This week begins one of my favorite times of here on my blog. This week you get to hear from people who are all very dear to me, some old friends, new friends, ministry friends, family, but all who have one thing in common – at one point or another, GRATITUDE has become real to them. Whether it be just a part of who they have always been, or some circumstance has brought it under laser focus, GRATITUDE has become an abiding part of who they are regardless of what they have endured.
Today, meet Angela. I had the opportunity to meet Angela several years ago as she walked into a Bible study I was teaching with her mom. I wish I could adequately convey to you the life-change I have had a front row seat to witness. She entered into my life a very shy and reserved woman, but God has changed her into a woman who is using her voice regularly in Celebrate Recovery at LifeSong, as well as someone who serves faithfully as a GameChanger at LifeSong. She is very dear to me, and I know her story will be dear to you, as well!
I used to give thanks at Thanksgiving, not so much gratitude.
I came to LifeSong Church in 2010 because of a church sign that read something like this… “This is a spiritual hospital. Welcome alcoholics, addicts, prostitutes, gamblers etc.”
I was touched by the Master’s Hand on June 14, 2011. I surrendered my life to Christ. God brought me out of the muck and mire of destructive behaviors. God began to work in me, cleaning up my life and transforming me from the inside out. Gratitude didn’t immediately follow, it has been a process.
As I have grown in my relationship with Christ, he has given me a heart of love, a heart of compassion and a heart of forgiveness. A heart that desires to serve him and serve others. He has given me a purpose. I love because he first loved me. From this is where my gratitude flows.
God has placed people in my life that believed in me and loved me when I couldn’t believe in or love myself. He has restored many relationships, restored my marriage and has put lots of Christian friends and Forever Family in my life.
He has recently put me in a job cleaning the sanctuary at a local church. (I wasn’t looking for a job). He knew exactly what I needed to slow down from the business of life. It has put me right in his presence where I can mediate on his word, pray and sing his praises all day. He continues to pour out his blessings in my life. I am grateful for all he has done.
Gratitude helps me through trials and circumstances. I know he goes before me. He is always with me and will never leave me. He is always there to bring me through. He always works things together for my good. Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your request to God.
When I choose to have an attitude of gratitude it brings me great joy and my day is much better. It keeps me from relapsing and it helps me through both the good and the not so good days.
Gratitude helps me on my road to recovery and in every area of my life. Giving thanks for all of his many blessing and all he has done in my life and continues to do. It reminds me that I am never alone, that Jesus Christ is always with me. I am the daughter of the one True Living King and all that I am belongs to him. I am nothing and can do nothing without him. He is my help and my strength. Through him all things are possible.
Psalms 118:1 Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever.