Thankfulness can sneak into the most unlikely of places.
The end of this year finds me rapidly heading out of my 30’s and smacking straight into 40. (No, an exact date need not be mentioned here.)
As I look back over these years, I’m thankful for many things, which include obvious blessings, like my family and amazing friends. And of course, my Jesus.
Today, however, I find I am also thankful for a few things that surprise even me.
Things I Never Thought I’d Be Thankful For:
Slow starts and small beginnings
I’m not going to be shy about telling you that I’m new around here. You, my dear readers, are on this journey with me as I learn, and by God’s grace grow. I’ve been overwhelmed lately with my to-do’s, whether it be for my blog, homeschooling, or any number of other things in my life.
If it were up to me I’d have it all be full-grown and magnificent immediately. You know, 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 feeling frustrated and overwhelmed today, I realized that God’s grace is all over the slow starts and small beginnings of life. His lovely grace is apparent in giving us sweet, tiny, extra lovable babies at birth. Not full-grown 15-year-olds, with stinky, size 10 feet, facial hair and a deepening voice that more often than not talks back. (Oh, I’m sorry, too specific to just be an example?)
The recognition that I wouldn’t know what to do with an instantaneous full-grown-dream occurred to me. With tears in my eyes, I stopped and thanked Him for where I am. right. now.
Without those slow starts and small beginnings, there would be no hard lessons learned and magnificent little triumphs.
I’m thankful that 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 just what I can handle now.
His timing is perfect and I’m thankful for that.
This is something I can genuinely say I never thought I’d be thankful for.
I was once an extremely fearful girl. Filled with panic, fear, depression, and pain.
I sometimes read words I used to write back then, meeting up with that fearful girl every once in a while to remember where I’ve come from. There is a place for 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.
When I was in the midst of that painful place I never imagined the beauty that could come from it. While in the storm we find it nearly impossible to see far enough in front of us 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 choose to hide them and go inward or I can take those scars, show them to the world and offer encouragement to other hurting souls.
You don’t even have to be finished with your path to be used by Him, which is the most beautiful part.
There IS beauty IN our pain and redemption in our ashes when we allow Jesus to use them.
It’s not just a trite saying.
Every time I sit and remember the fearful girl, I walk away a little more thankful for me. Because after all, I’m still her.
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.
For my imperfections and weaknesses
There are many things I don’t love about myself. 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.)
I talk loudly and give my opinion far too easily.
I love ice cream and chocolate Way. Too. Much.
I tend to talk far more than I listen.
I’m a procrastinator.
I give up too easily.
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 this Thanksgiving that you never thought you would be? What things do you feel you could never be thankful 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..