The women’s group at my church met this past week for the annual white elephant gift exchange. It was a wonderful evening spent with good friends and great food! When I went to bed that night, I felt this sense of gratitude just wash over me. I started my nightly prayers with what I was thankful for, and I found my list growing longer and longer as I thought with excitement about what God is doing in my life and the wonderful people in my life.
There was a time in my life when I was very bitter. Life was hard and I felt alone. But God brought me through it. He didn’t take away my mental illness but He did bring friends into my life, so I didn’t feel so alone. He didn’t take away my struggles, but He brought people into my life to move me towards health.
As 2023 comes to a close, and the excitement of the New Year brings resolutions and hope, it’s the perfect time to take stock in our lives. I lost my mother this past year. Not a day goes by without me thinking of her and missing her. I also started new ministries such as the Mental Health Task Force and the Abundant Health Team for the United Methodist Church. I moved closer to my goal of being a Certified Lay Minister. The grief was tempered with feelings of appreciation.
In this coming year, I urge you to focus on the positives in your life and give your struggles to God. It took me a long time to get where I am mentally and spiritually, but I see God at work in my life and I just get excited. I want you to have that excitement, too and I KNOW God can bring us through the dark times in our lives. He may not fix everything we want Him to fix, but we can trust His promise to be there with us while we wait.
Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash