Sunday, January 11, 2015

Give Thanks in ALL Circumstances


I'm a single mom. I have been Lincoln's entire life. Single parenting is hard. Don't get me wrong, being his mom is the best thing that's ever happened to me. But it's hard going at it alone. There's a reason people don't wake up one day and decide, "I think I want to be a single parent!" It's tough. 

It's so easy for me to get caught up in the trap of looking at women who have husbands and thinking "Dang. They have it so easy." And the truth is, they may have it easier in that department, but worse somewhere else. Or maybe they have marital issues that I don't see on social media. Or whatever the case may be. 

If there's anything I've learned over these last 4 1/2 years, it's this. We all have our "stuff." We all have a situation or circumstance that is tough. Whether that be singleness, infertility, career issues, relationships, finances.. whatever. No one has a perfect life. 

It's easy to get caught up in a trap of comparison or complaining.

But the Bible commands us to do something in 1 Thessalonians 5:16..

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Aw man. That's God's will? That I find a way to give thanks in every circumstance?

I feel like that's a verse that's easy to read but hard to live out.

But if the Bible commands it, then we need to do it.

So God has really laid this verse on my heart the past four years. God allowed me to read this verse often and through it I began to look at each circumstance in my life as something I could be grateful for. 

For example, I'm thankful to be a single mom because Linc can sleep with me whenever I want. I'm thankful to be a single mom because it's taught {and is continually teaching} me strength that I didn't know I had. I'm thankful to be a single mom because I have extra time with Lincoln that I may not have had if I was married. 

And so there might be days where it's tough, but when it's tough and he wakes up in the middle of the night, I can say "Thank You, God, for allowing me this season for him to come cuddle up to me in bed." 

Friday morning I had to get up at four for clinicals, I was still feeling awful, and I just wanted to sleep. But my mind came to this and I thought, "Thank you God for allowing me the finances, the time, and the means to be able to go to school. I love what I'm doing, and that's a blessing."

I'm not oblivious. I know this verse is hard to live out {And I'm really only talking about one part of it}. It's hard to stand in a place that is full of chaos and pain and find something good. But God calls us to. 

He doesn't say we get to pick and choose what circumstance we give thanks in. He commands us to give thanks through it ALL.

There is something to be thankful for in each and every situation but it takes a change of perspective. Sometimes we focus so hard on the problem, we're completely unaware of the blessings around us. We have to stop elevating our problems, then give them to God, and look for the good. 

God has you where you are for a reason. Whether that be single parenting, going to school, and working {like me!} or a married Momma with a fabulous husband, three kids, and you get to stay home. Or maybe you're married and it seems like you'll never get pregnant. Or maybe you've been divorced and it feels like the whole world is against you. He has placed you where you are for such a time as this {Esther 4:14}. 

Shine for Him where you are and give thanks for it, daily. And if it's really hard, thank Him for it anyway. In nursing school we say fake it till you make it constantly, and it's the same in life. It may be hard to say thank you for this season you didn't particularly choose, but the more you do, the more you'll actually become thankful. He has a reason for it and He's going to do big things through you. Be encouraged that The Lord sees, He knows, and He's got great big plans for you. 

12 comments:

  1. Amen! I've found that when I enter into a new season, I can look back and see why God kept me in a certain place for a certain amount of time. It might be for our protection, or simply for personal/emotional/spiritual growth.

    Thanks for this reminder. :)

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    1. Yes, definitely! We can always see that He knew what He was doing when we look back!

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  2. I am learning daily that the key to contentment is a heart the expresses gratitude daily. It helps bring right perspective.

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    1. You're so right! God's really been working on that in my heart this last year!

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  3. This is an excellent post! I was just this afternoon contemplating this matter of being content in our own circumstances rather than, for better or worse, trying to compare them to others' lives. You're a great example of living this contentment out! It's true that we all have our own 'stuff'-and i'd rather have my stuff than anyone's else's in the world, because I don't know how to deal with theirs!

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    1. Thank you so much! I love how you put that.. We know how to do with our own things.. other people's would be too difficult!

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  4. So good and so true. Wow how I can compare myself to everyone else. Oh social media can be such a great platform for exposure and such a source of pseudo connection. Allowing the holy spirit to show us our identity is not only helpful with not comparing, but also for finding the drive and motivation on those mornings that are extra rough.

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    1. Social media is definitely a place that urges us to be discontent. I love that about allowing the Holy Spirit to show us our identity. You're so right!

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  5. This is a great reminder. Thank you for sharing. I struggle with this and it is something I am intentionally working on.

    God Bless
    Kimberley
    peculiartreasuresblog.com

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    1. I think we all struggle with it. I really have to be intentional with it too!

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  6. Thank you for sharing. I so am struggling with being content in my present circumstances.

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    1. I'm so sorry friend. It's so hard. I'm praying for you!

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