Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified
What Am I Thankful For???
When I was asked to get up and speak for a few minets about What I am Thankful for and share some of my testimony by Pastor, I of course had to say YES. I immediately sat down and started to think of what I could possibly say and keep it short. I started to think back to where I used to be and just how far the Lord has brought me in my life, tears and praise started to flow and I can't help but smile. I could go on and on all day about the many blessings in my life and some may think it was bragging.. when really it is me giving Glory to God. Some one recently told me, "Mary you are a blessed person" My natural reply was "Ofcourse I am! I am a daughter to the KING!" And that is what I am most thankful for because I did not always know that truth and I did not always know him.
That video that I asked them to play I found online and the first time I saw it I related to it profoundly. For me I could of wrote that song and those could have been images of my own teen years flashing up there. If you have ever seen that movie 13 you know it is basically about a young girl and she seems to grow into every parent's nightmare. I was the wild child trying to escape my reality of a childhood with sexual abuse and unstable home life, looking to be loved in all the wrong ways and I look back and marvel at how on earth did I come out of some of the situations I put myself in with out serious harm. How even then God wanted to know me and was calling out to me and drawing me to him.
I am thankful for that divinely appointed day when a women in a big red van pulled up and asked me if I needed a ride and thankful that she befriended me and spoke truth into my life and never looked down at me or judged me and the state I was in at that time. She only loved on me and showed me God's love. Before that day I was trying to live a good life but with many deep hurts and void of God's presence in my life. I was A young wife with two children and the third on the way, trying to escape my past. Joshua and I trying to make ends meet with very little and seeming bound to repeat the patterns set down by the parents who raised us.
I am thankful for who ever wrote that song "Jesus Lover Of My Soul" and to the Holy Spirit who ministered to me threw that song. The song that helped me realize that YES HE DOES LOVE ME.. HE WILL SET MY FEET ON A ROCK AND I CAN STAND ON HIS PROMISES AND HIS TRUTH. THAT HE IS THE LOVER OF MY SOUL, THE LOVE I HAD BEEN YEARNING FOR AND SEEKING MY WHOLE LIFE. He loved me and died for me even while I was a sinner.
I am Thankful for the scar on my husband's abdomen from his appendix surgery. It was shortly after that that he realized his mortality and his need for a relationship with The Lord. It was after that we became equally yoked and made God the center of our marriage. A quickly answered prayer because it was only a few months before that I remember crying and asking what do you do when your husband is not a Christian. Now I can look back and wonder how does ANY one hold a marriage together with out God in the center of it because with him in ours there has been Joy and Peace and a deeper Love. I know most of the couples who get married at 19 much less any age are on the road to divorce but Josh and I even though getting married and having children young we seem to get stronger threw the years.. Going on 10 this June.
I am Thankful for each of my children. They are each a special blessing and a joy and I am blessed doubly because I know that because of mistakes I have made in the past I may have very well been left barren if not for the grace of God. Zane the brain and wise beyond his years, Annie gentle and soft-spoken, Lilly full of excitement and energy, Sophia my baby who demands attention and my first daughter, Beautiful who I will meet in Heaven when that day comes.
I am thankful for each of the trails God has brought me and my family threw teaching me to walk with him and base my life on his love and provision and not on earthly things. For the times we did not know how were going to pay the bills or feed the children but some how he always provided. For God showing me to be content in each situation and to appreciate each blessing. Growing me in him and learning about what is really important in life.
I am thankful for when my niece was kidnapped over that Christmas from the Chicago bus station and he taught me threw all that how to rest in his Peace and promises, to hear his voice, that when we pray he does listen and he is in control despite what circumstances or other people say.
Ofcourse I am thankful for the wonderful new house we moved into at the end of this summer. I could have never dreamed of living in a house such as the Lord has blessed us with. Most of my life I have moved from apartment to apartment and when he lead us to the house we rented in O'fallon for 3yrs that to me was a miracle but to have a house of my own, that I could paint any way I want, have a pet, a yard and neighbors, room for the children to grow and then some.. I still get overwhelmed by how he moves and gives us only good things. Neither of our parents settled in one place for long and my parents never owned their own home.. so even the thought of us buying a house was not wired into my thinking beyond dreaming. I am sure Josh can tell you how I fought us even looking for a house to buy and how I just didn't feel worthy of a home of my own.
I remember once when I was 14 or so writing in my journal about a dream I had for my life. Thewonderful husband who would love me and take care of me the right way, the beautiful children I would have and the happy home we lived in. Me baking in the kitchen with a baby on my hip and the other kids playing in the yard with our dog and my husband coming home from work giving mea big kiss. Like one of those opening sceens from a 50's tv show. I cried because the thought at the time of having a stable idle life was too overwhelming and I just knew life was not like that and no one lived that way and I pushed that dream away. Now I know no one's life is perfect and life is work but all these years later God has blessed me with my childhood dreams, like he took a page out of my diary and said.. yep.. this is what I am going to do in Mary's life.. in my timing, if she yields to me and learns and grows in me and draws close to me..
Life abundant is what I am thankful for.. the life he has given me. Before I knew Jesus Christ I was living a dead life and all the things I tried to do on my own to make it better are indeed like fifthly rags compared to the work he has done in it. All I can be is thankful and in awe of him and I know these are just shadows of what is to come still, when Jesus returns.