Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Give Thanks, Part I

Last week, at church rehearsal, we prayed just prior to starting practice for an upcoming Christmas performance. The person leading the group said that he was thankful for the freedom to pray openly, at church and at home. Pointing out that as U.S. citizens, we are afforded the freedom to express our faith openly.

It was an eye opener. I have always had the freedom to have faith in God, and share it with others, but not always have I chosen to do so.

As a human being, we all have the ability to lose our way, and I did. I have before, fallen of the wagon, so to speak, regarding my relationship with God.

There are times when I did not go to church for long periods, and did not pray. A bible was nowhere to be found, and I really thought I’d had enough of hearing radio stations playing God’s messages.

I figured, that if things were going this badly in my life, God was definitely not here with me, and that if he was, I would not be feeling this terrible or be struggling this horribly.

So, I exercised my freedom to choose not to keep my faith.

Time passed.

And, as fate would have it, I began to tumble farther and farther down the hole of hardship and troubles, unitl I finally decided that I probably didn’t have much to lose, and maybe should go back and try again---"He had faith in me before; maybe He'd have faith in me again” …and vice versa.

It took a long time, but eventually, I was back on board! And even though I didn’t know if He was on board with me yet, I worked hard to return to my faith and believe that He still loved me and would guide me again.

Then I waited for a sign. And I waited.  And I waited.   AND I WAITED.
And nothing happened. And I got pretty tired of waiting…
Unfortunately, I have to say…..things actually got worse before they got better...

The bottom just fell out of everything, and I was hopeless. I just couldn’t take it anymore and I wanted it all to stop. I felt that I had lost faith all over again….

And then, as the saying goes… I decided to let go and let God. I gave it all up to God and let go of what I could not do alone. I gave up what I worried about, what I could not understand and what I hated. I gave it all to Him and He took it!

I had an overwhelming feeling of calm that day, and I have ever since.


I know, now, that during my darkest moments of loneliest days, as a little girl, as a struggling teenager, as a hurting wife and then later on as a single divorced mother, He was there.
He was always there. He had faith in me, and it was I who chose not to have faith in Him.

God has blessed my life, in so many ways, with family, health, motherhood and choices. He has blessed me with more than I think I deserve at times, and He continues to bless me.

I am so humble and so grateful.

We have walked several more difficult paths since God and I got back on our path together and I am accepting now, that life will never be without some sort of suffering or sacrifice, and I understand why.

His plan does not include a free ride, or a map of the ride, because all the experiences and events that He and I will be encountering together are going to be happening to me so that I can become what more of the person He created to be, and that the only real free I have in my life is the freedom to choose….and….

 I choose Faith.

What are you grateful for this week?

Please exercise your freedom to choose and then please share it with others.

Thank you.

Amber



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