Thursday, November 28, 2013


This year has brought me an abundance to be thankful for and yet I think I rarely stop to be thankful and say thank you and show gratitude for everything I have been given that hasn't always been deserved.  So here is the day and the moment to stop, rest and share everything that I am grateful for.

I am thankful for...

Last year, I was blessed by a roommate for a season.  I met Barbara in a class at church and she was looking for a place to stay while I was going through a very lonely season and we were able to share a place during the holidays. God used both of us to answer each others prayers. She blessed me more than words can describe, with her gifts, her service, her company and her grace for me when I wasn't always having the best of days.

In December when moping about how I wouldn't be able to go home for the holidays, I decided to stop sitting back and complaining and instead take action with what I could control and I invited my sister, Anna, to come visit me in Nashville. She was such a blessing!  God used the time to heal our relationship and bond us closer together. She had a blast being in Nashville and we loved our quality time together amidst the busyness of my life at the time.

I was blessed this year by many new friends and fun events full of laughter and joy.  I was blind to it however and I have realized how little I have shared appreciation for each of my friends and their support for me this year as I have walked through new challenges and found their support and hope and laughter medicine for the difficult times I faced.

In late March, I was invited to join a community group at church and sharing meals on Thursdays with that group of friends has blessed me more than I would have imagined initially. We have had fun together and cried together and they have helped me when I was sick. It was such a blessing to find a family in such an unexpected way this year. The immediate love and acceptance I felt especially the first week we met at the Morgan's house brought me such an immense feeling of joy. I felt I belonged and like I had stepped into a place filled with the embrace of a family. I could probably write a book about how each person in the group has positively influenced my life and created safe places for me to process through so much this year.

This last month, I was able to go to Florida for the first time with my friend, Deborah.  We camped at the keys, had a crazy fun road trip and explored the Everglades.  I was so thankful for the rest and time away-- it is amazing how much we forget to explore in our everyday lives and experience the joy that discovery brings. I am determined that this new year will be one of discovery, rest and joy!

What I am most thankful for this year is something I barely have words for or know if I can write it:

God's infinite grace and how it washes over things in our pasts and shines light to restore the beauty of broken things.

Just this week, I have experienced God moving in my heart in ways I hadn't thought would be possible and I feel like I am more than just a conqueror, but with Christ in me I could take on the world and be victorious, full of His life, His love and His grace. God loves restoration of relationships and healing the places of our hearts that are full of so much pain.

This year has been difficult allowing God to work pain out of my heart so more of Him could be present, but today I declare that all the painfulness of letting pain leave was worth having a place for more of Him to fill.  For pain is heavy and full of sadness and difficulty, but His burden is easy and His load is light! How bright that light is and how it penetrates the depths of our hearts to bring healing and life!

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