This time of year brings forth different emotions for everyone. For some, it’s the most stressful time of year. A time filled with busy schedules, traveling from here to there, being with family you never get along with, extra work loads, and tight budgets. For others it’s the happiest time of year. A time to spend with close friends and family, to be with those you have not seen since last holiday season. A time to reminisce with each other, share funny stories, and truly be thankful for the blessings in your life. I believe I can speak for the majority when I say the holiday season is not like the latter at all. The stress of the holidays takes its toll and leaves you wishing for January to roll around. Instead of being grateful and reflecting on the blessings in your life you’re just wishing the days away.
This year especially, I have really been trying to be more grateful for where I am now, and for those in my life. Many times I’ve taken it all for granted. But looking back at where I was just over a few years ago; the choices I made, the people I surrounded myself with, it’s truly amazing for me to see where I am now. Never in my life would I have thought I would be back home, working at my dream job just a year after graduating college, the people I’ve met, the relationships that have formed, never would’ve happened if things worked out differently back then, if life had played out according to my plans. Boy am I thankful my plans didn’t work out! I am closer than ever to my family, I’ve made amazing, life-changing friendships, my relationships with them are stronger and deeper because of the trials I went through before. Some of the people in my life now I probably never would have met if the plans I had were made.
Maybe for you reflecting back is too painful, so instead of remembering you push it back out of your memory. As hard and difficult as it may be, I truly believe it’s so important to look back on the past, but only for a short while. Don’t dwell there! By doing so, instead of taking where you are and what you have right now for granted, you have the chance to see how far God has brought you from various trials you have faced. It brings a brighter perspective to the life you have now. I challenge you to look back, really think about where you used to be and compare that to where you are now. Isn’t it amazing what God can bring about from horrible events? Be thankful today and everyday that you’re not where you used to be. Thank God not just this holiday season, but every chance you have, thank God for every blessing, no matter how small.
“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 NIV
“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”
2 Corinthians 9:11-12 NIV