Thanksgiving has always been a hard day for me, not to mention holidays in general. Some of the most traumatic and painful memories fall on this day. It's also a day that can become very lonely, causing a deep depressive state. Praise God these things are beginning to grow strangely dim the more the light of His presence shines upon me. This is not my first Thanksgiving alone by all means. However, this is the first year that I had nowhere to go for the holidays and my Mammaw is no longer living. When I was her primary care giver I'd always make a point to decorate her house from top to bottom, doing anything and everything to make it a great experience for her. Being able to care for her made these dreadful days more bearable. This time around it's been different. It's hard to shake off the nightmares and flashbacks when the demons come out to play. It's not always fun sitting in a room all day all alone when everyone is busy spending time with family and practically everything is closed. It's easy to feel unworthy and undeserving of a family when the hopes of having one fade away time and time again. It's tempting to listen to the voices of condemnation. It's a choice to control your thoughts or let your thoughts control you. Today has not been the most glamorous of days yet at the same time it hasn't been the darkest either. Being able to serve and love on others is such a beautiful gift. The Lord constantly uses it to redirect my focus and worship Him for all that He is.
A shift has occurred in my life lately more so than ever before. Starting in August I began to really seek not just the things of the Lord, but God Himself. He radically changed everything I ever knew about life and Him. He took off my blindfold of logic and showed me how to have true faith and trust in the unpredictable. He stripped away everything I used to find identity in until it was literally just me and Him. In a lot of ways it's still just me and Him, especially on days like today. What makes today different? The daily renewing of the mind, time in the word, practice of thankfulness, the trust throughout the process, the honoring of the season, the sweet victory of the Cross, real rest, and the intimacy of the Father just to name a few ;)
Today I could go on and on about what I'm thankful for. I'm thankful for Jesus Who sweeps me off my feet, a place to live, community, family through the blood of Christ, a vehicle, the chance to finish school, several jobs, the opportunity to travel once again, cats, tap shoes, boxing gloves, journals, feather pins, music, hands and feet, and all the brilliantly funny videos/memes that exist in the world today. I'm thankful for you for taking the time to read this. I'm thankful for Native Americans. I'm thankful for all people of all nations, every tribe and every tongue. I'm even thankful for the past, no longer in a way that glorifies any situation or circumstance but my Father alone. The Lord truly works everything together for good-Romans 8:28. He's put this girl to much use that has endured terrible abuse. He's turned my mourning into joy. He's brought beauty from pain. He's provided His strength in my weakness. He took a girl who was starving and made her hopeful. He showed a girl who thought she was unworthy that she was a daughter all along. He wipes away every tear and is the well that never runs dry. He brings laughter out of sorrow. He can erase and replace every remembrance of terror with the perfect love that casts out every fear.
One of the main things I've learned about the character of God during this season is that He makes ALL things new. Lately I've returned to a lot of old things I used to be involved with: Music School, job in the Visual and Performing Arts, and even being called back to Southeast Asia. He has made each of these areas new. I'm thankful that He makes the everyday mundane fresh and exciting. He is constant and never changes yet He can change things. He has changed things. He is changing things. He will change things. So as I sit here by myself, I'm not by myself. All day as I've been alone, I haven't been alone. He is with me. He lives inside of me. He foreknew me. He's goes before me. He never leaves me. He's always for me. He's my Daddy and I'm His little girl. I'm thankful that He is my Father, Mother, sister, and brother all in one and so much more! The world tells me I'm an orphan, my Daddy tells me I'm His. The enemy tells me I'm unwanted, the Lord calls me His precious jewel.
To all of you who find this day difficult as well, hold on. He holds the universe and most certainly can hold you. Don't be afraid, let His love wash away all the anxiety. Talk to Him and He will listen. Spend time with Him and He will reveal to you His heart for the one, you're the one. It's okay to not be okay, He wants to mend what's broken and just asks that you stay. You don't have to hide from Him, you can hide in Him. He's a hiding place. a safe Haven where you can be vulnerable in the best of ways. Don't give up, give into what He has for you for it is good. He is the light in the darkness of night. The enemy is a liar, not the Prince of Peace. He can make your sleep sweet and restore your identity. He has the power to make this day new. He has the wisdom to know what's best for you. Remember, there may be pain in the night but Joy comes in the morning-Psalm 30:5. Will you trust Him? He's worth it.
"When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." -Proverbs 3:24
"He alone is my rock and salvation, a fortress where I will not be
shaken." -Psalm 62:2