"When we stop seeing reasons to give thanks,
we stop thinking there are reasons to live"
~ Ann Voskamp
I set out this morning to share some of my favorite things. Things I am grateful for, things that bring me joy. I was joining Rachel at Finding Joy in her link up and instead this is what came bubbling out of me.
I went to a women's conference last Saturday. I went into it expecting a to do list on "how" to counsel women. How to help them, how to make sense of the things that are said to me that I don't know how to deal with.
"I don't love my husband anymore, I am filing for divorce."
"I don't know who I am, what am I here for?"
"Why does this hurt so bad, where is God in this?"
I wanted 12 easy steps to counseling women, twelve easy steps to get them from A to Z, 12 easy steps to me knowing what to say, what to do, and how to deal with the pain I see in their eyes. The pain that makes me ache inside and want to grab them and yell "You are more, YOU are loved!"
I didn't get that. There is no magic formula, I knew that, deep down inside I knew, but I wanted that.
What did I get?
I got a lesson in identity that grew me closer to the one who matters.
I received the blessing of a lesson in the gospel.
A lesson I knew but needed to hear again.
A lesson that I will never fully comprehend because how can a mother understand sending her child to die for others.
A lesson on what really matters.
The truth, the oh so wonderful truth, that we are forgiven. That Jesus took all my sins, all my worry, all my guilt, all my deception, all my pride, all my unbelief and He put that on and died for me. He put on a crown of thorns, walked in shame, and died for me.
Did I know this? Yes
Do I believe it? Sometimes
Do I live it? No
I am full of pride and worry and fear and the list goes on...
My gratitude to what He gives is filled with sin. Filled with my pride and my imperfections. And you know what? God doesn't expect me to be perfect. I am forgiven. How wonderful is that.
That when I am reaching for the things I do not have HE is really what I am looking for. That my wanting is really disbelief that He has provided enough for me. That He provides not only material needs but the words, His words are enough! What He offers is so much more than what I could imagine. I need to look for it, I need to be grateful for it, I need to grasp what He has given me so that I can find Him in what I am looking at.
Today I am thankful for that. Thankful for God's word that speaks to me and shows me that I am ungrateful yet I am loved. Prideful yet His daughter. A sinner yet I am forgiven. That He has given me so much and that I need Him to see that.
How about you. Can you believe that God chose you to be His?