Thankfulness can sneak into the most unlikely of places.
At the end of this year, I will be rapidly leaving my 30s and smacking straight into 40. (No, an exact date need not be mentioned here.)
Looking back over these years, I’m thankful for many things, including obvious blessings like my family, amazing friends, and Jesus.
Today, however, I am also thankful for a few things that surprise me.
Things I Never Thought I’d Be Thankful For:
Slow starts and small beginnings
While my blog is growing, and I’ve now been doing this for a few years, I’m certainly not as large as other bloggers. But you, my dear readers, are on this journey with me as I learn and, by God’s grace, grow. Lately, I’ve been overwhelmed by my to-do list, whether for my blog, homeschooling, or other things in my life.
If it were up to me, everything would be full-grown and magnificent immediately. You know, I’d snap my fingers and voila—D.O.N.E!
However, that’s not God’s plan. Instead, I feel as though it’s all progressing so S-L-O-W-L-Y.
While frustrated and overwhelmed today, I realized that God’s grace is all over life’s slow starts and small beginnings. His lovely grace is apparent in giving us sweet, tiny, extra-lovable babies at birth- not full-grown 17-year-olds with stinky, size 10 feet, facial hair, and a deepening voice that often talks back.
I realized I wouldn’t know what to do with an instantaneous, full-grown dream. With tears in my eyes, I stopped and thanked Him for where I was right now.
Without those slow starts and small beginnings, no hard lessons would be learned and magnificent little triumphs.
I’m thankful He allows us to dip our feet in the water slowly. He is gracious to allow some changes gradually, even when I wish things would progress much faster. He knows this anxious girl can only handle a few things at once.
I may want something badly, but He knows what I can handle now.
His timing is perfect, and I’m thankful for that.
I never thought I’d be thankful for anxiety
I can genuinely say I never thought I’d be grateful for this.
But I am.
I was once an extremely fearful girl. I was filled with panic, fear, depression, and pain.
Sometimes, I like to meet up with that fearful girl by reading my old journals to remember where I’ve come from. There is worth in sitting with her, listening to her, and remembering the journey.
I do this so as I sit with others, I can listen to them and relate to their journey.
While amid that painful place, I never imagined the beauty that could come from it. While in a storm, we find it nearly impossible to see far enough ahead to know it can be a gift.
I used to beg God daily for my anxiety to go away, and I longed to forget the rocky road I had walked. I saw no value in the cuts and bruises I had sustained along the way. I’ve since learned that forgetting would render me ineffective. I can hide my scars and go inward, or I can take those scars, show them to the world, and offer encouragement to other hurting souls.
You don’t have to be finished with your path to be used by Him, which is the most beautiful part. When we allow Jesus to use our pain, we find beauty and redemption in our ashes.
It’s not just a trite saying.
Every time I sit and remember the fearful girl, I am a little more thankful for myself. After all, I’m still here.
I’m thankful for my story…for anxiety.
There’s hope in my scars.
Healing in the tears.
Wisdom from the pain.
Encouragement to be shared by an imperfect woman living an unfinished story, written by the ultimate story-teller.
Jesus, thank you for showing me your love even in my anxiousness. Thank you for showing me that perfect love casts out fear.
There are many things I don’t love about myself, although I’m learning every day to appreciate my imperfections because they are a part of who I am.
I laugh loudly. (And may have been known to snort while doing it.)
Opinions come out of my mouth far too quickly.
I love chocolate way too much.
Listening does not come naturally to me; I’m a talker.
I’m a procrastinator.
I give up too quickly.
I jump to conclusions.
I’m fearful and highly sensitive.
My imperfections and weaknesses abound…
And I am thankful for each one simply because:
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
What are you thankful for that you never thought you would be? What things do you feel you could never be grateful for? And what do you long to be thankful for but just can’t be right now? Bring them all to Him and lay them at His feet, dear friend…
As always, friend, thank you for stopping by,