Give Thanks In Everything

Give Thanks In Everything

There is always something to be thankful for.

As Thanksgiving approaches each November I have seen several people in the recent years post a thing that they are thankful for every single day for the whole month on social media.

I am sure that these people do not need a month set aside to share what they are thankful for and instead could share whenever they please. Although I do not personally use my Facebook account or my Instagram for anything other than sharing a photo here and there and keeping up with my family and friends, I am extremely encouraged by seeing so many others share one or more things a day that they are truly thankful for.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice Always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Life may be hard right now and you may have lost absolutely all hope. And if it's not right now, there may have been moments and there will be other times where it will most likely be difficult again. But this sweet reminder in the verse above I know reminds me that through every hardship, through every challenge, through every moment I find myself weeping out of anger or sadness- that I still have so much more to be thankful for.

That friendship or relationship that you stay torn over ending- pray and be thankful that God may be protecting you from something that could be toxic. It might not have been a relationship that encouraged and built you up and it is important even though this upset to know He has you.

If there is everything but hope surrounding your life, I pray that you find at least one thing that you can be thankful for. Rejoice over that and pray constantly that Christ will see you through.

This verse does not say "give thanks in some things", but "give thanks in everything". Trust and know that Christ has a plan even when we absolutely cannot see it and when it is hard to believe.

Give thanks that we have such an incredible Heavenly Father who is full of grace and forgiveness even when we are so undeserving. When there is nothing left for us to hold on to, He remains.

In some of my darkest and hardest moments, I cannot say that I have taken this advice. But from here on out when it is hard to be joyful and thankful for anything I pray that this will be a reminder to me and that if I can find just one thing to be thankful for (which should not be hard) I will focus on the blessing of that.

I pray that you reading this will do the same. I pray that you reading this whether you have hope or have lost all hope will choose to be encouraged and allowed God to intervene.

We might not have the answers that we want. We may not agree with the "right thing to do". But I pray that you will give thanks not only when you are standing high on the mountain filled with his blessings, but also when you need to be comforted and feel more alone than ever before.

I am encouraging not only you today, but also myself to begin today by choosing to take one thing a day and declaring it whether it is out loud, on social media, to an accountability partner, a family member or friend, a spouse, or with someone else that you are comfortable with. Whatever is the best outlet for you I encourage you to start this with me. Whether it be temporary or a long-term thing, whether you speak it first thing in the morning or at the end of the day it truly doesn't matter as long as you are seeking something that you are thankful for in each and every day.

Trust in Him and give thanks in everything.

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Not Alone in our Loneliness

It happens to the best of us, but don't let it get the best of us.

The fear of loneliness is a real one and from it stems a lot of other basic feelings.

Ever get scared that you’ll end up “forever alone”?

Ever get FOMO?

Ever fall into peer pressure?

Ever feel the constant need for approval?

Ever seek affirmation?

Ever get the gut-sinking feeling that nobody else in the world gets it?

All of these derive from the fact that we are all afraid of being left alone. We’re afraid of not being “good enough” for others to like us. We’re afraid that if we stand out, we’ll stand alone.

Well- let me clue you in on something. You’re not alone. All of these feelings are so common. Except, we never talk about them for the sake of bottling our emotions and not scaring people away. Because we believe the lie that everybody is “fine” and nobody would get it if we opened up about these empty feelings we sometimes have. It’s a never-ending and discouraging cycle.

A cycle, yes. But a pointless one. Why hide the fact that this basic human emotion and fear is felt and experienced? The fear of loneliness is insanely present in a lot of lives and we must come to terms with the fact that, even if it isn’t expressed, it’s there. And, when you dive into it and cut to the core, it makes sense.

We have an inherently natural instinct to desire human connection. It’s in our DNA. In Genesis, it is written that man was created in the likeness of God. What one thing does God desire more than anything else?

Us in a right relationship with him. He desires intimate, real, open, and vulnerable relationships with us. He wants nothing more than for us to cling to Him and walk deeper and deeper with Him.

So, realizing that God, our Father, craves the same connections and has defeated the same unsatisfactory feelings of loneliness that I have and will experience is the most comforting thing in the world.

Jesus is the calm to my chaotic thought. The peace to my pity party. The comfort to my confusion. The hope to my helplessness. He is faithful even in my fears. He satisfies my heart when my mind tells me to run. He pulls me close when my mind says I’m never good enough. He loves recklessly and pursues endlessly.

My fear of loneliness and everything encompassed within has been taken to the grave and has been defeated by grace. And so has yours. Because of His fearless faithfulness, I no longer need to fear loneliness because my heart will be fully satisfied in Him.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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When I Have Nothing Else To Do But Trust

2018: a brand new year.

I've never been one to have new years' resolutions because, well, I never actually find success in them. This year, however, I've jumped on the band wagon of choosing a word for the year.

With the close of 2017, I was in a season of impatience, loneliness, and anger. I had no idea what God was wanting to do with my particular circumstances and I was annoyed with the waiting process. That's not surprising because if you know anything about me, then you will know that I am probably the most impatient person on this earth.

I hate waiting. I hate not knowing what is going to happen. And I hate not being in control. But God is in the midst of every one of those things.

He's a patient God and He knows the future. So what gives me the right to rush the journey?What gives me the right to not trust God? To not trust His processes and His actions? To not trust what He brings to the table and in my life?

Throughout 2018, I will be committing myself to trusting God, to trusting His reasonings and His seasons.

So what does trust mean?

To me, trust means finding the calm in the storm; believing in patience and the waiting through trials; nurturing and appreciating doors that are necessary endings; staying still with praise on my lips; crying out when I feel the loneliness of college doom on me; allowing myself to breathe and grow mentally, physically, and spiritually; believing that although I am just a tiny speck on this earth, I am destined for my own specific and important journey.

On the first Sunday of the year, I prayed a prayer about endings and beginnings. I prayed for the Lord to lead me out into waters and dry lands that leave me with no other option than to trust Him and His work. I prayed that He lead me to the point of embracing the grace that He so freely gives, not lends; because we have a Father that gives with no return in mind besides love and trust.

If I'm being honest with you, 2018 scares me. I'm nervous about where God will send me this year and what trials will show up. I'm worried about what Satan will throw in my way to blind me of the promises of the Lord.

But no matter, I will trust in Him and stay still, because in doing so I will find strength in Him (Psalm 27:14).

Cover Image Credit: Mandy Parsons

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