30 Days of Gratitude-Day Three

emerson1This is Day Three of my Thirty Days of Gratitude. Are you doing it, too? Are you working on your attitude of gratitude?

It’s not too late to get started. 

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Today I’m grateful for my story. And I wouldn’t change any part of it if it meant I wasn’t here right now where I am in my relationship with Jesus.

That’s a stunning statement. 

The halls of my past echo with pain, loss, laughter, adventure, death and destruction.  Broken dreams and battered hopes litter the floor like garbage strewn across an open highway. And woven through it all is love and tenderness and friendships.

The elements of my story probably sound a lot like yours. After all, this is the stuff of the human condition. We break and then we break each other. We do better when we know better, but until that time we bump along, bruised and bandaged. 

Perfect performance may be the banner you waved, too, to cover all that up. I carried mine pretty high and pretty proud. I was so good at pointing to that banner that no one knew it wasn’t a part of me. Performing for love as I like to call it. 

Can you relate?

When I became a believer I had to unlearn a lot of stuff. I had to unwind all the tapes in my head that said I had to be perfect to be loved. That all the bad things were my fault. That I’m responsible. That I’m damaged goods.

I had to even unlearn some mental disorderliness. 

I’m so grateful that I didn’t have to do that on my own. My power, which is so weak, wasn’t needed for this project. The same power that rose the broken body of Jesus from that wooden cross is the same power God used to rewrite my story. And as He rewrote my story, He gave me the courage to talk about all the broken bits. And the broken bits gave others courage too. My story grew out of the ashes of regret into one of hope and victory. And as I shared that hope and victory, others rose in hope and victory too. Together we became brave as we ripped off our masks to reveal the radiance of Christ shining through our broken bits.

No more mask wearing! We don’t have to wear them anymore…

Honest. Open. Authentic. Transforming. That’s who we are. Oh, and adored by God just as we are.

They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death. Revelation 12:11

Yes, our story can do that. Our story can save lives. But it’s not really our story, is it? It’s God’s story written in and through us that does the saving. The power of God is displayed through the stories of His people. 

Shouldn’t we be telling more stories? 

Even if your story is still in the making. Even if it isn’t tied up with a pretty little bow yet, please tell it. Encourage someone today. The struggle is real, but we are all in it together. The more we hear that we are not alone, the less alone we feel. That is what community is all about. People walking it out together.

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

What are you grateful for today?