– The Word ‘Thankful’ All Folded up (Part 2) –
In my last post, (1*) I wrote about the word ‘thankful’ and how that word didn’t fit too well inside my heart as I underwent my two extremely tough afflictions. (2* & 3*) No one found me relaxed on a recliner, smiling ear to ear while thinking, “I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m so thankful God is having me go through this incredibly tough time.” Nope. Thankfulness was tightly folded up and hiding in the back pocket of my jeans.
After each ordeal took place, however, my mind knew God was in charge. I began realizing more and more that as things were getting better, I was actually thinking of pulling that Thankful sign out of my jeans and putting it on the table, but of course still folded up. As more positive things began to appear through each ordeal, I actually unfolded that paper. Sensing God’s help via family, friends, doctors, and the like, I finally decided to unfold the paper and read it each time I walked by. More thankful thoughts were growing in size and frequency. I finally got a magnet and —drumroll, please— stuck that Thankful sign up on my refrigerator!
I wasn’t becoming thankful I was pregnant, or for my month-long stay at a hospital. Not yet anyway. Thankfulness was there for feeling Christ was supporting me, caring for me, and letting me know He wasn’t just King, but my Father.
I was growing in the understanding that God is the One who puts us through what comes our way, good or bad. I was on the road that was planned by Him, whether smooth and serene, or unpaved, or one filled with countless sinkholes. I still felt a bit shattered and broken, not able to do what I had planned in life. But what sure helped was finally understanding that God’s plans are perfect, and that He was going to use me somehow, some way.
Peace was growing inside as each year went by, and a few verses began to stand out.
Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
This song shows what I began to slowly feel as time went by, using words such as…
– With my very next step – be on the road that was planned by you
– Lord, wherever you’re leading me – that’s where I want to be
Even though I did not know which direction that path was going, thankfulness, tied with peace, permanently got pinned to my heart and I was eager to see how He might use what He put me through to serve Him.
Finally, doors were opening and I began to see what His plans were.
To be continued.
Have you also found the word ‘Thankful’ come out of your back pocket during a tough time? I’d love to hear about it.
Marianne Petersen is a former volunteer at a local pregnancy help organization and is actively involved in her local pro-life community. She is also the author of a forthcoming early spring of 2018 memoir, God and My Pillow. You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more at her blog, marimemoirs.com.