As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week I am especially thankful that God delivers us from our troubles. You see, several years ago around this time, I wasn't the happiest person you might meet on the street. Sure, I was friendly and I smiled (usually), but inside I didn't feel friendly and smile-y. Somehow, I had allowed myself to let the busy-ness of life, the daily trials, and quite frankly, Satan get ahold of my life and gain more control than I care to admit.
Even little things that happened during the day felt like it was someone or something's plight to hurt me. I felt resentful that my husband was gone constantly working (bad job situation) and resentful towards the company that he worked for even if they did pay his salary that allowed us a roof over our heads and food on our table. I let my relationships with friends become dry. You can certainly imagine all these feelings affected my relationship with my husband. And, even greater, if affected my relationship with the Lord.
I still attended church and I could "talk a good game" about my faith. And, truth is, I did still have my faith, I just didn't act upon it. By that I mean, did I spend time in God's word? NO. Did I pray? YES... but usually only when I needed something. Did I seek God in my life? NO.
Almost two years ago I realized how very tired I was of feeling so resentful, so wronged, so tired and so out of control. I was cranky ALL THE TIME. My husband was tired of listening to me (or not, as many times I would just clam up and not share... just be grumpy all the time!). While they never said so, I'm sure my children were tired of "cranky Mom". I was tired of feeling so down-trodden and alone. I HAD TO DO SOMETHING.
The something that I did? I turned to God. I told Him how felt. How tired I was of it all. I cannot even begin to tell you how much better I began to feel as I got up off my knees! Certainly it wasn't all solved in that one moment, but I felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest. I had taken all the "stuff" and laid it at the feet of Jesus. I was letting Him carry it and not me.
Since that time, with MUCH help and strength from the Lord, I have worked hard to turn things around. I have learned that so much of what happens on a day to day basis, well, just happens. No one is out to get to me. It's not personal. It is just life. And, while I do need to realize that some things I control and can make different... many things are out of my control and just not worth wasting my energy. So, I let those things go. I don't obsess over them like I would in the past. I've also spent alot of time talking to husband about things. When I'm upset about something I go to him and we talk about it. He may not always understand why I'm upset or why I need to talk so about it, but he listens and he supports. An added bonus? It's helped our marriage. It's good to share and to understand each other better!
I've worked on my relationships with others, too... co-workers, friends from church, family, etc. Those relationships are so important, too. Life is so much harder when you don't have those special people in your life.
While the above are so very important, I've also done some things that are even more important. I've worked on that relationship with the Lord that was missing. I spend more time in prayer, I spend more time in His Word, I spend more time turning it over to Him instead of trying to go it alone.
And, you know what, I truly believe that this last part is what has turned it all around for me. God is faithful. When you turn it all over to Him and allow Him to work in your life... HE DOES. Without him I would be back where I was several years ago. He has given me the strength to step past the walls I had built around myself. He has given me strength to go to my family and ask for their forgiveness and to be able to build back up the communication between myself and my husband. He has given me the courage to step out and do new things and make new friends. He has given me the desire to grow in my relationship with Him.
Do I still mess up and make mistakes and sometimes fall back into my old ways? Sure. I am human. But, God promises He is always there ready to pull us back up a 2nd time, a 5th time or any time. He loves us regardless and He will ALWAYS be there for us to help us "keep on keepin' on" as we seek Him. I may still be a work in progress, but God promises me that He is always there. He is by my side, holding my hand, and guiding me in the right direction.
This week, many of us bloggers have devoted a special post in which we are sharing our personal testimonies of the Lord's work in our lives and/or that of our families. Our collective prayer is that this sharing of our testimonies will not only encourage each other and give Glory to our Lord, but also show the love of Christ to those who happen upon our blogs. To enjoy many more testimonies like the one you've just read please visit us at "Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving".