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Are you focusing on the right thing?

The story of two girls

Before we try to answer the question; are you focusing on the right thing; let me tell you a true story. It is about two girls who spent the first year of their life in the hospital. They were born at 28 weeks gestation, and the doctors were uncertain they would survive. Their mother was abusing alcohol in combination with cocaine during her pregnancy. They shared a placenta, and the donor twin, that is, the twin providing most of the nutrients to the other, may not survive if doctors do not deliver them by C-Section before full gestation.

On June 22nd of 1995, both babies were born. They suffered from multiple congenital disabilities caused by the prenatal alcohol and cocaine abuse suffered in the womb. Other health issues stemmed from premature birth. The youngest was born with Cerebral Palsy, an aortic septal defect, pulmonary dysplasia, strabismus, and developmental delays. Her sister was born with all the same issues except Cerebral Palsy. However, she had other issues, including a genetic disorder known as Waardenburg syndrome and colobomas, which caused her pupils to stay dilated.

Failure to thrive

Both girls failed to thrive. Their health continued to worsen, and doctors did not expect them to live. The reason they were not thriving was the heart defects both girls were born with. Their hearts could not pump enough blood for them to grow and survive. Their primary doctor consulted heart surgeons, but their consensus was surgery was not possible. The surgeons did not think they could survive the surgery. Of course, if the surgeons do not do the surgery, the outcome is the same. And for weeks, the girls continued to decline.

When it became clear to the girl’s primary physician that death was inevitable if the surgeons did not repair their hearts, she confronted them with the inescapable truth. If you do surgery, they may not survive, but if you do nothing, they will not survive. The surgeons relented and did the surgery. Both girls survived, and more, they thrived.

Their life today

Today, they are both healthy, and each makes her own unique contribution to the world. One works three jobs and loves every minute of her work. She may have Cerebral Palsy and a developmental disability. Still, she is a testament to anyone who says you might as well give up because life has put you at a disadvantage.

Her sister cannot work, but she loves God like few people I have ever seen. She is a joy to be around, and she constantly keeps every radio tuned to Christian stations. It is impossible to say how much she understands, but there is no doubt God works in her.

Are you focusing on the right thing?

The surgeon’s focus

So what in the world does this have to do with focusing on the right thing? Remember the surgeons who did not want to repair the girl’s hearts because they were not sure they could survive the surgery? Those doctors focused on why they could not do the surgery instead of what happens if we do not do this surgery?

Sure, it was possible they would not survive the surgery. But it was probable that they would not survive without the surgery. I am sure the surgeons were very good at what they do. But by focusing only on what they do and what happens if they fail, they neglect to consider what happens if they do not try.

Ask yourself, am I focusing on the right thing?

We should each ask ourselves, are we focused on the right things? Are you focused on why you cannot do something, or are you focused on what happens if you do not try? Maybe you don’t believe you are qualified for that job, so you don’t apply. You have accomplished one thing for certain; you will not get that job. Did you pass on that learning opportunity because you were afraid you would fail? If you didn’t try, you might not fail, but you won’t learn anything either.

I know for certain that we have two wonderful daughters because their doctor pushed to get them the surgery they needed. And the surgeons looked at what would happen if they did not do surgery. It was all about focusing on the right thing. Yes, there are many lessons we can learn from this story, and I want to get into those later. For now, this is my encouragement to you. If you are not getting where you want to be, step back and ask yourself, am I focused on the right thing?

If you are interested in more life lessons, I hope you will read my next post. And in the meantime, don’t stop trying to get where you want to go. Stay focused on the right thing.

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