Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One step

I didn't mean to tell the story I told, but when a dear friend asked if she could pray for me words tumbled out- all the words I never meant to share. It started simply enough- that the restored faith of a family member has been underwhelming to me when I thought it would be so joyous. And joyous it certainly was at first, but a bitter spirit crept in during these last weeks and I found myself pouring the ugly out too- words of jealousy and anger - the true words stuck in my heart:

"I have been faithful through everything all these years when so many people told me it was okay to turn away. And does anyone remember my obedience? My prayers? My faith?"

I suddenly realized what I'd said, what it sounded like, what it really was . . . and I cried.

There I was, the prodigal son's brother, worrying about what people thought of me when all that mattered was a soul returned to the Father.

It has only been a few months since I heard those words come out of my mouth and I felt a punch to the gut that sent our house upside down. I hadn't even fully realized that I'd been harboring those thoughts before they were born into actual words, but with that realization came a serious attitude adjustment that affected the whole family.

Learning to truly be thankful is a process, you know- a hard and dirt-revealing process. It took a full re-boot to my heartsong, the words that live in me, that I breathe in and out every day. And I know it's not complete.

Sometimes choosing to be thankful is a drop-you-to-your-knees-in-awe kind of thing, but far more often it's choosing to whisper little words of thanks as you work through the day, one simple step after the other. Thankful as you make breakfast, a few words of praise with every folded shirt, as you drive to the library, tuck littles into bed...

One step in front of the other. Obedience, faithfulness in the little things that we are called to do.

Ann Voskamp invites us to write about giving thanks today. You can visit her at A Holy Experience.

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  1. There's something about actually speaking the words, isn't there? James 5:16 always works: after confession, healing!

  2. Thank yo for sharing. Your authenticity is beautiful.

  3. I think we all find ourselves in that place from time to time. Great post. To be truly thankful is not an easy process.

  4. We've all heard words like that come out of our own mouths, and they hurt. I posted about the Prodigal Son too. It's amazing how we can see ourselves in both roles, back and forth- lost then resentful and back again. Thanks for posting your struggle.

  5. One step in front of another - indeed. I have often seen myself as the prodigal son's brother, too. Thankfully the Father loves all his children. We all have a long way to go. One step at a time...

  6. Erin,
    Isn't it amazing how things are going on inside us sometimes and we don't even know what it is until our words give it a name? You set a great example for how to respond when our words reveal our hearts' weaknesses. Thank you!


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