I took mom out to Pensacola Beach to check out the waves that Tropical Storm Sally would be forming.

Once in Gulf Breeze, a rain band came through so hard of rain I had to pull over. It rained for another thirty minutes at least.

When we first arrived at the beach the sky in every direction was dark or gray and hazy.

Then a small area of blue began to appear.

Then the sky to the left of the pier was brilliant blue like there had never been a drop of rain to fall from the sky.

Yet to the right the sky remained ominous and dreary.

I tried to capture it the best my inexperienced self could.

Eventually all the gray storm clouds parted and the sky was just beautiful.

It is absolutely incredible how the coloring of the sky . . . or how our outlook . . . can change based on the direction one is looking.

As I watched the skies and took pictures I kept hearing the word perception.

It was amazing to me that I could stand in one place, look to the left and see glorious colors of blue and bright white clouds with crystal clear colors reflecting off the sea of waves crashing. And yet when I looked in the opposite direction there was gloom and oppression with dark waves that seem non-reflective and dirty.

I think in life we all bring our own unique perception to life’s circumstances to the table. Our perception is formed based on the experiences of our own unique, individual walk in life.

I’ve learned through the last twenty two years of sobriety and walking with the Lord that often times my perception is skewed. I learned I became quick to judge, quick to react, quick to be guarded and not so quick to trust – because of a distorted past.

But because of grace and a renewed hope in life . . . I was given a new perception towards life . . . one filled with trust, hope, and love.

I’ve learned in life just because a person’s perception is different than mine doesn’t always mean they are wrong or I am wrong – it just means we are looking at something through different eyes.

Each person brings something valuable to the table – experience.

I don’t know where the Lord is wanting me to go with this – maybe I’m just supposed to ramble and leave you hanging to come up with your own conclusion – I don’t know. I do know sometimes our perception can become distorted because of a tainted past, trauma, and just making bad decisions. But I also know the One who can help you gain new perspective, give your clarity, and make your path straight.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19