Life is a cornucopia of emotions. Today we celebrate Thanksgiving. It's a day to reflect on whom and what we are grateful for. For some, it's about family and friends. For some, it's about survival. For some, it's about joy. For some, it's about pain. For some, it's about rest. For some, it's about busyness. For some, it's a day of celebration. For some, it's a day of anxiousness and loneliness. For all, it's still another day that we have been given, a day we are not promised. We choose whether that is a curse or a blessing. We choose whether that is enough.
I choose enough. This has been a hard and trying season for me. My emotions have been tested. They have proven to be fragile and I have had to dig deeper to rely on what I know to be true vs. what I feel to be relevant or disappointing. What I know is that God has given me a measure of faith. It is a seed that was planted in the fertile ground of my soul. My soul is nurtured as I feed and water it with the Word of God and His living Water. The Holy Spirit lives within me. He is not characteristic of me and my traits. He is true to His own identity. The Holy Spirit of God is always the same and He does not change according to the person that embodies Him. He relates to and identifies with Himself, not to us as individuals. In short, He speaks truth. That is comforting. That is enough.
I have needed to employ everything I have ever learned and come to know about surrender, forgiveness, truth, grace and contentment in recent months and weeks. It has not been easy, but it has been enough. It has not been a natural response or my first response, but it has been inevitable and it has been enough. I have sinned more than once in my emotions of hurt and rejection, but God's truth and grace brought me to repentance. I have been forgiven by God and I have forgiven others. It has been enough.
There is something about this kickoff season to family holidays that triggers our souls. Whatever is deep down in there, gets a little bit of a tasering during this time of year. We get jolted. If we have areas of hurt, they tend to get stirred up. If we have emptiness, it seems to feel like the hole just gets bigger during these days when everyone else seems to be celebrating. When everyone else is throwing confetti, many feel like burying under the covers and sleeping through it all. Those feelings cannot just be stuffed like the Thanksgiving turkey. But they can be evaluated and appropriately dealt with and replaced with truth. We can validate that our feelings are real and that we certainly can't just ditch them. But we can also ask God to remind us of His truth and His faithfulness. We can pray and ask Him to replace doubt, fear, anxiety, loneliness and hurt with truth, love, grace, gratitude, praise and contentment. We can choose to call a friend or loved one and choose community over isolation. We can be with God and be with others. We can fight the urge to be alone in our pity party. Besides, those that have surrendered their hearts and will to Jesus are never alone. Sometimes we just have our backs turned to Him. He lovingly reaches out to us and turns us toward Him again, toward His love and comfort and joy. That is always Enough!
But let's be real. Not all circumstances, not all situations, not all people and families are peachy keen or honky dory. Some of them actually stink. But there is still a deeper more concrete truth. We can choose not to engage in dysfunction. We can choose to forgive as God has forgiven us. We can choose to be forgiven. We can choose grace. We can choose to focus on Who God is and what He has already done. He gave His only son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for my sins and yours. If He never did another thing, THAT is enough. The struggle is to remember this truth.
In our pain and self focus, it is easy to forget that it's not all about us. But God is so wise to have put truth into the bible and into our hearts. We are to be thankful in all things and through all circumstances. That kind of thankfulness helps us focus on Enough. Not all things are good. Not even all people are good. But God is always good. He is a good good Father. He has reminded me, that even through things and people that haven't been so good, He can and does still bring good out of it all and through it all for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. He is the LORD of redemption and blessings. He is always Enough.