1 Chronicles 29:13, "Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name."
Psalm 106:1, "Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."
If 'giving thanks' is in scripture multiple times, there must be a reason for it. I know that it isn't in our human nature to be thankful, rather it is an attitude and discipline. Hebrews 12:11 says that a discipline at the time is unpleasant; however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those that have been trained by it. I am currently in a season of training. Looking at each facet of my life and training my mind and heart to be thankful in all circumstances, as Paul learned to be content in everything. I yearn for that.
On Thanksgiving day, my husband gave me a wonderful gift--he took care of our sweet baby and allowed me to shower and get ready in quiet. While getting ready, I was reflective of what season of life we are in and why we should be thankful. I was reminded of a wonderful book that I had the opportunity to help launch this year.
In Jenny Simmons' book The Road to Becoming, she breaks down each season of life: the dreaming/destruction, burying, lostness, waiting, and becoming. Her beautiful words bring me comfort for whatever this season of life it is that I am in, He will meet me there. I am thankful for each season of life, as I've been through each one, and I want to reflect and express my gratitude. I can see His hand in each season, and for that I am THANKFUL!
Thank Him in the Dreaming and Destruction
Life happens--both beautiful and sad. During this season, we are thankful that God is sovereign. We understand that He is in control, though it may not come easily. He paves the way. Lives are made new each day and sometimes that life is taken away. We can doubt God during this season or we can lean into His gracious arms. I've done both, and the doubting I did allowed me to draw closer to Him in time. It's how you handle the destruction that reflects your heart.
We are thankful because He is still there when all else fails.
We are thankful because He is the rock we cling when hard times come.
We are thankful because He is beside us in the midst of suffering.
Having walked through both dreaming and destruction while trying to start a family, I am so very grateful for the truth found in scripture.
Psalm 46:1, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."
We thank You because, in You, we dream and find hope in the season of dreaming and destruction. We thank You for trust, strength, and desire in this season. We thank You for hearing us when we call.
Thank Him in the Burying
Burying something is the acceptance of it being gone. The control you think you have over things is not truly in your hands. In the burying of these things, you soon realize that you should hold loosely to them. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't love well or fiercely nor should you live in fear that all will be stripped away; rather, you should live and love each day accepting that our hearts are made for things not of this earth. Our hope is in Christ alone.
We accept the grief that comes with burial. Grief allows your soul to heal. Burial brings grief and grief will eventually birth hope. We are thankful for that painful, yet magnificent, process!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
We thank You for the season of burial, for we know that through this season You are planning greater things. Our hope is in You and You alone. We thank You for allowing burial to happen and praise You for setting eternity in the hearts of men.
Thank Him in the Lostness
When we are lost, we think that no one knows where we are. But, being lost can be a wonderful thing! We can inhabit the stillness of being lost and listen, listen to what is happening around us. Find our bearings. Be reminded of our roots.
Sometimes I feel that God uses the lostness so that we can refocus on Him. When we've become so entangled in this life, when all is stripped away, and we investigate our hearts to find what truly matters. God is at the heart of it all. Lostness strips away the busy, the plans, the next steps. Lostness strips away the noise of this life.
After having two miscarriages, I often found myself crying in the car. Arguing with the Lord. I felt as though I was wrestling the Angel of the Lord, like Jacob at the Jabbok. This is when I felt lost. I recognized that God has a better plan, but I had put my hope in getting pregnant, because that's what others had told me. 'I was young. It's ok,' trying to brush the grief under the rug. The point of the lostness was to accept the burial and destruction that had taken place after the dreaming, and to know that God is who He says He is. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In an effort to start a family, I put all my hope in that.
Psalm 46:10a, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God..."
We thank You for FINDING us, no matter how far we've gone, You'll ALWAYS find us. We thank You for calling out to us in our lostness. We thank You for the calm and stillness in this season.
Thank Him in the Waiting
I feel as though this is the season that we have one foot in--heading out of, but still in to some degree, as we have been waiting and trusting in the Lord for some clarity over our daughter's health issues. Waiting is hard. Waiting sucks. Even still, I am continually reminded that He is good.
We thank Him because we know that He is fighting for us.
Standing beside us.
Holding our hands.
He is faithful, even in the waiting.
He is preparing the way for us.
Jenny's words hit home with my heart: "I want to finish well--and finishing well means having the patience to wait when waiting is required...Sprinting to the finish line only shortchanges dreams that need divine time to come to life."
God uses this time of waiting to refine us. To grow us. To make all things new. To make us more like Him. It is in the lostness and the waiting that we see glimpses of Heaven, glimpses of what is to become in us.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."
We thank You for Your comfort, protection, and peace during the season of waiting. We thank You for allowing us to wait, trust, and lean in to Your plan.
Thank Him in the Becoming
Our other foot is stepping forward into the becoming. The acceptance of this new 'normal' for our lives and we want to live it.
Live every day and be thankful for each new mercy.
Each new morning.
Each new blood cell that is produced in our daughter's sweet marrow.
We are praising Him because we know that we are blessed. We know in our hearts that we may never have an answer from the doctors, and that is ok! It does not mean that God is any less good. We can find rest in knowing that He is working in us. We rest in His goodness, His blessings, His faithfulness, His promises and His coming again.
John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Whatever season of life you find yourself in, may you live life to the full. Rest in His blessings.
We thank You for the becoming. We thank You for the rest we find in You and the life we HAVE IN YOU.
We are thankful for each season because it draws us closer to Him and allows us to become more like Him. I want to give thanks for each season daily, to train myself to give thanks in circumstances. Training will eventually become a habit, and a habit becomes a state of mind. Lord, train me to be thankful and grateful every single day.
What are you thankful for?