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 3! (For part 2 click here).
Finally, Spring Break came. I knew that I needed to get away and spend time with Jesus and really work this out in my heart. Why was I choosing to not thank Him? What lie was I believing about Jesus that was preventing me from fully being intimate with Him?
My mom took that week off as well, and we went to a quaint B & B in Seattle. It was in that week that the dam in my heart finally broke, and my doubt and disbelief in the Lord finally came to light. See, when I moved from Maui, a little part of my heart had died and instead of giving it over to the Lord, grieving the loss, and trusting Him to heal and restore me- to fill me with HIM- I closed it off and refused to open it, not wanting the pain to spill out. I had hit the ground running so fast when I moved home, I didn’t take time to process and give my pain to Jesus. Instead, I stuffed it in and tried to simply “move on”.
That week though, after lots of prayer, and time talking with my Mom, I finally gave it all to the Lord. I confessed my disbelief, and how I had doubted His goodness because He took me from the place I had fallen in love with, not realizing He had me still and was molding me and doing things around me that were absolutely incredible—if I only opened my eyes, and gave thanks—because you see, thanksgiving invites His presence. Thanksgiving is worship, opening the door to deep intimacy with Jesus. Thanksgiving fights against all doubt, all bitterness, and hard-heartedness- and welcomes in JOY. DEEP JOY. PEACE. REST.
I broke. All this time I had chosen to not let Jesus in. To be alone and tight-fist my way through the year. When I could have breathed out thanks—in the pain—and walked hand in hand, under the shelter of His wing- letting Him carry me through.
“Today is the day. Today I am going to give thanks. And tomorrow. And forever. No longer will bitterness and doubt numb my heart. I want Jesus. I want to see Him, and be with Him, and to rejoice in all He’s doing. I want to praise Him- and thanksgiving is just that.”
A book that deeply touched my heart, and changed my whole outlook on life, is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. In this book, Ann talks about her struggle to give thanks to the Lord when life is hard, and in the mundane day-to-day events. BUT. When we do- when we choose to give thanks- the mundane becomes beautiful. The pain becomes beautiful too- because we see Jesus at work, instead of asking where He’s gone. We invite Jesus in to each moment, and savor His precious gifts.
Ann was challenged to write a list of 1,000 things she was thankful for and discovered the joy of looking for every moment that she could thank the Lord for.
Although I’m not at 1,000 yet, this list-making has brought so much joy to my life. Inviting Jesus in, taking a moment to reflect on His beauty, His work, His presence- in every moment.
So, every Thursday, I am going to write a list of things I am thankful for. I hope you will join me in this process. Hopefully we will get to 1,000 soon.
God is God. He is alive. He is present. He is Savior and Lord. He is just, righteous, and completely gracious and merciful. He created us, chose us, loves us, fights for us, and walks with us each day. He has invited us into His family- and into His kingdom. He is so worthy of all our praise, for every whisper or shout of thanks. And even if he hadn’t done any of that- he’d still be worthy because He’s GOD. But He did, He does.
Will you join me in thanking our sweet Savior and King? I invite you to breathe out thanks- just wait and see what beauty will occur!
What are a few things you are thankful for in this season?
Also, checkout the book that sparked this whole series – One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. So beautifully written and so perfect for ladies! You can check it out here.