When our Associate Pastor shared recently about his gratitude for the people in his life who have shaped and influenced him, he encouraged us to tap into the power of remembering.
I heard this and realized I NEEDED that kind of power in my life because I have been a bit stuck of late. 2019 hasn’t been the easiest of years, so this November I have found myself fatigued and a bit burned-out. And when I get to that exhausted place, my energy isn’t the only thing to wane–my attitude can take a dip, as well.
I need a shift of focus–off myself, my circumstances, and my feelings and back onto my Savior. I need some sort of power to help me move my head. So, I close my eyes and ask the Holy Spirit to come. Be that power. And help me remember.
My breathing slows. My thoughts settle. And I start to remember–
I am blessed with the best of families. We’re healthy. We like spending time with one another. I love to remember all the memories we’ve made, and that helps me look forward to more memory-making to come. In this season, we’re weathering some life storms together…but we’re together.
I am blessed with the most thoughtful, encouraging husband. And while we don’t get to see each other very much (oh, the jobs), when we have our Friday nights and Saturdays, we have found ways to make the most of them. And when I look ahead to our unknown future, I get a little giddy about the possible adventures that lay ahead of us while, at the same time, I get a little wiggy about all the unknowns. But then I remember how God has led us on each step of life, and I eventually get back to the giddy.
I am blessed with three of the most kind, big-hearted sons out there. They’re each gifted and wired so differently–it’s fun to see them growing up and finding their way. Even on the hard days. My mom-heart might start to worry about what the future holds sometimes, but then I remember that God has promised He loves them more than I do and that He has them. In His hands. Forever.
I am blessed with godly friends who live similar fast-paced, crazy lives as I do but who manage to make time to sit over coffee and tea to share their hearts and stories with me. They help me pause the whirlwind long enough to remember their love for me. And when we have the chance to pray together–oh, there’s just no better reminder of God’s presence and love.
I am blessed with a job that doesn’t often feel like a job. Sure, ministry can be intense and unrelenting at times, but most days I love what I do. I remember all the ways God has led and provided over the last 15 years, and I fall to my knees in humble adoration of the Lord I serve. I remember how none of this is mine, how it’s all His–and I get the perspective I need to move forward with joy and anticipation.
I am blessed to work with a group of Christ-followers who are genuine and full of grace. We’ve found ourselves in a season of tension and strain, but when we pause to remember that the church we serve is God’s and that HE is in control, we’re able to take a much-needed step back to re-orient ourselves under His banner of love. That kind of centering empowers us to move into what God wants for this local church with hope!
All this remembering fills me with an overpowering since of awe. And gratitude. And genuine praise for my Father.
As I’ve been reflecting over the last few days, my attitude has shifted and my chin has lifted. Instead of dwelling on all the hard and hurtful, my thoughts swirl with great memories and a renewed appreciation for all my blessings.
I pray that as you enter this season of Thanksgiving that no matter what you’re facing or what you’ve lost, you can stop. Breathe. Ask the Holy Spirit to come. And remember.
Remember–God is good. And He wants what is good for you. So even if you don’t see what good can come from your “hard and hurtful,” choose to shift your eyes to Jesus and watch expectantly for Him to move and work and breathe new life in you.
Remember–God is love. And He loves you so much that He sent His one and only Son to live and die and live again…for you. God. Loves. You.
Remember–God is present. He is Emmanuel, God with us. He never leaves us, never forsakes us. He is ever-present and always there to help. Always.
I pray we all find power in the remembering so that as we move into the holidays and a New Year, we’re able to do so with faith, hope, and joy.
Remembering, Shelley Johnson