In All Circumstances

Monday, November 16, 2009

Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Being thankful does not come easily to me. Prayer is not always easy either, as it becomes less about the words I say and more about the ache in my heart that does not know how to pray as it ought. Sometimes the concrete is limited to a description of my circumstances.

When I first became ill, collapsing for months on end without a diagnosis, I learned to live outside my circumstances. I learned that the "concrete" I had taken for granted too often blurred together in an endless cycle of shattering disappointments.

One day that year, as a winter afternoon blurred rose-gold into lavender twilight, I poured out my tears and my frustration, asking God why I needed to live anymore? The life I was living was no life at all, and it was nothing that I had dreamed.

The answer came in a song I had sung recently:
When I look into Your holiness
When I gaze into Your loveliness
When all things that surround become shadows
In the light of You

I worship You, I worship You
The reason I live is to worship You

When I've found the joy of reaching Your heart
When my will becomes enthralled in Your love
When all things that surround become shadows
In the light of You
The worship, my appreciation of God as God, became a focus, a center for me then. As words and reasons and lists of things for gratitude fell away, I began to see that if my whole world fell apart He would still be God. His Presence became sanctuary, His heart my refuge.
I’ve been feeling kind of restless
I’ve been feeling out of place
I can hear a distant singing
A song that I can’t write
And it echoes of what I’m always trying to say

There’s a feeling I can’t capture
It’s always just a prayer away
I want to know the ending
Things hoped for but not seen
But I guess that’s the point of hoping anyway

Of going home, I’ll meet you at the table
Going home, I’ll meet you in the air
And you are never too young to think about it
Oh, I cannot wait to be home

I’m confined by my senses
To really know what you are like
You are more than I can fathom
And more than I can guess
And more than I can see with you in sight

But I have felt you with my spirit
I have felt you fill this room
And this is just an invitation
Just a sample of the whole
And I cannot wait to be going home

Going home, I’ll meet you at the table
Going home, I’ll meet you in the air
And you are never too young to think about it
Oh, I cannot wait to be going, to be going home

Face to face, how can it be?

'Cause this is just an invitation
Just a sample of the whole
And I cannot wait to be going home...


- Sara Groves, Going Home(Click title to listen.)
After knowing this nearness, the things in my life sometimes don't mean enough to me for gratitude. Really, there aren't words to describe His Godness. I measure His goodness and realize how limited is my perspective.

Thirteen: Spiced Orange Cheese Blintzes I had been craving for weeks. (Recipe to follow soon.)

Fourteen: A little unexpected money to help with a Christmas tree for dreams and light and special before Button comes.

Fifteen: Tiny pink boots and sweet, sweet memories found during weekend cleaning.

Sixteen: Bright, bright sunspots on fresh-mopped floors.

Seventeen: Little girl mischief that comes out in a smile. Irrepressible, precocious, so precious.

Eighteen: Carwashes and rushing water and silly faces on an adventure with Mom and Dad.

Nineteen: "Happy" and "Sad" and "Loopy" and "Sleepy" playing games with Daddy who really knows how to play.

Twenty: A bed that is made together on Monday, in spite of shower dressing and breakfast and hair-doing.

Twenty-One: Receiving blankets, stacked and waiting for new life...

Twenty-Two: New life that is growing, growing, growing...

Twenty-Three: And sweaters for cold arms and the need for them because fall has finally arrived
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This post also linked at Holy Experience for One Thousand Gifts.






(Images © Informal Moments Photography)

7 comments:

Melissa_Rae said...

So encouraging! I love the things you're thankful for! You really helped me to regain my perspective! Thanks!

Heidi said...

LOVE this post and all the photos of the daily things that you can be thankful for.

Carrie said...

Nice post - I love the pictures at the end - so cute! :)

Maureen said...

Having lived with and offered care to someone with advanced neurologic Lyme disease, I can and do understand how the "circumstances" of the illness can leave one feeling the "life i was living was no life at all". On some days, she was very positive; on many more, she despaired. To get her to see that life itself was reason enough to be thankful was an enormous struggle; I think she eventually was able to get to that place, or some semblance of that place.

You're there, Kelly. Hold onto to the notes of thanks you sing today. I can hear the harmony you make with your family. It's the sweetest sound there is.

Melissa said...

Beautiful....

Dianne said...

Beautiful post! Rejoicing in new life with you. Dianne

Danielle said...

Funny to read this just after my post on thankfulness. Guess we're learning together!

I love that Sara Groves song. That Face to Face line always catches me . . .

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