I spend a lot of time wishing I was someone different. Someone who doesn’t get stressed about little things, who doesn’t struggle with anxiety or depression or change. Someone with a different past and different baggage (smaller) and a brain that’s wired up normal. Someone who loves Christ and others with passion and boldness. Someone who lives in the present – and steps out without fear of tomorrow.
But wishing doesn’t change me. And wishing means I miss what I’ve got. There’s so much to be thankful for – and it’s not just the circumstances that have gone according to (my) plans. I’ve been thinking; what is God teaching me in the mess? What are the treasures I’ve been given in the darkness? And here’s a selection:
I wouldn’t wish an eating disorder on anyone: and just as there was sickness in it, so (at least in my experience), there was a lot of sin. But God works through our bad choices as well as our good; and He redeems even what we destroy. I’m thankful for a husband who stood by me in the furnace: and the God that kept him going when his wife was on leave. I’m thankful for a body that mostly works, (even if bits of it are scarred or broken). I’m thankful to have seen and survived a slavery that makes no sense and has claimed those stronger than me. I’m thankful I have a story to tell and a Lord who comes for the broken and the weak and the ones who seem past hope.
I wish I hadn’t spent so many years isolating myself. But I’m thankful for the discovery of the church that loves without demanding. I’m thankful for the restoration of family relationships that I pushed to breaking point. I’m thankful for friends who have stood by me and who remind me that life is in community.
I’m not thankful for depression. But I’m thankful for the knowledge that there’s a truth bigger than my feelings. I’m thankful for others who understand and pray and remind me I’m not alone. I’m thankful for doctors and meds. I’m thankful for the God who whispers hope in the storms. I’m thankful for a gospel that speaks to the sad and the broken and doesn’t expect me to have it together.
I’d like to be an extrovert and I’d like to be braver. But I love the gift of space and solitude; I think that scared people can be brave too and I’m not sure any of us fit into categories. I know God can and does change us: and I believe He’s changing me.
I’m thankful I can’t see the future. Today is enough!