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Happy, Happy New Year! Today’s theme for Thankful Thursday is “Looking Back”. I believe this is a crucial step to take at the end of a year (or any other transition for that matter).
Evaluating, culling through what worked and what didn’t, asking God to bring to your mind any lessons that you may have already forgotten- there are many benefits to looking back. And, then you can be done. After looking back and gleaning the wisdom from the past year that God has brought to your life, we can move ahead into 2009. Phillipians 3:12-14 says it well:
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
That gives me goose bumps!
Looking back on ’08-
Let me first say that although I would not trade any experience this past year due to all that I have learned and how my relationship with God has been strengthened, I have asked Him (quite often and with a lot of intensity) if 2009 can be just a tad bit easier. We’ll see what He thinks I can handle LOL.
~I am thankful for my illness. I know that sounds strange but my diagnosis of multiple sclerosis came one week into 2008 (and on my 29th birthday). That diagnosis and the subsequent physical limitations I have experienced have been ordained by God to get my attention. I have no doubt that had He not rendered me on my bottom for most of the year, I would not be in the place spiritually that I am.
~I am thankful for the lessons He has taught me through this year, too many to mention but a few really important ones are- I don’t have to do anything alone. He is always there and He has surrounded me by family, friends and virtual sisters to hold me accountable, love me, encourage me and provide me with His love in many different ways. My worth is not based on what I am contributing or what I can accomplish. When all you can do some days is get out of bed and get dressed, the devil is right there whispering to you that you are nothing, that you are just taking up space. But my God was there patiently waiting and revealing to me (as I was willing to see) that my worth has nothing to do with me and everything to do with His love for me. If I never “accomplish” another good deed, I am still loved and accepted by Him in exactly the same measure.
~ I am thankful that through my illness and the whole near death experience in the fall, God has removed a lot of fear and strongholds from my life. This has freed me to restore broken relationships with family members, forgive those I didn’t think I could and re-prioritize my outlook on life in general.
Ladies, it is a privilege to walk through suffering and trials for the glory of the Lord. And though it may be painful and at times you may feel like you just can’t keep going; joy comes in the morning. Every morning that I surrender my day to His will I am able to find joy in my circumstances. Thank God for the lessons of 2008 and I look forward to the lessons in store fo 2009.