November 26, 2009

I Am Truly Thankful

This year was very unexpected. Nothing that happened in it was planned by me. It was a very hard year. It was full of difficulty and pain. There was so much heartache and tears. The wounds are deep.

But I am thankful.

I hadn't planned to leave my husband. I hadn't planned to go into a shelter. I hadn't planned to leave New York. I hadn't planned to live with my sister, my mother or my friend. I hadn't planned to have my baby by myself. I hadn't planned to be a single mother.

Still though, I'm thankful.

This year was the year that God planned to deliver me. It was the year when God knew that I was ready. He knew that all I had been through up until this year had equipped me for the exodus. He knew that I was at a place in my life where I would trust Him completely for the strength necessary for the journey.

He knew that at times it would get so tough I would feel like returning to my place of bondage. But He knew I had learned well that His grace would be sufficient for me and in spite of how I'd feel, I'd never go back.

So, I am thankful.

This has been a year of revolution in my life, and revolution is usually accompanied by war. The one oppressing my life had to be overthrown. God fought all the battles and handed me all the victories. My enemy pursued me in an attempt to crush me. In the end, he was defeated.

The enemy of all mankind tried to tell me I couldn't do it, I wouldn't make it, that I was stupid and my life was over. But my heavenly Father said, "Not so."

I am so thankful.

This was the year that a change was gonna come. All change begins with a decision. A decision got me in this relationship and a decision got me out. I decided that my children and I couldn't live with the pain and the fear any longer. I decided that we deserved to live in peace. My decision passed judgement on something that had not really been a consideration and it translated into the catalyst I needed to act on it.

God has truly caused all things to come together for our good. He has done some amazing things for us this year. There is not a single thing that I could've made happen on my own in the perfect succession in which He did it. My children and I have witnessed first hand the way God does miracles today that are as awesome as the parting of the sea.

When I walked out of the door of my prison/home with my children for the last time, I had no idea what to expect. I didn't have a plan and I had no idea what would come next. I had just jumped off a cliff without a parachute. I stepped out to cross the sea without a bridge.

But God showed me that He is my parachute and if I take the courage to jump He will bring me to the ground gently. He showed me that if I will step out in faith onto the water, He will build the bridge step by step as I go. He is my bridge over troubled waters.

So on Thanksgiving and really everyday, I have so very much to be thankful for.

I am thankful we are free.
I am thankful we are safe.
I am thankful that we no longer live in fear.
I am thankful to no longer be hurt.
I am thankful for my children.
I am thankful for all of the court victories.
I am thankful for my mom, dad and sisters.
I am thankful for my good friends - old and new.
I am thankful for my church families.
I am thankful for a place to live.
I am thankful for food to eat.
I am thankful for my car.
I am thankful for good health.
I am thankful for God's supply and provision.
I am thankful for everyone that has helped us in any way.
I am thankful for Safe Horizon.
I am thankful for Genesis.
I am thankful for Turning Point.
I am thankful for Life Academy.
I am thankful for the people who adopted our family for Christmas.
I am thankful for hope, a new life and a good future.
I am thankful for God's love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and kindness.
I am thankful for Jesus and the joy, peace, goodness, eternal life and all that He died to give me.

My sistas (and any good brothers out there), I'm still not all that I should be; but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: forgetting the past, forgetting that man, forgetting all that was done to hurt me; and I will reach forward to all the good things that God has laid out ahead of me; I will press through and press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3.13-14)

I hope you and your families have a blessed and
Happy Thanksgiving.