is?  Well, it is a convention where people who love comic books or characters come together and connect with one another, the writers, the dreamers, and designers.  They meet the writers, the dreamers, and the designers.  Think that sounds “nerdy” or “geeky”?

Think again.  Look at your own social circles.  Everyone has specific groups that tailor to their own passions and interests.  Whatever the group is—be it an RTX conference, a church service, or a college football game—people connect with other people who have similar interests.

People want to fit in somewhere, and when they find people that have the same thing in common it generates energy and power. I am a firm believer that people’s biggest need is to feel accepted.  Their biggest fear is rejection.  This is evident in a number of ways. For example—What we post on social media. Most people will not post things that are offensive, or that pull them out of their social arena.  Or how about how we dress? Maybe you love whitewash jeans, but most people will not wear them for fear of what someone may say about living in the 80s. We shape our lives to fit in with our social groups.

Sometimes when looking for groups to be involved in, we are so desperate to fit in that we settle, or we make compromises.  Here is an example:  According to the Los Angeles Police department kids join street gangs for the following reasons:

“Their motivations for joining the gang are varied, but usually fall within one of the following:

Identity or Recognition – Being part of a gang allows the gang member to achieve a level of status he/she feels impossible outside the gang culture.

Fellowship and Brotherhood – To the majority of gang members, the gang functions as an extension of the family and may provide companionship lacking in the gang member’s home environment. Many older brothers and relatives belong, or have belonged to the gang.”

For people involved in gangs, the desire to be accepted and to have camaraderie is so great that they’re willing to join a street gang for it.  As adults we are not much different.  We want friendship and connecting points.  But sometimes we can’t find the right “gang”  so we just spend our time at home alone. No man is an island to himself; we are not wired that way. Don’t live in isolation. Connect with others who have similar passions and interests. Join a “gang.”

What gang are you a part of?  


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