Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Doesn't Even Begin To Cover It...

Thanksgiving is the day when most Americans will gather together with family and friends and ruminate on all the blessings they are thankful for.  Laying here in bed this morning, I began to do just that.  While I am in awe of the new blessings the Lord gives me each and every day, the holidays make me even more aware of them and I begin to count them.  It seems though, no matter what kind of year I've had, I am always overwhelmed by the goodness and grace of my Savior.  This year, the past two really, has been no exception.

In scripture it says, in Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  The Lord has faithfully proven this to me on more than one occasion over the last two years.  I've dealt with abuse, depression, divorce, unemployment, financial crises, moral missteps, death, and numerous family issues.  Some might look at that list and wonder how anyone could see any goodness in that.  Some might look at that list and pity me.  It's true that I have experienced enough heartache to make even Annie stop singing about tomorrow, but I have also experienced so much love and personal growth.  I am so filled with joy when I think of all the goodness I've experienced in the midst of these trials that my heart is bursting at the seams.  I want to shout from the rooftops how great my God is and how much I love Him!  I think I'm beginning to understand why David wrote the Psalms.

Through all the bad, I've renewed friendships, created new ones, and learned how important they are.  If you are reading this, and you know who you are, I want you to know that God used your fellowship to help me through some of the darkest hours of my life.  I am thankful for each of you, and praise God for allowing me to know each of you, however long we may have together.  Out of unemployment, I was given not only a job that I love, but a godly employer and co-workers that feel more like family.  I don't think I ever fully appreciated being employed until I wasn't anymore, and now being given such a wonderful job that I love and wonderful co-workers, I can say that this area of my life is one that I am truly excited about every day.  I love the work I do and I can't wait to see what God is going to do with it.  In my financial crises, I've been shown what God can do with less, and to be content with less.  More than that, to rejoice in having less.  I've learned how to manage my finances wisely, with biblical principals.  Through death and family trials I have learned to love and value the (sometimes messy) relationships I have with them.  I've grown closer to them, I can't even begin to calculate how valuable that is and I wouldn't trade them for the world.  I'm especially thankful today that my brother, who wasn't able to be with us for the holidays last year, will be here today.  He is alive, healthy, happy, and free from his chains.  I can't praise God enough for that.

There are so many more blessings I could list, but I'll end with my greatest and that's this: through everything, I have learned to lean on God and trust him fully with my life.  He has faithfully proven to me over and over that he is good, that he loves me (and you too, more than we can fathom), that he will never leave me, that he will never fail me.  It's not always easy to lay my burdens at his feet, but when I finally do my Savior comes through in ways I never imagined possible.  My greatest blessing is knowing my Heavenly Father, the personal relationship I have with him, and being able to share that with you.

I hope your holiday is filled with warmth, love and fellowship with those dearest to you.