They say to pause and reflect and at this time of year that can certainly be a lot more difficult. With shopping and kids and accidents and trying to find time to eat and write and all of that normally fun stuff.
As some of you may know, Ann Voskamp’s book literally changed my life. I mean literally. I was often suicidal and felt like I had no direction and that God had no direction for me. Then I started counting those gifts and what a world of a difference!! Looking for the gifts is easy for a day or so but after that it becomes a little bit more than difficult. Yet I still count on.
I have reached over a thousand gifts again this year and right now I take time to pause and reflect each night as I get snuggled into bed and write out the gifts from the day in my journal. It is so fun to see those gifts adding up. So amazing to know that even when I am physically assaulted by pain that God is blessing me with so much!
This has also shown me that it is NOT God who assails me, but Satan. God only wants good for me. While we all face trials He encourages growth. So instead of moping around because I am in pain it is a lot easier to look up to God and sing a worship song (off key) or simply ask Him “what would You like me to learn from this Father?”
His answer normally is empathy. Learn empathy.
Not that I am someone who is cruel or whatever, its actually quite the opposite, however I used to feel sympathy and sympathy really doesn’t help encourage anyone. But empathy does. I can relate to the girl who was beaten or raped and I can relate to the pain patient, the struggle with finding good doctors and proper medications and I can relate to dealing with a disease that won’t be going away. This gives me perspective and when I get the chance to hear a friend complain or feel useless my empathy can kick in, I can reflect on my own experience and do my best to encourage her from my own experience and my own prayer.
We are all different. Yet God is ALWAYS the same!