Aug. 6, 2017

Thankful – Grateful – Blessed

I am sitting at a table that was given to me by my brother-in-law, which once belonged to my sister Debbie. I am thankful. As I type, I look out the front window of my home enjoying the sights and sounds of our neighborhood. This home – a home Tommy and I bought and paid for together. I am grateful. We raised three little boys in this home until they grew into great big men. We entertain family and friends in this home. I am keenly aware that I am blessed.

God continues to strengthen my family over the loss of my beautiful sister. What began as my being the youngest of four children morphed into my assuming the role of the only girl in my family of origin. It isn’t what we planned. Still, it’s okay.

What I am most thankful for, grateful about and truly blessed by is my husband. When you grow up in a church, a culture and an area of town where women are expected to be quiet, controlled, and compliant – how did I end up with a man as amazing Tommy? God. God was behind it all. God knew what I needed before I knew my real self. Tommy makes a wonderful pastor’s husband.

I realize I, like most of you, burned bridges in my quest to claim who I am in Christ. In my search for pure biblical truth as opposed to denominational teachings, there are those who loved me years ago who really can’t stand me today. Amazingly, I am okay knowing I’ve made enemies. Even Christ made enemies. I remain loyal to the person God created me to be allowing me to accomplish those tasks He calls me to complete.  

My bible reading nurtured me through a time of tremendous change and rough waters over the course of a few months. Paul’s last visit with the church in Ephesus was Paul’s last time to be with his precious friends in Ephesus. He walked away. Paul knew, despite how emotionally painful the separation was, he had to keep walking. His work, his teachings, and his mission was complete there. It was time to walk away to tackle an even greater mission. (Please read Acts 20:28-38.)

Letting go is part of life. We must let go of what’s “good” to make our way towards what comes next. Like Paul, we are most obedient to God when we keep walking. It isn’t easy. It is obedient. At times, obedience requires “goodbyes.”

“So, be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears…In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the LORD Jesus himself said: It is more blessed to give than to receive.”