Monday, November 30, 2015

In Everything Give Thanks

out past my front porch

I was sitting here over Thanksgiving, thinking of how very many things I have to be thankful for this year...

~ another year where everyone in my family is alive and relatively healthy, despite sports and car accidents and health issues resulting in doctor visits and the myriad of things that could have destroyed any one of us.

~ the new friendships that have deepened this year...for the old friendships that have continued on...for slipping friendships that have been caught hold of and friends who grab tight when I ask for their hand...for the growing realization that the more I love the more I can love...that love is not a fixed quantity but the more I give the more I have, and that when I love something enough, I will fight for it, difficulties in the way and my natural-born personality be hanged. 

my program site placement, my awesome preceptor, and the fact that God sent me to a place I would not have considered on my own, and yet which has the perfect people in place to guide me as I chose specialty etc. And how brilliantly nice they've all been to me so far.

~ my new church, which is an absolute answer to prayer - I was invited there my first Sunday by a nurse at one of the clinics, and really...I do not remember ever feeling so welcomed at a church. This on top of the fact that the sermons actually challenge and encourage me every Sunday, and I not only write story during the service {I learn best when writing; also I write story really well in church services}, but I also write notes. And the church is very involved in the community and in missionary work. They even have some decent music, which makes it the best church I've been to in quite some time. :)

~ for the beauty that surrounds me...and how lovely it's been to realize that even without my marvelous lake view there are touches of God's glorious creativity everywhere, sometimes in places I'd least expect to see it.

~ for the fact that I passed my step 1 exam and was able to do the program that I wanted and will never have to take that test again and even fighting utterly ridiculous amounts of anxiety and depression God was able to turn my summer around and get me through and teach me a lot of things I really needed to learn. 



But then I thought about that one verse. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

In everything. 

Everything.

Can I be thankful for those horrible weeks this summer, when I dealt with emotions I'd never had to fight like this before? 
   I have been thankful in the past few months, as I've felt far more compassion and understanding for patients dealing with mental health issues than was possible before. And for the pure relief I feel every time that exam comes to mind and I can praise God that I passed it.

Can I be thankful for the challenges ahead of me, for the struggles I face in this particular program? For the struggles I have personally, working to refine my personality into one that can lead and direct and speak, as well as follow and listen? 
    I am beginning to be thankful for this, to joy in the fight and the opportunity, which is kind of a huge first for me. 

Can I be thankful for the unexpected difficulties of friendship, for the dangers involved in allowing another person into one's heart, for the pain of miscommunication? 
     I think, while I enjoy the amazingness of friends allowing me into their heart...as I know certain friendships now are able to handle storms...as I see friendship renewed...I can be thankful even for the fear and the hurt.

Can I be thankful for the health problems that are in my family? 

     This is the one that gave me pause. I can give thanks for the good easily...I can find the good in most situations when I stop and ask God to show it to me. But there are some situations in which there is no good. Situations I haven't discussed on my blog because they have more to do with the stories of others than with my own, and because all the ways that those problems have become part of my story have been negative. Reasons I doubt myself, reasons I am afraid, things I am trying to figure out how to deal with as I grow up and realize there is no fixing them. 
     There are entire books written about whether Biblically we are to be thankful FOR all things, or only IN all things...but here...I've had a very hard time being thankful in this particular aspect of my life. I so very badly wish it had never been. That I could hit 'undo' and make my family be who they would have been without this in their lives. There have been times where if possible I would have wished myself out of existence so that all that went before my birth need not have occurred. Would the lives around me been better if I did not exist? I don't know, but it's probably good for me that there's no way I could have tried it. 
    Yet when I stop to look at it...even in this are things to be thankful for. I can be thankful for the understanding that has been given me...for the empathy I can have with those dealing with similar issues...for the way these things in my family have forced me to expand the circle of those I consider family - for those people more distantly or not at all related to me by blood who have come to mean the world to me...for the way that my writing, always a way to deal with and work through emotions, has been affected...even for how my future has been set up, since I would most likely have made very different choices without this in my life. 
    This is not enough to make me glad about it...too much sorrow and sin and pain has come from it. Yet He works all things together for the good of those who love Him. I don't know what good might come of it in the future...and and even now I can look for the good that has come about, for the good He has already done in our lives.
    It is far easier look at this and cringe, to see the problems that occur daily and wonder WHY lives that could have been so, so much better are wasted and stunted, crippled by factors beyond our control. But His will concerning us is that we give thanks. Not that we question and second-guess and argue this point continuously with Him...{though I will ask for any normalcy I can get} but that we thank Him
    So I thank Him for the strength He has given us...for the support of others...for the circumstances that have allowed us a far, far more glorious life than we deserve, despite how much better we *think* it could have been...for the abilities and knowledge we have that we could have gotten in no other way...and for the love He shows us so that we can continue to trust His goodness.


What unexpected things are you thankful for this year?

2 thoughts shared:

Jessica Greyson said...

I've missed reading your thoughts....you have a beautiful BEAUTIFUL mind.

Katherine Sophia said...

*hugs you* I've missed your blog posts also...though I am loving your emails. :)

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