November is the month of Thankfulness.
Thanksgiving Day is the day we focus on being thankful. I’ve noticed several people I know have “taken the thankfulness challenge” and have been posting something every day that they are thankful for. It’s been encouraging to see them taking the time to develop the vision for them to notice, and note said things.
My thankfulness encompasses much this year, but it isn’t really a list of things, it is for one thing in particular.
It is for a new perspective. Yes, I’m thankful that God has changed me. I have a new perspective. My eyes are seeing things I never saw before, my ears hear things that I never heard before. AND I can honestly say that the method and means by which he allowed this to come to pass was not of my choice or choosing, but it was by His design that it came and I was changed.
2009 was the year that will live in infamy in our family. Not for the bad or hard things that happened but for the good and wonderful things those bad and hard things brought about.
-Helplessness at realizing you don’t really have control—you just told yourself you did.
-Sorrow at the realization that you not only have failed God, but that you have failed others too.
-Embarrassment at people seeing maybe you weren’t what you thought, they thought, you were. (are you following me?)
-Brokenness at realizing that no matter how hard you try you will never measure up to God’s standards—that is why Jesus came.
I’ve never felt as helpless, sad, embarrassed, and broken as I have this past year.
And that is O.K.—good actually.
For out of the helplessness came a dependency on God that had never been there before. I actually find it easier to allow horrible news to come, realizing now that I have no control over the outcome, I just need to stay close to my Lord, hide in Him and let Him battle for me.
Out of the sorrow came a joy over the things that really do matter, not what you thought mattered. There is a shock at taking stock; of getting a different answer when you add things up. Realizing what really matters results in a different outcome. It’s a relief really, letting things go that were once important, and suddenly you can’t remember why.
Embarrassment brought a new level of humility. There is shame in exposure of our lives, our true and real sorrows. We try so hard to hide them. But there is freedom in failure too. Being brought to zero allows one to start over again, reevaluate, and hopefully not make those same mistakes again.
Brokenness yielded the true realization that God loves me for who I am, not who I think I am, or am trying to be, but for who I am—because THAT is who Jesus died for—me. There is nothing I can ever do to EARN God’s love, favor, or approval; nothing. Read it again. Nothing. Jesus has already done that. He has God’s love, favor and approval for what He did—for us. If we are IN Christ we are there, right along with Him, receiving God’s love, favor and approval. Think about it. What do you do with that knowledge?
I can say that I am truly thankful for this past year of so much being stripped away, so much truth being brought to the surface. Fire refines, growth happens in the valleys, sometimes you’ve got to tear things down to start again; great analogies but the truth none the less. We forget when we hear those analogies, however, that fire hurts, burns, and can even destroy—but leaves behind the valuable. Valley’s can be boggy, dark, wet, and frightening places. But all the growth, the fruit, is usually found there isn’t it. Demolition is messy, sometimes even dangerous, but it clears away the weak, decayed, rotten, and makes way for the new stronger, sounder sturcture.
Yes, I’m thankful; thankful for God who doesn’t give up on me.
I’m thankful for God, who when I tell Him I want to be more like HE wants me to be, starts working on my right away.
I am thankful that I was the thief who was forgiven much, and was reminded not to go out and beat someone who owes me little.
I am thankful that I am the woman caught in adultery that Christ forgave, and reminded to go and sin no more.
I am thankful that I am the lost lamb that Jesus left the 99 and 9 for to hunt me down and bring me back to the fold.
Yes! I am thankful………….
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I Thess. 5:18