Yesterday at church, we spent our gathering time sharing the things we are thankful for. I contemplated standing up and sharing, but as I sat there trying to gather my thoughts into a coherent statement, I realized I just couldn't piece it all together. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the things God has done in my life this year.
At the start of 2010, I wrote about looking ahead to this year and how I knew it would be a year of loss in my life. I also wrote this: "But, I also look to this year with great hope. I know, without any doubt, that God uses every single pain and hurt we go through to make us more like Him. Before I met Isaac, I prayed that God would somehow make me one of those "really faithful" people. You know the kind...they give a testimony at church and you are crying your eyes out by the end at how they followed God through everything and came out better in the end. I wanted to be one of those people. So here I am...enduring a struggle not many experience, often wondering why I ended up here...but always trusting that God is using this for good. God is using every single second of this journey to make me more like Him, to show me who He is, to draw me closer to Him, and to make me more dependent on Him."
My first thought of thankfulness was "After this year, I'm thankful I'm still standing". But then, Pastor Jay quoted a passage from Job. After Job hears of the calamity that has taken everything away from his life, it would've been easy for Job to turn from God and be angry. Instead, Job "fell to the ground in worship and said: 'Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1: 20-21)
I am thankful for so many things this year - for my family, my job, my co-workers, my home, my new church family, the women's ministry I am able to be involved in, my friends...I could go on and on. But, I am most thankful for a God who never changes. I am most thankful for a God who is ALWAYS good, and who is worthy of praise no matter what circumstances surround my life. I am thankful for a God who has taken something tough and tragic in my lfe, and has used it to draw me nearer to Him. And, I am thankful that someday, I'll be spending eternity with Him...and I'll get to see Isaac again.
I shared this with Emily at Chatting at the Sky.