Thursday, November 19, 2015

On Loneliness and Thankfulness

     "...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty of in what. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." -Philippians 4:11b-13

     A month and a half ago I moved out - I am now an hour away from my family and the life I have known for 22 years.
     It's amazing how much has changed in that short time.
     But, that's not what this post is about... by far the hardest part of moving is missing my family. I still see them at least weekly, but I no longer wake up to my little brothers jumping on me or my little sisters practicing the piano scales over and over and over in the room next to mine.
     I have wonderful roommates and friends nearby now, but I get really lonely.
     My schedule has also changed - a lot. In addition to my photography, I now nanny 4 days a week. My schedule is consistent and busy. Most weeks I barely have time to run through my laundry.
     This is not something I'm used to. And I don't usually adjust to change real well...
     I often feel stressed and worn out.
     I start to feel like I might have things figured out, or at least a plan, and then everything changes and I find myself feeling lost and completely alone.
     Three weeks ago(give or take), I was driving back from my parent's house, struggling with a hard week and talking to God.
     It didn't take me long to realize that my prayer of thanks to God didn't include the hard situation He'd placed in my life.
     I wanted to be able to thank God for everything, including the painful moments that I felt I'd never get through.
      But I couldn't.

     I spent the drive trying to get over my pride and thank God for the hard things.
     The hard things that brought me closer to Him, that grew me in my walk and that caused me to get over my pride and realize that I could do nothing on my own and I needed to rely completely on His strength. In everything.
     It took 45 minutes(ya, I have a lot of pride...), but I eventually was able to truly thank God for these hard situations I was going through.
      45 minutes of truly taking to heart the realization of who Christ was. What He'd done for me.
      And how He deserved all the glory and praise.
      45 minutes of getting over myself and my human selfishness to have things figured out.
      The moment I let my heart rest fully and completely in God's hands, the biggest burden in my life immediately fell off my shoulders.
       The burden of doing things on my own. Of sitting in my room or car crying on my own. Of trying to figure out my life on my own. Of being in a room full of people, but still feeling alone.
       Because no matter where I am or what I am going through, in Christ I am never alone.
       In Christ I am never alone - I have no reason to stress. No reason to worry.

       But I have every reason to praise Him.

      When we try to get though life on our own, allowing our pride to keep us from completely giving it all to God, we will find ourselves lost in the insanity of life without a purpose or hope. But when we truly take to heart the truth of who Christ is and humbly come before Him, allowing His Spirit to fill us, we will find that our hearts will not be able to contain the joy and thankfulness that so overwhelmingly overwhelms every aspect of every moment in our life.
      And it will not take effort to thank Him in every season in life, because in in the light of this truth, there is no response but praise.

     "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." -Ephesians 5:19-20

This post isn't instead to say I have things figured out and I've mastered being thankful... quite the opposite, actually.
I struggle daily with my pride, my flesh constantly fights to try to do and figure things out on my own.
But God is so so so gracious to continually remind me of who He is and forgive me daily when I rely on my own pride.

All glory to Him who has conquered this world. In Him we have complete victory!
Isn't that in itself more than enough reason to praise Him? 

This is the day the Lord has made, let us REJOICE and be glad in it!!!! :D