Thanksgiving 2017

It’s the day after Thanksgiving & my family is celebrating today.

As I consider all that has transpired since last Thanksgiving, I’m overwhelmed.

I’ve deepened my walk with the Lord more & more. THAT has made the biggest difference of all.

Around lunchtime today, my family will gather in my grandmother’s living room & join hands. It will be as hot as a North Carolina summer day in there from all the body heat & we will share what we’re thankful for. This typically creates anxiety for me, as all eyes will be on me when it’s my turn. I take many deep breaths as the time for me to share comes closer. I steady my insides as best I can. I try my best not to say the cliche things, like family, health & freedom, although I am incredibly thankful for those things.

So what will I say this year?

More & more, I feel compelled to share that I’m thankful for my thorn… all that creates a deeper need in me for the Lord… which is mainly my complicated family situation. The Lord has taught me this year to stop praying for the situation to be fixed. It’s not that I don’t want everything to be fixed… I certainly do. I want the pain to stop, to go away. I want restored relationships. I don’t believe it is wrong to want those things, but I realized something new about how that’s going to happen. Restoration & healing will not happen until our hearts are in a love-relationship with Jesus with an understanding of our calling as “little Christs.” My prayer for my family is that Jesus would make us more like Him, that He would heal our hearts as individuals. I have faith that our individual healings would lead to an overall healing.

So, my thorn. It hurts every day. Some days, I wish it away. I’m ashamed of all the days I beg for a pain-free life. Those days are the days I’m trying to carry it myself.

The other days… the Jesus-carrying-me days… I am grateful for “the waves that throw me up against the Rock of Ages.”

My pain being an avenue for the Lord’s pursuit of me is one of THE greatest gifts given to me in my life. Oh, that I am worthy of His pursuit.

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