A blog post about “giving thanks” should be an extremely easy one to write, as I do have much to be thankful for. However, in the last few weeks, maybe months, I’ve been uncharacteristically unthankful. It’s not that I have been rude to anyone or unappreciative of help or gifts or love. Nothing bad has happened, no one died. Actually quite the opposite. Great things have been happening: I got a new job in the last year working with SEAPC where I get to coordinate missionaries to serve all over the globe. I fell in love with an incredible man who asked me to marry him. Family and friends all around me are having new babies. I’m in remission from my autoimmune disease. I’ve had the privilege of living with my grandma. I went to Cambodia. I had not one but two beach vacations with my family. I got a new car. I volunteered at my favorite place. I led worship at a conference. I met some really awesome people recently who will be lifelong friends. And the list goes on! So why in the world, or how rather, could I not be thankful?!
It seems like every aspect of my life lately has been revolving around the Holy Spirit. First, at work, the ladies in the office met every Tuesday for a few weeks with a wonderful woman of God to learn about being open to the Holy Spirit and being in tune with Him. Then, we then had an amazing couple come in and teach for weeks about prophecy. Then we had a pastor come in from Laos and teach for three days on who the Holy Spirit is. Then, at church. Our whole theme this year is about moving forward with the Holy Spirit. Plus, I’m in a class based on Beth Moore’s study, Breath, about the Holy Spirit. And as all of these teachings are being poured out into my life, it seems harder and harder to embrace.
Newsflash: spiritual warfare is real! The devil is not dumb. He knows when to push harder and what buttons to push. He feeds lies into our heads saying, “You’re not good enough,” “This won’t work,” “Look what they have,” “It won’t last,” “You could have done more,” “You don’t deserve this.” The powers of darkness know how to work their way in and take everything you have to be thankful for and turn it into shame, guilt, doubt, and feelings of unworthiness, inadequacy, and insignificance.
And as I’m speaking these next words over my own life today, I’m sharing them with you: I’M DONE! I am done listening to these lies and letting the enemy steal my joy! There’s a saying from a Texas Christian radio station that I have posted above my bed. “I need joy. And when I keep my eyes on Jesus, I have joy. When I lose it, I will choose it. I choose joy!” I clearly need to look up more often, and not just at that note, but at Him. He who is my true source of joy and my one thing to always be thankful for. Because of Him, I can be thankful for all of the other blessings in my life. So many of those things I listed earlier were a direct answer to prayer! He makes the impossible possible. He says that I am enough and I am His daughter. He gave me a Spirit of love and He casts out all fear. If I just fix my eyes on Him, it’s easy to be thankful.
If you can relate to my feelings of apathy and self-loathing lately, I challenge you to sit down and actually make a list of all the things you are thankful for this year. Writing this post today has definitely helped me. Maybe it’s time to start off each and every morning by counting our blessings and deliberately choosing joy? Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and guide us every step of the way.
And let’s allow ourselves to be truly thankful. After all, it is Thanksgiving and we really are “#blessed.”