Giving thanks in all circumstances is not something that has come naturally to me. As I've grown as a Christ follower, I've slowly let go of old feelings and beliefs. I've experienced a softening around the edges, and allowed God's grace to sink deep into my bones, transforming me from the inside out. This process of becoming has turned thanksgiving into a permanent fixture rather than an optional "when I feel like it" approach to life.
Out of Sorts. In the past I always felt I knew the best way in every circumstance; it was my way after all! Believing that I was in control, and succumbing to stress and anxiety whenever things weren't going according to plan - these were some of my go-to beliefs that got me through my days. Those days seemed more like nightmares at times!
Having children effectively cured me from my know-it-all-ness. No longer could I be certain of anything in life. My tiny humans set their own schedules from the beginning, and, when my expectations and their needs collided, their best interests always took precedence over mine.
God is so good! He knew exactly what motivation I needed to look past myself and grow a heart that desires to put others' needs before my own. In serving others, I am ultimately serving God. He started with lessons learned through family relationships, and has continued to expand and refine my heart to help and serve in other ways. He paved the way so I could see the blessings even when things weren't going "my way". In the words of singer/songwriter, David Bracken, he "scaled me down".
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.
~ Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust and thanksgiving go hand in hand. The more we trust God with every part of our lives, the more freely we offer our thanks with joy.
Truth exemplified: I do most of my writing in the evening after the kids are in bed. I value my creative down time, and do my best to protect it from interruptions. Last night, however, I was interrupted by a sick child with a sore throat. He needed comfort and cuddles more than I needed to stay connected to my computer.
So, I let go of my plan, washed it away along with everything else in the day, secure in the knowledge that God had me exactly where He wanted me in that moment. I gave thanks for the opportunity to provide the comfort and reassurance my son needed, and trusted that the writing would happen as it was meant to. Learning to let go has been one of the greatest gifts God has given me. It's one of the ways He's helping shape my life as a writer. It's my prayer that we may all learn to let go, and become truth bearers, not for our benefit, but for the benefit and glory of God.
What have you had to let go of in your writing journey?