New Life of Thankfulness

What makes a person change? By change, I mean change in a big, life altering way. Not just something like going on diet, or starting an exercise regimen. I mean something like a complete change of perspective. A total change of attitude. A completely different way of looking at everything, and a completely different way of feeling about everything.
In the past few years, I’ve discovered what can make a person do that. Or at least I’ve discovered what has made this person do that.
I’m just a simple mid-western American girl. I grew up in the country. I love trees, dirt, sky, flowers, plants, animals. I feel overwhelmingly joyous in the forest. I married young, to my high school sweetheart. I had my children in my twenties. I worked all of my married life, out of the home as well as in the home, because I had to. My marriage lasted 33 years. They were not always good or easy years, but I prayed and prayed and prayed some more, that God would unfold His design in our lives. I waited, cried, prayed some more. In the last decade of my marriage I realized that I did not win the prayer war for my marriage, and that he would likely leave me as soon as he mustered up the courage. I was correct. An opportunity opened for him, and he threw me away, threw us away. The cost was great. I cried until I died inside. My children hurt. Family gatherings were lost, traditions were lost, relationships were changed and damaged, God was grieved. I went through all the feelings of being unwanted, not good enough, boring, unattractive. I cried out to God with a seemingly endless stream of tears.
He heard me. And He let me go to the very bottom. He let me die inside. Don’t worry, it was just death. Death is not a problem for our Father. He has already overcome that. You know what happens when you plant a dead seed in the soil. That’s right. It is brought back to life – as a new, strong, vibrant plant. Yes, He raised me from the dead. I felt alive for the first time in years. Really alive. I felt a joy I should not feel. My circumstances would dictate that I should be grumpy, sour, lonely, rejected. But I did not feel any of those things.
How could that be? The journey of resurrection was not as long as I thought it might be, given my very broken heart. Probably because I asked God to shorten the healing process, since I had already been grieving the marriage for almost 10 years. He was merciful that way.
On the journey, He brought a book across my path, through my daughter-in-law. One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. I am not exaggerating when I say the book was life changing. Ann taught the meaning of eucharisteo. The grace and joy in God’s gifts to us. And how before every gift, before every miracle, Jesus gave thanks. THANKS. Charis – Grace. Eucharisteo – Thanksgiving. Chara – Joy. Could it be that simple? It always is.
Jesus gave thanks for the common. The very bread before Him. He offered thanks for His coming death. Ok, the lessons here are long and deep. So perhaps I can discuss them another time. Or you could just read the book – it is so very worth it.
Let’s just say in short, that the words in this book spirited me on my way to healing and renewal. He changed me. I changed. Not just that I changed my mind, but I changed my whole thinking. I took the thanks dare. I wrote down 1000 gifts. And as I wrote, I saw more and more. I became more and more thankful, and Joy, yes joy bubbled over. It was amazing. And so simple. I laughed more, became friendlier, began to really live. I took my thanks journal with me everywhere in the beginning. I began to see the woman He has designed. I saw beauty for the first time – in me. To say that I am a completely different person now, to the woman I was only 5 years ago, would be an understatement. I became thankful for my circumstances, good, bad and ugly. I asked God to use them all for His glory. I even thanked Him for pain. Deep gutting, death bringing pain. I said thank you. And it changed me.
Well, this is a beginning of sorts, to my story. I’ll use future blogs to bring the story up to date. I’m not entirely sure where God wants me to go with this blog, just that He wants me to write. So I’m obeying and writing. And thanking Him for every new day. Until next time . . . blessings.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “New Life of Thankfulness

  1. I am honored to be able to write the first comment on the debut of your new blog. As the best friend I’ve ever had in my life, witnessing your transformation has been such a blessing to me. It is a wonder to me how the Lord brought us together and although years apart…we both have walked through this fire and come out the other side all the better for it. I am looking forward to reading more about your journey. I love you so much! xxoo

    Like

  2. When I saw the invitation to your blog,& saw the words “thankfulness”, I thought, “I should tell her about “one thousand gifts” by Ann Voskamp”, … But I guess you already know! What a profound book!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s