“In everything give thanks.” It’s right there in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. I memorized it years ago. Isn’t it easy to give thanks when it’s officially Thanksgiving week and the fixin’s for Thursday’s feast are filling the pantry? Just like it’s effortless to be generous when the carol singing and the ding-dinging of a little bell reminds me to drop something in the Salvation Army bucket on my hasty way out of Walmart. And worship comes easy when the music and the lights are right, when God breaks your stubborn heart right there in the padded pew.
But what about the in-between days? Am I thankful when it’s not the fourth week of November? Am I generous without the bell ringer’s gentle reminder? Does my heart soften in worship on lonely grey days? Or when everything seems to be falling apart? Or when busyness rules my schedule? Sometimes. But not often enough.
I found my journal the other day. The one I began in 2013. The one I determined to write my own “One Thousand Gifts” in. (If you don’t know about Ann Voskamp, allow me to introduce you: http://www.aholyexperience.com/) It was filled with blank pages. Only the first page held the humble beginnings of my list. Now it’s November. Have I been ungrateful to the One who gives me the desires of my heart? Searching that heart of mine to see if it’s pages were blank, as those of my journal, I joyfully discovered they weren’t! What is written there, My Savior sees. What is written here, for the world to see, will be snippets of what’s in my grateful heart.
But, one might ask, “Why start a blog if you can’t even keep a journal?” Because this year, I have been writing. I’ve been birthing my story of how God redeems the things we thought were lost. It’s not an easy story to tell. It’s been a slow and sometimes painful journey through years and doors I thought were closed. But, God has spoken to my heart, reminding me of the power in every person’s story to positively impact the story of another. And so I write. And I humbly invite you to join me on this journey. Will you pray for me as I seek to share my own version of God’s redeeming love?
I feel the need for an interactive community to bounce ideas off of, to provide feedback and support as I work my way through the dark parts of the past while striving to live in a present filled with thankfulness, generosity and true worship. My target audience is anyone who has tasted the pain of being wounded by addiction, either your own or someone else’s. But if that “shoe” doesn’t fit you, I encourage you to stay anyway. Maybe something shared here will inspire or encourage your heart along the way. Maybe the promise of a happy ending will keep you coming back. In the meantime, my prayer for us all is hearts filled with a true spirit of thankfulness, generosity, and worship as we celebrate this season of thanksgiving, for our God truly redeems the things we thought were lost.