After a couple weeks of hard conversations, harsh realizations, and just a harder season of life, I had several friends recommend that I read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I love to read and just don't have time to do it all the time, but I made time for this book. Oh my goodness, how this book has been so appropriate and so applicable for me right now!
As my summer is winding down, I have become nostalgic at all that has happened, and as a whole, I have had some pretty intense conversations with God.
How am I supposed to show Christ's love in a place where nurses are turned away from God because they see so many kids die?
Why are kids who are so small and weak and have lived only 2, 5, 6, 7 however many years of sin dying of cancer when I have lived a life of 21 years of messy choices and disappointing actions?
How am I supposed to end a relationship with someone I care so much about but yet have such affirmation that this is the Lord's will?
How am I supposed to be strong when I watch my own dad lie in a hospital in unfathomable pain and know there aren't any other meds to give?
How am I not supposed to be afraid of what Multiple Sclerosis has in store for my family in the next few years?
My brain. hasn't. stopped.
But this book has been so helpful, encouraging, and challenging- all at once! I have about forty pages left to go, but I feel like I have already taken away what I need to from it. This author has challenged my to find the joy amidst the chaos, to understand that there will ALWAYS be something to be thankful for, and to not let the sins and brokenness of this world mask my ability to see God's goodness and blessings. I haven't done any of these things up to this point. I am so focused on what is going on now and how my life is being affected and I don't take a step back to see God's faithfulness and work in my life enough. I get anxious and I worry. Yet God never lets me leave His grip. He continues to put me in the places, or relationships, or circumstances that He wants me in at just the right time. And I need to learn how to better trust that.
I am grateful for this book but even more grateful at the way I have seen God stretch me and grow me while I read each page.