Thursday, November 26, 2009

Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart

I feel like everything about this post is going to be totally cheesy, but I finally decided I don't care and am going to write it anyway. Lately I have felt totally overwhelmed with how much I have to be thankful for.

A lot has gone on in my family over the past few weeks, and I have seen how truly blessed I am to have my parents. They support me in everything I do. When I thought I wanted to transfer, they helped me look up programs, figure out scholarships, and find out which classes would transfer. They prayed and fasted with me over my decision and agreed when I felt like I needed to stay at North Georgia. It took them a few years, but they have come to fully support my passion for missions. They talk to me about my future all the time: where I want to student teach, where I want to go to seminary, and about leaving the country for 6 months or so after I graduate. They encourage me to go where I feel God leading and pray about all of it too. They pray for the man I will marry and talk to me about him. They show me what it means to have a God-centered marriage and how to love other like Jesus loves. They encourage me every single day. There isn't a day that goes by that they don't tell me I am beautiful, I can do all things through Christ, and I am loved. As if all of that weren't enough, they love me unconditionally. They think I am the funniest thing in the world (come on, who doesn't love that?) and laugh at everything I say, even when no one else does. They listen to me talk incessantly about my friends and sorority and what is going on in my world, even if they have no idea what is going on; and they don't even get annoyed by it. They never tell me to stop singing. They don't think I'm weird. I wouldn't be who I am without them and even though they drive me crazy sometimes, I am so thankful that they are my parents!

I am thankful for my friends. We laugh sometimes because we act like we are in love with each other. They encourage me every single day, no matter what the day brings. They don't mind when I randomly start crying over seemingly stupid things or have bad days when the tears just can't be held back. They have been there for the good, the bad, and the ugly. They ask the hard questions, hold me accountable, and challenge me. They make me laugh more than anyone in the world and always put a smile on my face. They indulge me with long conversations that most would blow off, such as which Biblical man they have a crush on. They love that I am obsessed with my Greek and Hebrew dictionary. They hardly notice my outbursts of song or unrecognizable words or dance. Somehow, they love me. I could have never made it this far without them and I love them more than words could say.

I am thankful for so many godly women in my life to show me how to live. They allow their motherly instincts to kick in when necessary but know when not to. They put aside their titles of "mom of so-and-so", "sunday school teacher", and "person who took me on my first mission trip" and replace them with "friend". They know when to call me out and when to let me make my own mistakes. They never judge a single action I take or a single thought I have about any given situation. They have listened to me pour my heart out, sometimes in the most pathetic way, and have been a shoulder to cry on. They have stopped me from making stupid decisions and helped me make the most difficult ones of my life. They have been a safe-haven in times of trouble and a source of laughter when I had none. They show me that it is possible to live a godly life in an ungodly world and inspire me to be a better person. If I can be even half of what they are when I am their age. You know who you are. Thank you for investing in me.

I am thankful for the joy I feel in my heart every day when I wake up. There are always going to be days when I don't want to get up: school is too hard, I don't want to answer to 56 fifth graders, I'm scared of what the future holds, my heart feels heavy, and nothing feels right in the world. But then I am reminded that God is on my side. He is for me. He will never leave or forsake me. He loves me! He pursues a relationship with me. He pursues me! He has forgiven me. He has set me free. He has redeemed me. Satan has no power over me or my days! I can jump out of bed every single morning knowing that my Savior has conquered anything and everything that the day could throw at me and I don't have a single thing to fear. I have said it before, but I have never been happier in my entire life than I am right now, which is a total God thing. And for that, I am forever thankful.

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