I have heard that friends here in the bloggy world like to choose a word to start their new year off. Instead of all these resolutions, you choose a word that you need to focus on for the year. Let the word change you, possibly mold you, get into your heart. I thought and prayed about this a lot in the beginning of January and I chose a word back then. My word.....TRUST. Little did I know how this word would change me, break me. Build me back up and it's only February.
I didn't really think that I have a problem with trust. I am a pretty trusting person, or so I thought. Then I began to do a bible study recently along with reading this tremendous book "One Thousand Gifts" oh so beautifully written by the very humble, and crazy in love with Jesus, Ann Voskamp. All I can say is "WOW"! God said these two things are going to change you, one way or the other.
I picked up the book I had been so anxiously waiting for. My dear sweet daughter got it for me for Christsmas and the hubby got the journal. Now if I understand correctly, neither of the two spoke to the other about what gift they were getting me. I just see God's Hand all over this. He will use whatever He needs to get to our hearts. Mission accomplished!
It begins with blessings. OK count your blessings, I can do that. Sounds simple, right? I went to the store and bought a couple journals. I figured it would be nice if the family did this together. You see Mrs. Voskamp was at Women of Faith last year and her story and her "One Thousand Gifts" touched something in my heart. I went to buy her book there but they were all out. It has been a New York Times Bestseller so of course they were out. However, I went home with something stirring in my heart. I knew there was something to this blessing thing. So I went and bought the journals back in November. One for the family, and one for me. I hadn't read the book yet so I was doing my best to remember what Ann had said about the gifts. Write them down, be descriptive, have a cup with a pen next to the book in order to be ready to write. I gave the family instructions based on what I could remember. One gift a day needed to be written in the book from each family member. And so we began in early November writing down our gifts. What we are thankful for in the everyday. As I glanced back over them that stirring got deeper. So heartfelt, so poignant. My heart bubbled with joy, and not only for their gifts but all the different handwriting of each of us, splashed together on the pages. Did you know being thankful and deliberately writing the gifts down gets contagious? I left the one book for the family and began my own. I have one with me wherever I go because I find thanking God for each gift leaves me wanting to thank Him even more. So I began to write and the family continued as well.
December came and that blessed day we celebrate Christ's birth! There beneath the tree was the lovely book I had been wanting. Now I love to read so there were other books as well. This one, however was the one I could not WAIT to dive into, little did I know the impact this book would have on my heart. In Ann's tragedies in life and she has had some hard ones, God has asked her to be thankful in all things. Eucharisteo. I began to examine my life. There have been HARD things in my life as well. Sometimes to the point I didn't think I could bare one more tragedy. Life is hard. People can make it good, and God can make it great. In a lot of hard times in my life I didn't have people to make it better. I had fear, worry, abandonment, and mistrust. Things a young person should not have to deal with at such a young age.. It went on as I got older. I would brush it aside. I never was thankful for much because I was always so worried. I kept busy so I didn't have to think about all that stuff. It was hard, it was painful and it is not something you can just get over. It takes time and tears, and sorrow to work through. God didn't ask me to do anything but start to be thankful in all things. I added eucharisteo to my dictionary so that I could really live out this thankful life Ann had talked about. Its not easy. I am finding though that even in the hard eucharisteo I can come closer to God and He is there waiting on me.
As I began to find some favorite "trust" scriptures to hide in my heart, the words "thankful" would pop off the pages of my Bible. I was reminded of it again. I would give a sweet smile to God for continuing to work on my heart. Then a few weeks ago He was ready to deal with the tough stuff. Funny how I am never ready to deal with that stuff when He is. I had began a Bible study by Beth Moore "Breaking Free." Good timing huh, God? I had done the study 10 years ago and seemed to get through mostly unscathed. This time, however, God is not letting me off so easy. I need it so badly in order to heal and break all these things that keep me chained up spiritually. I didn't realize all that stuff was there, until Beth began to speak God's word, and my heart burst open with pain and tears and anger. I am still in the midst of this study so I know God has more work to do. So far though between Ann reminding me to be thankful in ALL Things good and bad. The hard stuff is when you tend to forget to be thankful, but His love and sweetness is there, if you just take in His Spirit and remember who you are in Him. Such joy in that and such peace. Her book and Beth's study has my heart in turmoil. I can feel God healing it though. Sometimes you have to allow the dark places of your heart, the places you've hidden your pain to be healed through His light. I am not there yet but I can feel His Light in me growing stronger every day. I will continue Ann's book and Beth's study to allow God to make my heart whole in Him again. Only through Jesus! "He who began a good work in you, will carry it through to completion in Christ Jesus." I can see the joy returning to my broken heart. I am feeling closer to the Father more everyday. His comforting arms are there to hold me when I am going through this difficult healing. He loves me that much. I trust Him! I have faith in Him! I will be thankful in all things. Eucharisteo!
Thanks for letting me share what God is doing in my heart. I know that there is a reason and I am sure the adoption might have something to do with it as well.
Blessings and Ladybugs :)