a thanksgiving post

"ugh, this to-do list is so long."

"wow, I really disagree with that."

"Oh....I guess that's okay."

"I'm not invited?"

"Goodness, I am so annoyed right now."

"Give me a BREAK."

"Can I do anything but this?"

"I really don't want to be here right now."

"I can't wait until I can leave."

"That's not what I expected..."

My inner dialogue with myself can sometimes be my worst enemy. The list of negativity, self-doubt, bitterness, and skepticism goes on and on and on...

Have you ever fallen into a rut like this? Where everything and everyone feels like a chore? Your flesh decides to just combat your every decision. You schedule something at the beginning of the week that was supposed to be fun, but come Thursday, you're looking for any possible way to get out of it. Anything that moves you off the couch or out of your bed is your enemy. Something negative. You start to annoy even yourself. Life just feels against you.

Anyone with me?

 When my husband and I were just friends and he was going through a difficult time, I wrote him a letter where at the beginning it said: "It's so easy to be sad."

I didn't think anything of it at the time but after the letter, the sentence just kept coming back into our conversations. It applied a lot more than we'd like to believe. It is just so easy to be sad and upset and negative. We as humans love to wallow in our own tears sometimes. 

If you're looking for a reason to be upset, you will find it. 

It gets to the point where if you feed it, negativity can become an idol in our life. I like the word feed. Our negativity and bitterness eat our attention. We can choose to feed and invest in it -- or we can place our efforts in another direction. 

I don't know who is resonating with this but our daily life can feel like a battle. Overcoming self-pity/bitterness/skepticism can be a legitimate fight. It can honestly feel like you're drowning.

Yet --

We can battle these dark feelings with thankfulness. 

Gratefulness is a weapon.

With our gratitude, we slowly chip away at the shell that we build up when we cover ourselves in our own disappointment.

What have you covered yourself in?

Resentment?

Unforgiveness?

Skepticism?

Doubt of self-worth?

Doubt of value?

Immobilization from regret?

Self-centeredness?

Bitterness?

Self-hate?

I went to a women's conference led by Christine Caine's ministry Propel and in worship it was like I could physically feel my resentment falling off of my skin. I felt the weight I had been carrying lift off of my shoulders. We get used to carrying so much weight in feeling sorry for ourselves that we forget what living in Christ is like. 

"No it's cool, Jesus, I got this."

*falls over and down the stairs*

Write it down. All that you're holding against yourself, your friends, your God.

Then write down what you are thankful for. And not in the cheesy Thanksgiving dinner around-the-table kind of way. But the gratitude that Jesus wants us to have for our life. I love this scripture:

"For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing...16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11, 16-18

His will is for us to rejoice.

Isn't that just so beautiful?

Jesus has felt our pain to the point of taking it all on, so we are even able to rejoice.

I'm honestly tearing up thinking about it. 

He does not want us to live in sadness. Psalm 56:8 says that He keeps track of all of our sorrows and He holds all of our tears in His bottle. He cares deeply about our pain -- but His will is for us not to live in it, because He conquered it.

In His sacrifice on the cross, He validates our pain but also defeats it at the same time.

And there is no pain or sorrow that His blood did not cover. 

Therefore we live in a spirit of thankfulness, fighting our thoughts that beg for us to think otherwise.

And this Thanksgiving, let's not end the gratitude after dinner.

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faithAllison Schmitz