Progressive faith or how to count down your blessings.

If you asked me 2 months ago if I was a runner, I would have laughed and said, most emphatically: “No!  Unless I’m being chased.”.  I dislocated my knee and had two (unrelated) surgeries, all in one year, I’m a little out of shape. Yet now, I’m running a mile and a half twice a week with my children at their school’s running club.  Okay, my participation is more a run-walk-jog-walk-run but, every week I’m running more and walking less. 

If you asked me 12 months ago if I was a writer, I would have been too protective of my written thoughts to reply with anything affirmative. Now, I have a blog, I’m part of a writer’s group and I’ve done the scariest thing ever for me!  I shared my written creation with others!  For critique, no less!  Not just a book I’m working on, but my heart’s most inner thoughts, my poetry!  This is coming from a former high school student who once wrote a fantastic story (so she was told), and took an F because I would not, could not, stand up in front of the class to give an oral presentation.

5 years ago, I was not a public speaker, now I speak to church groups, and young people in the ministry groups I help lead and with young women outside of the groups through mentoring I do with them. 

10 years ago, I was not yet a mother, now my life is so full with two gregarious clones of my DNA!

30 years ago, I wasn’t sure how I was going to survive what was happening to me at the hands of someone I should have been able to trust. Now that pain gives me empathy and a sad, sincere credibility to others looking for help in their own private hells.

This looks like a scattered countdown of the past but, it’s so much more.  I can see now where the impossible became possible and where I took a chance and let God work.  I am not arrogant enough to suggest He was just on the sidelines and I was doing it on my own.  People were praying for me all along without knowing specifics.

Rather, I am grateful for Him continuously weaving his river of life throughout my history unbeknownst to me, while He awaited my free will to choose to change my heart to trust Him. I know I was under His protection when things could have been so much worse, although that was hard to believe at the time.

It’s scary and humbling to think there are people being affected by what I say or write. It is incomprehensible to me how my life experiences are being used to effectively impact people today. It is hugely reassuring to stand vulnerable to my God and ask for and receive His grace, time and time again.

You matter! I’m sorry for the pain you’ve been witness to and my heart breaks for the suffering you have been subjected to, whether in the past, present, or both. I can’t take that away. I can’t tell you it will ever completely go away. Here’s what I can tell you.

People out there have walked a similar path and are waiting and willing to share your pain and show you love and build a relationship with you, pray with and for you. If you invest yourself in those relationships, you will get better and stronger. As long as Christ is a priority and a major part of your recovery, you will put distance between you and the pain. There will be a time when you too, can count down your blessings.

If it’s too painful to talk about, write about it. Drop me a comment and let me know what you’ve been able to count down in your life.

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