Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Relentless Gratitude

Hello, my name is Rebekah, and I'm in Anxiety Recovery. You see, I've been addicted to perfectionism and control, and I need to be set free. Weekly. Daily. Hourly. I know the truth that control is an illusion. I've lived the anxiety of trying to control circumstances, people, even cats (I so get the herding cats metaphor). I like to make plans, and while my special needs family offers many opportunities to learn flexibility, sometimes I still freak out when my plans are ransacked by the ups and down in life- or sidetracked by something I missed.

Like yesterday when I learned that, despite my attempt to be thorough, I had missed a detail that could possibly alter my holiday travel plans - depending on the weather...Texas weather (where it can be 82* one day and 32* the next.) Despite having ruminated often on the point of Christmas, on God's plans and purposes to draw mankind into an intimate peace with Him here on this earth, the news shattered my sense of calm.  I rode fragmented emotions down a trail of anxiety and control as Fear sought to rob me, not just of peace, but my wellness of mind in those moments.

Grace given in the comment feed woke me into self awareness, and I had another A-Ha moment. Again, I came to a stop and remembered Who to breathe in. Where to find peace, and How to pick up the pieces and move forward to a place of wholeness, for it is God alone who completes me.  Awash in gratefulness, I nestled into Immanuel's embrace.

Immanuel, meaning God with us. The Prince of Peace, the Everlasting Father, all radiating a grace so relentless He was born into a cavernous place of need and want, into a humble family that had no place to stay, and only lowly means of living. The King of Kings became a man- and not just any man, a poor one.

When I take my eyes off self sufficiency and let my heart be drawn to Him, I am in awe, for He is miraculous- and not just because He was born as a babe to die for my sins. I am so grateful He chose to show us how to live on this earth, too. Jesus was financially poor, yet rich in spirit, for He continuously sought time alone with God the father. He knew when to pour out, and when to connect with the Life Source.

What would Jesus do? What DID he do?  He resonated a lifestyle of connectivity to God and gratitude. He Gave Thanks. In all things- even the hard places. Especially the hard places. Check out Matthew 26:27- 28, where Jesus tells his disciples He is about the be crucified, and then he Gives Thanks for the shedding of his own blood.   

 Ann Voskamp has said, "Thanksgiving precedes the miracle". I would add: Thanksgiving IS the miracle. For in the giving of thanks I take my eyes off of want and find all I need is already fulfilled in Jesus; in His presence is found the only lasting Joy.

A full life, a life that has truly been saved reflects gratitude. Ann says, "Jesus counts thanksgiving as integral in a faith that saves." 

A hushed awe transcends my soul, as I absorb this truth; a life transformed by His touch will be known by genuine gratitude, for as I dwell on how much He has given, my perspective changes. There is no room for want when I connect with Love.

To move from gaping want to overflowing abundance:
 "Count your Many Blessings, name them One by One."

I have known the abundance He gives- beyond all I can ask or imagine, in heart and soul. And I know from the depths of my heart that gratitude sets me free. Gratitude rescues me from discontent, from wallowing in my own insufficiency. Gratitude connects me to the heart of God in a simple, but powerful act of worship.  

 My chains are gone, I've been set free....And like a flood,His mercy reigns, unending love, Amazing Grace.

You can know this grace in Every Moment. Wherever you are, whatever your struggles. His arms are open; let go of your burdens. Release the cares of this world and Come home.

Thank you Jesus, for ransoming me. Thank you for reaching out through time and space to provide a way for me to KNOW you in the midst of every trial, to be Held by you in every storm. To be calmed by you in the face of fear, and to be healed from every disease in my heart and soul. I ask you now to transform me and I now give thanks for the many ways you've poured out your bountiful love for me:__________________________________________________________
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Grace relieves every fear. Love fills every need. Gratitude secures enduring joy.


~Just Me

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