2008 was a difficult and challenging year for me. I think the emotion I struggled with the most was fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of loss.
So here's my thankful list as I look back to 2008:
- I'm God's child and He has and will continue to help me. Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." So, even though I don't always see the road ahead, I can be thankful that He is teaching me to trust Him and then ...I don't need to fear.
- The blogging world has become such a blessing to me. In 2008, I became more consistent and focused on writing blog posts. And I discovered that I really enjoy writing! I've received encouragement from so many sources; people I've never met face to face ...yet! I'm so thankful for people taking the time to comment, to offer words of encouragement and advice and sometimes words to ponder, learn and to grow.
- Help often came from unexpected places. In 2008, I guess I was a bit surprised by people and events that were such a help to me. My family, my group of 12, my closest friends, my church family and my new blogging friends! My friend Karen shared something from her heart with me about fear. One of her sons died several years ago and then when she had another son in Iraq, fear would come upon her. She pointed me to the Bible and a chapter in II Chronicles 20. Karen even paraphrased what she heard God saying to her personally through these verses and suggested I do likewise. It's good to be reminded of who God is and that He's in control. And I'm not to fear but instead to remember what He's done in the past. I am so thankful for such wonderful and timely wisdom from a godly friend!
- Friends can be such a joy; old and new. I had the opportunity to attend a reunion of high school friends in 2008. It wasn't any special year like a 20 year or dare I say 40 year reunion (at least not yet). But it was fun to reconnect with people I hadn't seen in so many years. I found that I reverted back to being that sometimes awkward 18 year old even though the exterior doesn't quite look that same way. We had such fun remembering where we came from; Lindenhurst, New York ... a village on Long Island.
- Renewal and refreshment from attending Women of Faith Conference: I am so thankful that Helen purchased my ticket to this conference. It was such a fun time, a learning time and a time to get away from everyday life. Listening to speakers like Luci Swindoll, Shelia Walsh, and Patsy Clairmont. Hearing the music of Sandy Patti, Mandisa and rocking out with Nicole C. Mullen. How great is that?
So, although my thankful list for 2008 is no way complete, this is a beginning. As 2009 is now upon us, will you take a moment to reflect on what you can be thankful for this past year?
You can read other thankful Thursday posts at Grace Alone.