The act of writing, of sharing the circumstances, the gifts and the graces planned and carried out by my Savior and God brings joy, peace, and contentment to know that He has my life in His hands. My prayer for those who read, who share in what I continue to learn each day, many times through my weakness, is that you will be encouraged to look for God's presence and grace in your life also.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Learning to say "Thank You" for the hard things

Thirty-four years ago life was difficult.  Not quite two years after the accident, I was in effect a single mom caring for a baby just 18 months old plus a kindergartner and first grader..., and Larry wasn't making much progress. There was little sleep, a lot of work, and streams of tears running down my cheeks soaking my pillow most nights. [our story in brief is here.]

But a couple days before Thanksgiving, the Spirit began reminding me that we are to be "thankful in all circumstances, for this is the will of God for you," until I finally sat down at my typewriter and began typing some words of thanks, and once they started coming, I began realizing a little of what God was doing for me.

Reading it now, after all these years, I can read the pain between the lines....pain that left me breathless at times but there is also hope....."and hope never fails."

But in order to get to the point of being thankful for hard things, I had to reach the end of me and my pride, my independence, my abilities, my dreams. I had to understand that my life really was about God and His glory, His honor, His praise.  

And isn't it good that He is always the one teaching us to be thankful even when we don't want to be.

So because of His grace, His steadfast love and faithfulness, I could say and can say....

Thank you Lord for teaching me to say "Thank you,"
Thank you for being patient with me while I learned.
Thank you for the friends that were there
    and they weren't just a few,
Who stood by me and loved and cared while I yearned
    for the things I thought I had lost.
Thank you Lord for teaching me that I had not lost
    but had gained so many things that only you can give.
Thank you for peace.....
The amazing peace in my heart when my world has gone mad.
It comes from knowing you care and that this journey will end
   in the glory of your love and light.
Thank you for letting me meet others who have greatly suffered too.
They have taught me much about becoming more like you.
Thank you for trials, both big and small
And the knowledge that in my life patience they are "working."
Thank you for your love;
A love that has held me close when no one could fill that loneliness so deep.
Thank you for loving me when I doubted your very existence—
Your never ending presence that You would always keep.
Thank you for opening my eyes to the wideness of your mercy
   when it all seemed so very unfair.
Thank you Lord for the songs you have written through those
   who have suffered so deeply in years gone by.
Thank you Lord for teaching me to listen to the words
   and not to question why.
Thank you for the truths in your precious word
Those that help me see more clearly
That this life I have dear Lord
    is yours and yours alone
To do with as you will
    and all I have to do is yield myself completely
And my needs you will fulfill.
Thank you Lord for teaching me to say "Thank you."

Happy Thanksgiving.....and my prayer for myself and you is that in the coming year each and every day will be filled as we offer our praise and thanksgiving to our God for all He is doing around us, for all he blesses us with, and yes, even for the hard, hard things that He uses in our lives to grow us and make us more like His Son, Jesus Christ.

[please note the dead flower in the picture above.  We tend not to notice because of the beautiful flower just above it, but we need to know that every picture isn't perfect or pretty, but the reality is there are hard things, dreams that die, but there are always new ones to come, new life that happens and because of the hard times, we get stronger and more thankful because we know fruit is being produced. There are a lot of life realities that this picture shows.  I would love to hear what some of you might see in this picture.]

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