Gratitude – Giving Thanks for a Journey

On Day 1 of the 21 Days of Gratitude Challenge, I told you I was thankful for a loving God.  He is number one on my list of gratitude for a reason. This is my personal story of my faith journey and lessons of God’s mercy and grace.


I am thankful for all that God has done in my life. I don’t think I would have made it through difficult times without Him. He has always provided me with what I needed at the time. The lowest point in my life was when I had a miscarriage with my first pregnancy.  I was a mess. I had just started a Bible study on Esther entitled It’s Tough Being a Woman. Before the miscarriage, I was thinking, “what’s so tough about being a woman? My life is fine.” And then after my miscarriage, I understood why I was studying Esther at that particular time in my life. That study helped me get through such a difficult time and completely strengthened my faith.  I have been able to share my story with others and help them.

Thanksgiving Psalm 100:4

The second lowest point in my life was probably this past February. We moved to Florida in August of 2011 for my husband to complete his doctorate – a five year journey. That same month, my father-in-law had heart failure, and my dad was scheduled for a second lung cancer surgery in October. We just moved there and already felt like we were too far from home. We were determined to make it work and kept house searching. In December, after losing 7 houses for various reasons, we finally found our house. We moved in and I finally started to feel like I was supposed to be in Florida. We had found a church and some new friends. In January, Aiden ended up in the hospital for 3 days for an unknown illness. They ran tons of tests, and we found out how bad our insurance was. To top it off, we were sent from one ER to a children’s hospital that was out of our network and would not be covered by our insurance. {The doctors at the hospital were covered, but the hospital itself was not.} It took months to sort out all of the medical bills. In the end, we worked out payment plans with the one hospital, and in July, the second hospital decided we did not have to pay them after all. While we were in the midst of trying to figure out how in the world we were going to pay for the medical bills on a graduate student’s stipend and my curriculum writing, I got really worried.

For the first time in my life, I was truly worried. You see, I am not a worrier. I give it all to God. I know He is in charge, and I believe everything will work out. It always does. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” But this last February, I was not trusting like I should. I was worrying, and I was really sad. I was questioning every decision we had made in the last year – the decision to move to Florida, the decision to stay home with my son, the decision to buy a house. My husband was the one that brought me to my senses. He used to be a worrier. I was the one who had to comfort him. This time, he was the one reassuring me. He said he felt like God brought us to Florida so he could learn a lesson. He said he needed to learn that God was in control, not him.

After that, we talked about the reasons we should stay in Florida and reasons we should move back to Missouri. We leaned towards moving back but were not completely sure. We prayed about it. God answered our prayer through a special message spoken by our pastor. He stepped away from his planned message one evening to speak about something God had laid on his heart. The take home verse was from 2 Corinthians 12:9, ““My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”  Through that message, it was made plainly clear that we were to move back to Missouri. And so we went. {You can read more about the message here.}

sufficient grace

Patrick is teaching high school, and I am still writing curriculum and blogging. Not that long ago, I wrote about feeling like I should be doing more. And how I’m saddened that doing more usually involves giving financially. God answered that prayer, too. I am studying the book of James – learning just what it means to be a servant – learning just how I can do more.

Gratitude. It’s what I feel towards God every day. I am truly blessed. To know that He loves me so much that He would send His son to die, so we can live. To know that I’m not really good enough, but He accepts me anyway. To know that I always have someone to talk to and to be comforted by. To know that a journey with Him is worth it. Yes, I am grateful beyond measure. God is good.

I am thankful to be a part of the 21 Days of Contagious Gratitude organized by Inspired by Family Magazine. We’re making gratitude contagious by talking about it every day until Thanksgiving. Read more about the challenge here at Inspired by Family Magazine.

Inspired by Family Magazine
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