Thursday, November 19, 2009

Exhaustive Thankfulness

The last few weeks have been nothing short of exhausting for me. Think I've mentioned that before. It's been a season of learning for me. Of falling down, getting up again. A time of remembering just how much God loves us when we can say we've no strength in Him, because I see that I have no strength without Him.

While I'm still struggling some with getting myself out of the way, I have been reflecting on just how much I have. Just how much goodness God has poured out on me, undeserved goodness.

I often times wonder just where I would be without the sweet salvation, friendship, comfort and wisdom that God has given me over the years of my life. I have known Jesus for all of my adult life, through my teens and was raised in Him as a child. I have moved closer to Him over the years as I've desired more of Him. I was, however, a boy crazed teenager, angry with my family and unkind to myself. Where could I have been without Jesus, those nights that I talked with Him for hours and learned from the letters He left to teach us. I was already filling that God-hole in my heart with Him. What if I didn't?

I cringe to think of how I flirted with danger. How I searched out all the wrong ways to find acceptance and approval. Many offenses I passed out, forgiven. Where could I have been without Him?

I married young. I was just 21 when I married a man who just didn't know how to be kind to himself or me. For three years we fought. He was so, so unkind and I was so, so angry and lost and hurt. I was distanced from my family and friends, and felt so alone. I turned to God every night. I talked to Him and He gave me peace in that painful time. I had peace when the future looked so bleak and I loathed my hopeless life. God walked me through the painful days of betrayal and divorce, He was my friend when no one knew the shape of my heart. Oh, God. What would I be, where would I be without You?

He walked with me during the long winter of my newly-single life. I talked to Him and made Him my best friend. He spoke to me and reminded me of who I was to Him. I wasn't alone. He forgave all my unkindnesses, my anger, my own rebellion. He gave me hope for a life I felt was spent and worthless. I have to say, I truly felt used up and broken after my marriage failed. I didn't think anyone would want me..and I wasn't so sure I wanted anyone either. Who, who could have told me I was worth something? No one could have told me that in those days in a way I believed it. I was so broken.

But then like a breath of fresh air, I met my sweet husband. We met at a church camp. He was a Youth Pastor and I was there to help out with the church of my Youth. We had a few conversations and a sweet friend set us up for a double date (with her husband and her) for the following weekend. This sweet man fell in love with me fast and hard, and wooed me in a way I hadn't before been loved. Redeemer, God is. He lined me up to meet this sweet man who showed me that marriage can be a wonderful, beautiful thing. A man who supports me and treasures me. Where would I be without God's great big grace and God-match? Lonely? Still chasing love in all the wrong & empty places?

And through years of marriage, with the ups and downs.
And through babies, sleepless nights and hormones.
And through losing my two sweet little ones before I ever got to see them or meet them.
Where would I be? The holes in my heart....He has mended and filled.
And through healing and forgiveness only God can teach.
And through mothering- God has shown me so much about my boys when I was desperate for answers.
And through schooling- God gives me peace when I'm unsure and joy on the long days.
And through friendship, and pain, and growing in Him, and now telling others about Him.

How can I not? I tell everyone about the benefits of home school, of breastfeeding, of all the things I believe in because I have seen how they work.

And I have seen how God works. He works! He fixes, heals, forgives, holds, redeems, listens, gives hope, and wisdom.

I'm forever thankful for my home, my family. My job, my friendships, my church family, my home school family-

but I'm amazingly thankful for my God. The One God who thought I was worthy of His time and redemption when my life was a mess, running the other way to find something to fill me up. I am so thankful He has walked through every day of this life, miserable or not with me. He loves me.

He loves you.

Where would you be without God?

...or maybe, where could you be with Him?

1 comment:

Amy said...

My beautiful, Amanda friend... love love this post... love love your heart.... He does love you. He does love me... through it ALL... through EVERYTHING... Oh thankyou Jesus.. so constant, and so sure... always always there!

I don't even want to think of where I would be without Him... nope nope.. it would not be a pretty picture at all!

hugs... Amy