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Recently I moved. Packing my stuff (you never realize how much stuff you have until you move!) jogged my memory and it made me go back in the past. Some wonderful memories were brought back and some not so great memories were also brought back. For whatever reason, God brought back grade 6 in particular. Grade 6 was a dark time in my life. I was being teased at school and every day I would cry and beg not to have to go to school. My parents went through a lot that year as well. Towards the end of that year I started entertaining thoughts of taking a whole bottle of pills so that all the pain would be over. I even tried to run away one night. It is a season of my life that is still hard to think and talk about.
The next year my parents decided to homeschool us and sometimes I wonder where I would be if I wasnít ever homeschooled. I think I would definitely be a very different person and sometimes I even wonder if I would still be here. God used those homeschooling years in profound ways to heal and restore me. One of the most common stereotypes of homeschoolers is that they donít any socializing opportunities. The opposite happened for us. The homeschool group we became involved with provided many, many social outings and we were able to develop some amazing friendships. Some of my closest friends I have today are from the homeschool group.
I look at my life today. No, I donít have everything I want but yet there is still so much Iím deeply thankful for. Iím so glad God didnít end my life when I wanted it to in grade 6. Iím so glad God provides the strength needed to keep going when all we feel like doing is giving up. The past is a dangerous place to live in but I think we need to visit it once in a while. Psalm 66 tells us to ďcome and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind!Ē Thinking about that painful school year reminded me of all that God has brought be me through. God has done many amazing things and sometimes the only way to see those things are to remember the past.
In Psalm 9 David says that he will give thanks to the Lord with his whole heart and will recount all of Godís wonderful deeds. Why? I think it is because life is hard and in the midst of trouble, it is hard to see Godís present goodness. It is when we recount all the ways God has already worked powerfully in our lives we are reminded of His power to bring beauty out of ashes. We remember all the times we thought God wasnít working at all, but now we can look back and clearly see how He was at work all along.
This coming thanksgiving I want to give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart. These are some of the things Iím thankful for:
Iím thankful for family and friends who I can live life with. Iím thankful for the people who constantly encourage and spur me on. Iím thankful for a church that teaches the Bible and has provided a place to grow and to serve. Iím thankful for a bed that is warm and comfortable. Iím thankful for coffee on those mornings that are hard to wake up. Iím thankful for a car that gets me place to place and that doesnít break down too often. Iím thankful for the beauty of each changing season. Iím thankful that there will always be new songs to write and sing. Iím thankful for the ability to work. Iím thankful for my crazy cat that provides lots of laughs. Iím thankful for the way a baby can bring so much joy. Iím thankful for the Spirit of God that convicts me of my sin so I can know and experience Him. Iím thankful for the feeling of clean laundry. Iím thankful for the kind of laughter that hurts my stomach. Iím thankful for all the different flavors of food. Iím thankful for cherished memories. Iím thankful that the Lordís mercy is new every morning so that I can enjoy all these good gifts.
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