On Wednesday night at our women’s small group, our leader asked us what was on our heart. She encouraged us to just share whatever came to mind.
On my turn, the words spilled out about how God has been teaching me recently; through numerous sources including sermons, lesson preparations and the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, to be thankful IN all circumstances.
Even the ones I am not necessarily thankful FOR.
I told them how I was practicing having a grateful heart and focusing on receiving whatever came my way as from the hand of the Lord. In developing gratitude in all things, I had experienced a sense of peace and joy that was refreshing.
I also acknowledged that having said this out loud, in front of people, I fully expected to be tested to the farthest stretches by week’s end.
On Friday our daughter planned to bring the two little guys down for the day.
So I had planned all kinds of things like…..
So we canceled and they stayed put.
Although, Graham made a valiant effort to attempt the trip on his own when he heard his mom was bailing out on the plan.
Well, I was pretty sad. And I did cry.
And my first attempts to be thankful in the midst of my own disappointment compounded by unhappy faces texted to me from up north sounded more like a teenager throwing a tantrum.
But as I tried to figure out how to salvage the day and use the time given to complete some needed work around this house, I did begin to thank God.
While reports of multiple cars in ditches later on led us to deep gratitude that our little family did not start out that morning, I don’t think that was the thanks God was looking for.
That would be waiting until I could see with my eyes some reason to be thankful.
As I quieted my heart from my first stiff attempts to be thankful, I found a phrase to express my gratitude. A faith phrase that I repeated until my heart and emotions could get behind it.
“God, thank You. I know You are good and you haven’t taken away anything that I was supposed to have. Our plans have changed, but Your plans haven’t.”
As I repeated this truth, and it is truth, my heart quieted and I could feel His loving comfort. I began to embrace that while we had planned for this day, apparently it had not been His plan. I wasn’t robbed of anything He had intended for me to have.
And in His goodness, He understands when I am sad and disappointed because my plans changed. He holds me and gives me strength, He holds our daughter and our grandsons, He holds all of us, even as He works out His plan.
And that is something to be thankful for <3