Five years ago, today I wrote a blog post on Thanksgiving about what I was thankful for. As I was reading that post it occurred to me there are similarities to what I was thankful for back then to what I’m thankful for today five years later.
Similarly, to what I posted five years ago, there’s still truth to the thankfulness I feel towards my family. This is the family I was born into. This is the family that God chose for me to have in this life. This year I’ve been really reflecting on family and remembering that even Jesus came from a family. I’m sure His family wasn’t perfect at times. No family is perfect because each family is composed of broken individual people who come together to love and support one another. Luke 2:41-52 tells the story of Jesus at the temple. Mary and Joseph thought Jesus was with them after returning from the annual festival in Jerusalem. They traveled for one day before realizing he was not with them. Three days of searching took place until they finally found him in the temple courts sitting with the teachers. In the story it explains how Mary and Joseph were anxiously searching for him. That short story reminds me that as a human I can sometimes let my emotions and what I’ve been through affect my outlook which in turn impacts my relationships. I’m learning how important it is to put aside my human emotions, what I think I should feel towards someone or something that’s happened and remember to have compassion and understanding. The Parable of the Lost Son also found in scripture is a beautiful story that reminds me that love and compassion will outweigh all the wrong done and override any misunderstandings between family in the end.
Another similarity to the thankfulness I felt five years ago is defiantly the thankfulness I felt about God five years ago. I can say I now feel even more thankful for God. Five years is a long time to not physically write down what I’m thankful for. Yet five years is the time it took for God to continue working in my life and moving on my behalf. It’s crazy to think of how far I’ve come when I wrote that post five years ago. Five years ago, when I wrote that blog, I was a few months out from joining the military. Five years later I have completed my active duty service time, I’m living in a big city and I have a good job. God is so, so good. I am so thankful for Him and all He’s done in my life and is continuing to do. It is not really about what He does for me though because it’s more about a relationship. He has never once left my side, abandoned me, been disappointed or embarrassed or felt shame about me. He’s the opposite of sometimes failing human relationships.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. ” –Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV
He has been my constant throughout all the ups and downs in my life- I know I can rely on God.
The most interesting similarity to what I was thankful for five years ago… is this profound statement I wrote from the previous thanksgiving blog post:
When I fell in love three years ago (2017) and chose to pursue that relationship I lost sight of my relationship with God and the relationship with myself. Fortunately, a year into the relationship (around end of 2018) I realized I defiantly wasn’t in love anymore and over time I reached the courage to leave the relationship and situation (2019) that was not challenging me or allowing me to grow. The truth can be scary. It can be so hard to let go of what has become a big part of your life.
A relationship should never have become that significant in my life nor should it have caused me to take my eyes off of my relationship with Jesus and nor should it have caused me to stop focusing on myself (apart from the relationship).
Thankfully, God has shown me how fulfilling it is to let go and lean on Him. I realize now how I settled for a relationship that made me feel small, weak and like I was doormat (pushover). I’m never going to ever, a ever let myself feel small again and I’m never going to ever, ever let myself get bossed or pushed around again by someone who is supposed to be “my partner.”
I’m never ever, ever going to settle in love. I know now what I want and what I’m looking for. I wouldn’t have realized exactly what that looks like if I would have stayed in that situation. Thankfully God gives us the courage to get out of things if we are willing to trust in Him and the process of doing so.
I am thankful God has what’s best for me in mind when it comes to love. As I wrote five years ago:
I’m thankful for the fact that I woke up, that I saw the truth and acted
Love should make you feel challenged, safe, secure in who you are… love should make you feel like you are enough yet still allow you to grow as a person.
Overall, I’m very, very thankful for all that Gods shown me over the years. I’m thankful for 2020. I’m thankful for the new people that have come into my life this year. I’m thankful for new beginnings. I’m thankful for all Gods done for me this year (look for a separate blog on that soon). Lastly, I am thankful for you for reading this.