This year we have been reading a book from the Woman of Faith series called, "Discovering God's Will For Your Life." This is a book that I have had for a while, but have not been able to study it yet. So I thought it would be a good way to get me digging into what God's plan is for my life. In a way this book is very different from what we have done in the past, and has many verses to look up that make me want to look up more than just that verse, but dig into where it came from and how I can use it as a part of my life right now. At the end of each chapter there is a "trinket to treasure" which is just a way of remembering what each chapter was about and how to relate that to what God wants for our lives.
Last week, we talked about praying for God's will with thankfulness. I was so encouraged by the girls this week, b/c so many of us have or are going through extremely difficult situations where prayer has helped a lot. One of the things that stuck out to me was praying with thankfulness. We discussed this quite a bit as a group. How can we be thankful when terrible things are happening to us or when situations that we have found ourselves in have not really given us much to be thankful for? For example, whether it is being terribly sick, or huge marriage struggles, facing job changes that question our career paths, losing family members and not knowing how to cope with grief, trying to be good wives, the list could go on and on. One of the verses that stuck with me and has been something that I look up quite often is from Phillipians.
Philippians 4:5-7 (New International Version)
5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
After reading this, I came to the conclusion that I don't have to be completely thankful for the situation I'm in that is causing me great anxiety, but rather, I should be thankful despite what I am going through. There is always something to be thankful for. A couple of years ago, I would have said something differently, but looking back, I know that for whatever reason my path was to lead me through grief. I would have never wanted that or even prayed for it, but it has happened for me, and now that it has, despite all of the pain that I went through and still at times deal with, I have learned so much. There really is something to be thankful for even when your world falls apart and you don't know how you are ever going to live on.
So I am writing to say that I am thankful for quite a lot these past two years. First of all, I would not choose this path, but I am thankful for a husband who never left my side and walk through all of the ugliness, hurts, pain, disappoints, arguments, changes, spiritual battles, & loneliness with me. He didn't and still doesn't always understand me or what I say, but he chose to stay by my side at the worst possible times in our lives.
I am also thankful for this group of girls. They were there for Tom and I and visited us in the hospital almost everyday that we were there. They even came to the hospital the day we had to go home without Caden, which was something Tom and I both dreaded very much. They met us there and showed up at our house to just be there in whatever way we needed. They are true prayer warriors. I always used to think that a prayer warrior had to be like this little old lady in the church I grew up in, who had years upon years of knowledge behind her. But really anyone can be a prayer warrior, and these girls are. I know that they have continued to pray for us over the years that our hearts will be healed and that God will show us a side of Him that we have never seen before. So to these girls, I just say while I didn't want to go down this road, I am so glad that you were all there to support us and lift us up in prayer and for that I am truly thankful.
Here are some of the girls that met us at the hospital that last day. Thank you God for bringing them into our lives.