Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day 8 Step 8 Thankfulness

It is in my nature to say, I can do it myself, and honestly I think that has what has led me to some of my circumstance.  Trying to be too strong, not allowing God to flow through others, to bless.  This week has been an incredible week of blessings.  A dear friend went into administrative mode when she found out about chemo and wanted to help me with meals.  I told her that it would be best during the week of chemo and that after that I would be ok.  Well this week was the start of meals and I have been so blessed by everyones generosity, wealth of giving and culinary gifts.  Each package uniquely put together, orchestrated with thought, love and care for me and my family.  Each day I waited with anticipation of what someone was bringing and who it would be.  Is that not how we should be waiting for our Groom, Christ, with hopeful anticipation?  Not having to cook is HUGE for me and because I typically am not up to par on the third and fourth days during the week of chemo.  At least it has been textbook so far which again thankful.  Truly thankful for this blessing.
Can I really say I am thankful in many ways for this time in my life, for the wake up call of breast cancer, for the nearness of God?  Yes I can honestly say this has given me an opportunity to understand thankfulness on a new level.  This awareness of His presence strengthens me as I receive and respond to His Love.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  My need of His love is as constant as the outflow of His Love for me.  So, I want to stay tapped into thankfulness, for in that He is real, He is evident and He is available.  You know some people might say, "I am just so thankful to God for giving me breast cancer".  I  believe God permits circumstances that gives us opportunity to draw near to Him, but not the orchestrator of sickness or evil.  He uses circumstances to draw near to us. We must be open to drawing near to Him, being thankful of the opportunity to praise Him and respond to His unfailing Love.  Have I ever felt abandoned by God?  Never.  Quite the contrary.  It has opened my eyes to a completely different side to my faith and walk with Him.  A more open, less judging, more compassionate side that honestly I was lacking.  Deficient in my ability to see past a self inflicted barrier that kept me at arms length not only to God but kept me from others.  This circumstance has allowed me, His beloved, to behold and take hold and notice that I am a much loved child of God.  
"The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:  I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with loving kindness I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel.  Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful. Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit.  There will be a day when watchmen cry out  on the hills of Ephraim, Come, let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God." Jer.31:3-6
This is a direct promise from the Creator of the universe.  Considering it all joy when I face trials of many kinds because I know I will be rebuilt, I know that the testing develops perseverance which MUST finish its work so that I may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  I witnessed the sweet passing of my mother in law a few years ago.  Her hearts desire was to teach us all how to die with dignity.  I can truly say that after reading the verse in James she was complete, lacking nothing and went on to be with Jesus in such a way that was a witness to my depleted soul.  How can God use us as an extension of who He is if we don't first recognize the gift?

It has not only been the gift of meals, but the occasional card, book, or scarf that comes as another reminder that He is carrying me through this through the gift of others.  The power and energy I receive this week was phenomenal from those who took the time to bless our family helped get me through, carrying me on either side, watching my back and lifting me up.  Can I walk around like this everyday?  The answer is yes if I will open my heart and eyes to the gifts God gives us each and every moment.  We serve a God of miracles, who heals the sick and opens blinded eyes.  Why would I not think He would care about little ol me and my circumstances?  That is my stumbling block that I must jump over, go around and remove from my path to walking in thankfulness.  Trusting Him in the little things thanking Him for the big things puts a whole new light on things.
Thank you for an awesome week.

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