Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Forgiveness, Thanksgiving, and December...

I can't believe that another year is coming to an end.  Another Thanksgiving passed me by in the blink of an eye.  Filled with laughter, good food, and more memories.  It seems to me that every year I have more and more to be grateful for.  My family, my friends, my adventures, and just being able to work the jobs that I do and support myself.  I am thankful for a roof over my head, and a place where I feel safe.  Not everyone has that.  In the quiet moments when I find myself complaining, or being grumpy, like today... I just want to wake myself up and tell myself to get over it.  I get so caught up in the small things that don't matter, that I forget to be thankful for the ones that do. 

I am so thankful that I am not stuck in relationships and friendships where I don't feel valued, respected, or loved.  Sometimes in life we keep giving, and we only realize that we have given all we can when there is nothing left to give.

  This Thanksgiving I was thankful for moments with my family, co-workers and friends that helped me to see the good that is in my life.  I don't know what the future holds, I know what my hope for the future is, but I am so thankful for this season. 

The sermon last Sunday struck me as the past few have been doing, because it was like the pastor read my journal and then decided to preach straight to my heart.  In those moments I get reassurance that God loves me beyond what I even will ever comprehend.  He does want His best for me, no matter how much I think I have messed up, or how unworthy I think I am.  He wants me to have my heart's desire.  I think for the longest time I have just thought that I am past the point of being able to get what I want, because I am so unworthy of having it.  I think that I thought that I have just made too many mistakes and I keep on making them, and I will never be deserving of my deepest desires.  But the thing is that we are never so far removed that we can't be brought back in.  Our choices are what makes us able to kneel once again at His feet, cry tears of repentance and accept those nail scarred hands.  I have been making a conscious effort to not give in to temptations, and conversations this week that I know are going to lead me down a path that does nothing but destroy me.  Every day I look up and regain my focus.  Some days are easier than others. 

I want something that I had convinced myself was too good for me to have.  I convinced myself that I wasn't worthy to be loved and treated with respect, and so I allowed myself to give in to things that I shouldn't have.  I allowed myself to be treated the way I thought I deserved, instead of being treated the way I was created to be.  When you examine the depths of your heart, and realize that somewhere along the way you have lost your focus, and lost your self-respect you have to re-examine what it means to live life for Christ.  I still feel undeserving most days, but I also feel like this time will be different.  I'm not willing to settle for second best, I'm not willing to give in just to be with someone.  They are going to have to be so hidden in God that they will have to seek Him just to find me. God's going to have to make it the clearest He ever has in order for me to allow anything but His best for me to come into my heart and life.  It's not going to be an easy road, but it is one I am willing to walk down, because the alternative just doesn't have the pull it once did. 

In the past couple of days I have had to do a lot of soul searching and forgiving of myself.  I have had to give myself the grace that I so often forget to indulge in.  I have had to allow myself to know that I am worthy to be loved the way He meant it to happen.  I am worthy to know what it is like to have a relationship that is built on the foundation of Christ.  Not just in appearances, but in the everyday hum of life's celebrations and disappointments.  That's what I want, and I refuse to have anything less than that.  But I just have to believe that my God is big enough. 

December is almost here, and it makes me realize how self-focused I am most of the time.  So, I decided that I am going to go out of my way during the month of December to be focused on putting Jesus above all else.  Probably that should be my focus anyways, but I find myself getting distracted by emotions, feelings, hopes, and wanting things that aren't for me to want right now.  So for December I focus on giving, not getting.  I focus on experiences, not things.  I focus on love, and togetherness, instead of constantly pointing out faults and differences. 

Maybe life won't slow down much, but at least this last month of 2017 will be unforgettable! 

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