I want to say thanks to God for all the blessings in my life. In a million and one years, I don't know that I could ever name them all. I feel that as you grow older - or perhaps just live a little more and know a little more than you did before - if you are lucky, the Lord will show you ways to find gratitude in a situation that seems to have none. Remember when you were younger, and everything seemed so simple? So black and white? It either was or it wasn't. Everything had a simple solution, and it was easy to just make a decision, or say something - without thinking any deeper than what was right before your very eyes.
Well, being a grown up sometimes requires knowing more and seeing more than you'd like to. But- it also teaches me to find beauty and love and appreciation in things I never would have looked twice at when I was younger.
Life is hard. Sometimes it just downright sucks. But, it's still life. We are still here. And, I am blessed enough to know the Lord, and to know that He always understands just exactly what I feel in my heart, even if I can't find words. I can tell you that I for one can say I cannot imagine - I shudder to think - where I would be or what things I might have done had I not known for a fact that the good Lord had me in His hands and knew what He was doing. I just cannot imagine. At all.
The weight of my heart has been getting heavier and heavier the more I really look at people. I've been doing a lot of thinking and praying for others this month, specifically. There has really been a lot pulling on my heart strings. And, tonight, I learned of another devastating story - a heartbreaking loss that some extended family of ours has suffered. It just felt like a bowling ball in my chest. And, in another story tonight, a dispute that ended in tragedy, leaving so many people in pain - with no real answers. And I think to myself, these are just a handful of situations that I know about. Think of how many are out there in real pain, and no one knows?
It's very easy to question, Why? I do it all the time. But I try hard not to. The thing is, the Lord can always see Option A and Option B. We are only shown Option A. And sometimes Option A sucks. A lot. But - the Lord knows that Option B was much worse. We can only trust Him, because that's what He says to do.
Rejoice in all things and pray continuously. My mother in law has a beautiful wood-burned wall hanging that says that verse hanging in her kitchen. When I was younger, that sounded really simple even stupid to me. How much sense does that make? But the beauty is, God does always know what He's doing. Thank God.
I have been guilty lately of worrying. A lot. About others' situations that I know of for certain. And thinking about it hard enough to wonder how on earth I'd handle that. What would I do? Well, I don't know. But, God would handle it for me. And He would. He would give me the strength from somewhere to handle it. He never gives us jobs He knows we can't handle. It reminds me of the footprints poem a friend of mine reminded me of recently:
LORD you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.
The LORD replied, my precious, precious child, I Love you and I would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.
So tonight, I really want to express my thanks. Thank you, Lord, for all you have given me - things that I see as good and things that I see as bad. Because they all fit together, and guide me down the road you'd have me go down, because going down the road you have set aside for me is making me the person you want me to be. Even if I don't like it. Even if I don't understand it. Thank you, Lord, for all the love and support that you give me, first and foremost, and for the love that you send to me through friends and family. Please give me and show me the opportunity to share this love with others. To share it when it's hard. When they are someone I would quite frankly, rather judge or smack because I don't agree with them or because I think they are selfish. But I know that only you know what's on their heart and what they are going through, and it is not my place to judge or punish them. Thank you so much for the wonderful relationship you have given to Andrew and me. How blessed that we have each other - for comfort and support - through life's trials? I know that what we face may not always be easy, but what we have between us is a gift from you and I would not trade it for anything in the world.
Please help me to focus on the positives in any situation, to not complain about things that are stupid and small. Things that don't amount to anything. Help me to see the good in ALL SITUATIONS - no matter what they may be. Help me to not feel sorry for me. And whenever I do, show me how to use that energy in a positive way - somewhere else, on someone who needs it. Help me to have a servant's heart. Even when I don't feel like serving. Thank you for my health and the brains to know how to handle what I've been given. My mama told me when I was really little that you wouldn't have given me a disease I couldn't handle. She was right. It's true of my diabetes, and it's true of everything else in this life. And more importantly, I have my faith in you - because I know on the days when I am pissed, but still "dealing with it - whatever it is" - I only have the strength to do so because you gave it to me. Help me to never forget all I've been given - and to find ways to give it to others. Help me to know you more and to be more like you.
I'm not an expert on scripture, but I am reminded that there is strength in numbers, and it's okay to turn to others for love, help and support. I think this is something we all struggle with.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
Thank you Lord for protecting us from Irene. A little power loss or a tree or two down is nothing compared to losing a loved one. Lord, I know you always provide.
Dear bloggie friends, thanks for listening to my heart erupt into a zillion words. I will blog something smiley sometime soon next week, perhaps.