Gratitude Pt. 2

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I thought it’d be fitting to do a mini series on thankfulness (and sometimes the struggles we encounter when we don’t feel very thankful). This is part 2! (For part 1 click here).

All my bags were packed- all 8 of them. (A girl gathers a lot of things within two years!) My parents had flown over to Maui to help me pack up and move back home. I was so thankful that I didn’t have to go alone.

Sitting on their bed that morning, my sweet mentor sat next to me, with her arms wrapped around me.

 

“Alyssa, this morning I read Acts 17, and thought of you in verse 26–

“…{GOD}having definitely determined [their] allotted periods of time and the fixed boundaries of their habitation (their settlements, lands, and abodes)” {AMP}. Sweet Alyssa, God has determined for you to live in Seattle for this specific time. And what precious plans He has for His dear children.”

 

MAUI. This had been my home for two years. The place where I grew from a young adult to a lady. A place where I had spent countless hours pouring into high schoolers and being poured into by many counselors and friends. A place where I was broken, and healed, and made more like Christ. A place where I had made lifetime friends- family really.

 

On the journey home, I wrote in my journal that day,

 

“You’ve appointed me to live in Seattle for this season. I’m just following You, as a sheep follows her Shepherd because they KNOW one another. You take care of me Lord. I am in Your hands. Oh Lord, this morning is hard. My heart hurts…please increase my faith. Right now I don’t know why You’ve moved me home. My heart is in Maui. Did Abraham ever feel this way? Or Mary? Papa, please help my unbelief. Help me to have a thankful heart. BE THANKFUL. Thank you that You reign. You appointed this. You have a plan. You’ve gone before. You GO WITH ME. Please hold me Lord-please carry me through.”

 

The next 6 months were a blur. I started my first full-time job 10 hours after I hopped off the plane. Started attending a new church, began a new relationship, Jeff became famous! So many new things.

 

 

The thing is—they were all amazing, awesome, wonderful things. I was so blessed to be able to live with my parents—to have that sweet time with them—and to have a job where I could counsel high schoolers and plan school events was a dream! I fell in love and knew I was with the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Jeff was being used mightily to proclaim the gospel, and doing what he absolutely loves.

 

And yet, my heart ached. I was grieving my loss of all I had in Maui. Friendships. Discipleship. Sunshine. A home church that felt like family. Mentors. Roomates. Sea Turtles! (no, but really!)

 

And yet I struggled to give thanks.

I knew that I should give thanks. That lime green stone with “gratitude” written on it sat right on my nightstand. I had a list of all the verses about thankfulness in the back of my journal. I cried out to the Lord, asking for help to give thanks. And yet, I still continued to choose not to. I chose rather to think on what I didn’t have and to worry about what I was blessed with.

 

The funny thing is, before this, I had never had any problem with giving thanks. I usually would praise the Lord and thank Him constantly. But that year I felt like a part of me had died. And I just couldn’t do it.

 

-Have you ever felt unable to give thanks? Are you struggling today to give thanks? 

Come back tomorrow to see the final post of this series. God really rocked me!

Also, a must read book that helped me on the topic of thankfulness was One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. So beautifully written and so perfect for ladies! You can check it out here.

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12 comments

  1. Love this, Alyssa! Thanks for taking such an honest look at transition, change, and the difficulty of thankfulness in the midst of it. Looking forward to reading your next post! 🙂

  2. thank you alyssa! I love reading your blog! you are amazing! people like you and jeff make me realise how awesome god is and how bad I want a relationship with him! even though I’m struggeling, my heart longs for him! keep posting!! god bless you

  3. Wow Alyssa! This is indeed encouraging. I am at a point in my life where nothing seems to make sense. Yet at the depth of my heart, I know that I shouldn’t be dwelling on what I don’t have but I should instead be counting ALL my blessings. As a result, thanking God has really become a struggle but after reading this, it has awakened something in me to get back on track.

    Blessings……

  4. Alyssa
    i really like your post ..
    I just got marry 3 months ago and i feel the same way you do and i thank god for everything like you do and it makes me feel good about me of all the things you said in your posts thank you

    Have a good day ..

  5. I can’t wait to read part 3!

  6. Lately, I’ve been having much trouble learning to give thanks through every situation the Lord is leading me through. I lost my mom at a young age and my dad was diagnosed with cancer and is refusing to take treatment for it. Sometimes it seems as if gratitude is the last emotion I can have toward life. After reading your posts, though, the Lord has really pressed it upon my heart to have gratitude in every situation…not necessarily because of the situation, but because we have a Father who is faithful to guide us through it and to never leave us alone during it.

    Alyssa, your posts have been such an encouragement and blessing to me these past few days. Thank you for being faithful to share your thoughts.

  7. Loved reading this post. You guys are so inspiring. My husband and I got married back in July. Marriage is the best, isn’t it?! Best of luck to you two!

  8. hey Alyssa, I also praise God for how He encourages me and others through you & Jeff!! HE’s so good!!! thanks for sharing your experiences with the Lord!!! may He bless you & Jeff a lot!!!

  9. Beautifully written! We serve an awesome God! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Thank you for letting God use your experience to strengthen others. Sometimes, I feel that part of me had died too, just like what you said. But regardless my feelings, I choose to give thanks. My Father is a faithful Father and His heart is always for people.

    Keep writing and sharing. You are a blessing!

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