{31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way} :: Lesson 25 ~ To Thank Him in All Seasons

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was filled with family and fun and laughter...and chaos and bickering here and there. We gathered in Austin, TX with my husband's side of the family. There were 29 of us together for Thanksgiving dinner...16 being children. There is rarely a dull, or quiet, moment!

On Thanksgiving morning, I awoke with an exciting, giddy feeling. I was excited for the day, of course, but it went beyond that. By about mid-morning I was overcome and went to our guest room to take a breath and reflect. 

I am just so very thankful. This has truly been a year of miracles. Miracles in our church, miracles in our church finances & personal finances. Miracles in our family. And I have been very aware of each and every one and have been sure to thank our good Father who provides so amazingly for his children. 

But on Thanksgiving day I realized that there have been other miracles that I had not given attention to. Miracles in my own heart. Miracles in the way I view God. This has been a year if tremendous growth for me...many of you are witnesses to this as you follow this series. But there is a new reliance, a new closeness, a new God-confidence that is rising in me. A hunger to be right smack dab in the middle of what He's doing. A desire to cooperate fully with His plan. Every. Single. Day. 

I told Brad a few weeks ago, in a moment of surrender and brokenness and longing...

"I'm just done doing my own thing."

And then I'm forced to look back to where this growth has come from. 

It's come from mornings on the porch, reading and crying and asking "how can people disappoint us so..."

It came through years of feeling isolated and alone, sure that no one around could understand what we were going through. 

It came through a moment on the beach, staring out at the ocean, pounding my fists in the air, telling Him that He might be asking too much. 

And then finally surrendering and remembering the moment on the bus when I told Him I wanted Him to use me MORE. To use me EVERY day. 

On Thanksgiving day, I thanked Him for the hard times. For the stretching. For the growth that only comes through hard lessons. 

We can choose the easy. Stay stagnant. And when the hard times come (as they always, eventually, do), we can grow bitter and angry. Or we can grow strong and thankful. 

I will thank Him for the opportunity to grow. To feel. To be ALIVE and feel the bitterness of hurt and pain and the sweetness of triumph and peace. 

And the wonderful balance, the hard choosing to experience them at the same time. Can we experience triumph and peace in the midst of hurt and pain? Can we smile through the tears, knowing that He is doing a deep, strong work in our hearts? This is what I'm longing for. To truly consider it pure joy when I face trials. To know that He is always good, even when the circumstances are not. To stay pure in heart when the impulse says to become angry and resentful. 

To be found blameless in His sight and thankful always. For each breath is a gift...how wonderful it is that He gives us two...

(A few of these references are from Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts. I am on the road in the boonies of Texas and I gave my copy away to a dear friend so I am currently unable to post the links. It's a great book that changed my life and a MUST read in my opinion!)

This post is part of the series {31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way}. Did you miss a lesson? Catch up here.

1 comment:

  1. You're pretty amazing, I must agree. So excited that you are brave enough to keep on pushing, growing,becoming more. It looks beautiful on you!


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