"Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings."
This statement hangs on the wall of my counseling office. I feel God speaking to me. I've read the words 100s of times. It obviously means something to me if it hangs on my wall...
But today, as I turned on my computer, lamp, and scentsy warmer, it posed a question, asking me to look at my "relationship" with a not so nice person. (no, not my son's dad)
"How can I be thankful for her?"
I know my face scrunched and brow furrowed at this. How can I?
1. I'm glad I'm not like her. This was my first, human thought. This lead me to think about the bitterness and anger this woman carries. I HAVE been that person. There are days that this anger filled, bitter person within me tries to run the show. Which lead me to the very real pain lying at the core of bitterness and anger. I THANKED God for continuously healing my heart's pain.
2. I thought about all the people in my life that are not like her... but then I think about how some of the classiest ladies I hang with have spewed some venom a time or two, and I loved and supported them with justifications in hand if needed. I THANKED God for His forgiveness.
3. I thought about how this woman said ugly things about me utilizing government programs to support my kids. I've recently elevated into a new tax bracket. I no longer live below the poverty line, disqualifying me from these same programs. I am nervous, but I also feel a need to reign in my pride as I remember who truly provides for me and my family. I THANKED God for His provisions, mentally, emotionally, and physically supporting us at all times.
4. I thought about how I've prayed for this woman. I just go through the motions. I say the right words, praying for all members of her family and different aspects of her life. Even though I may not be completely sincere in the beginning, God shows up, softens my heart, and opens my understanding. I THANKED God for His presence and teaching me how to pray.
And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness–secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name. Isaiah 45:3
I know there are many things I can be thankful for, and God will reveal them to me as I allow Him to search my heart and continuously seek Him.