Things happen in your life that changes your perspective. My perspective changed enormously when Jaycee was born. Having a child with a permanent disability and health problem after health problem changes how you look at life. Here's one example:
Before Jaycee, I had read the story of the man healed at the Pool of Bethesda (John 5) many times. The story is about a man who has an infirmity for 38 years. He spent his time at this pool of water because "an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water, then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had." He told Jesus that he had no one to put him into the pool when it's stirred and that someone steps in front of him. Jesus tells the man to get his bed and walk. He man did it and was healed. What I mainly got from this story is that the man suffered a long time and his healing came in a way he didn't expect.
After I had Jaycee, I got something new from this story. I thought about that man and the other people who stepped out in front of him. He suffered for 38 years, surely the people around him knew it. Obviously, the other people felt they needed the healing more. There were some pretty sick people there who were "blind, lame, paralyzed." To step in first, you got your healing. But, that also meant that other people (maybe worse off) did not and would have to wait.
So what did that story mean for my life? It's very easy for me (& probably other people too) to become very self-absorbed in the middle of a health crisis. When Jaycee had a health issue arise when she was a baby or toddler, it would affect my emotions, thoughts, and attitude towards life. OK, it still affects me but not at the same intensity. When I would hear about another person's health problem, I literally couldn't take it in. I had my own problems and it was all I could handle. I couldn't deal with anything else. Most likely, there were some people I should have stepped up and supported in times past but I didn't because I felt I couldn't. Not only that, I would get very irritated when someone complained about a health issue that was sooo not a big deal comparatively.
This story reminds me and challenges me. No matter how "bad" things are going. No matter what craziness is going on in my life. I need to stop and take a look around at the people I encounter. There may be someone in need whose being ignored by everyone else. Self-pity and self-centeredness only gratifies one person but a life looking outward can reach an unlimited amount of people. This is a lesson I'm challenged by often and hope to have perfected at some point in my life.