God, if you love me why did you take my husband? God, if you are in control why is life so hard? Yes, I found myself crying out these exact words a few days ago. You may have your own list of different questions at times, but the answer remains the same...Life is tough my friends, but God is always faithful! I have had people say to me, "How do you still have so much faith after all you have been through?" And I think, "how can I not?" I still have bad days, days I will question, but not due to lack of faith, but because I am simply feeling sad or discouraged. Having a bad day doesn't mean you have any less faith.
Anyone who has suffered a great loss in their life knows what I am talking about when I say this: I lost a part of myself when my husband died. I discovered over the last year that I have struggled to try and regain that. But I have realized that a lot of what is gone, needed to be and that it's okay, because God wants to take what has been lost and restore it with something better, something more refined and polished. I am continuous work in progress!
I think my emotions are running high lately due partly to Aaron graduating and not having Nick here to experience this very important and joyous occasion. I confess, that over the last couple of months I found myself really focusing more on what and who I didn't have in my life, instead of all I have to be grateful for. I always try to encourage others to find that daily "nugget" or blessing that God has for them, yet I was failing to do that myself. The enemy had been robbing me of my joy and I didn't even know it.
God had a message for me! This past Sunday at church I heard a sermon about gratitude given by Pastor Steven Furtick. Before the message was even over the tears were flowing. I had such conviction about the lack of gratitude I had been giving to the things in my life. During the sermon Pastor Steven asked the congregation to take a deep breath in and then let it out....then he said, "Now, that was on credit!" That quickly brought back the memory of Jan 29th, 2011 and seeing my husband take his last breath. I was instantly reminded of how grateful I needed to be for my own health and the health and protection of my children. How could I not be grateful for the amazing friends that God had chosen to fill that void in my life with? How can I not be thankful when my Savior is working to repair what has been broken inside of me? Or when in the depths of my loneliness I am really never alone, because He is always there to comfort me. The list is really endless when you break it down daily. Don't we all really have so much to be thankful and praise God for?
Psalm 100:4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and bless His name.
I pray that my thoughts, my attitude, but most of all my heart will overflow with gratefulness at all that God has so graciously blessed me with.
With a grateful heart,