Thanksgiving: a national holiday to get together with cousins you haven’t seen since last Thanksgiving and eat 50,000 calories you burnt for a week (AM I RITE? LOL)
On a more serious note, Thanksgiving can be a BIT tricky for me. As I share a warm meal with my friends and family to talk about the blessings of this year, I catch myself thanking God for the same, generic thing every year; “I’m thankful for all my friends and family who loves and support me in everything I do!” I totally say this with the utmost sincerity, however, I basically grumble for the whole year, possibly even the day before Thanksgiving. Reflecting on my year so far, it’s been a heck of a ride… If you want to read about my struggles, go ahead and check out my articles:
As we approach Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of this verse: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
I’m also reminded of this VBS song “Thankful”:
“I like to think about the goodness of the Lord
He gives me everything I need and so much more
So I just wanna lift my hands
and say that I love Him
I just wanna lift my heart in praise
And I wanna be
I wanna be
I wanna remember everything that the Lord has done”
HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DO THIS WHEN EVERYTHING FEELS LIKE IT’S GOING WRONG? HMMM?
YES, of course, I want to be thankful. It’s definitely not like I don’t see all the blessings in my life. I do recognize that God has done amazing things! But truth be told, as soon as I think about the current hiccups I’m having in my life, I lose sight of everything He’s done for me.
But God’s timing and people placement skills are truly amazing. Every time I’m just fueling myself with doubt about God’s goodness, someone speaks the truth into me. Majority of my recent convictions are circled around, “Why am I doing this and who am I doing this for?”
I get it. This question could sound SO cliché, but it’s been helping me stay rooted in the truth and helping me straighten my perspectives. I feel like I get so swept up by the world’s standard of the “where you should be in life” chart. By this, I mean that there are certain things you’re expected to achieve at a certain age or season. So according to this chart, I’m a little behind. By the age of 24/25, I think you’re expected to be working full time or already in grad school. I also can’t leave out parental pressure too. When it comes to parental pressure though, it’s not much of “They’re making me become a lawyer”, it’s more like “They’ve done so much for me and I wanna pay them back by becoming a daughter that they could be proud of.” Not to mention, I definitely let my goals and ambition get to me sometimes. (and not in a positive reinforcement way but in a toxic way where I basically scold myself for all my hiccups.) I also think I’m entitled to a lot of things…
BUT I bring back the question again! Who am I doing this for?
Honestly, it takes a lot of effort for me to be like, “EUNICE, YOU’RE NOT DOING THIS FOR ANYONE BUT GOD. Don’t be a fool” LOL. But when I really force the truth down my throat like this, it takes me to a peaceful place (believe it or not hahaha). When I proclaim the truth that this life is not MINE, all these pressures immediately disappear. I was getting so worked up by something that’s not even mine. God simply granted me the opportunity to live this life to glorify Him and nothing else. If my God, the rightful owner of my life, thinks that these little hiccups are JUST fine… why am I trippin’ out? If I told my dog sitter that my dog could get a treat everyday, then my dog sitter got nothin’ to worry about. She ain’t gonna sit there and wonder “Oh my goodness. Is Eunice sure about this? Are the other dogs also getting a treat everyday? Someone told me that dogs are suppose to get 4 treats everyday! UGH I’m frazzled!” NO SHE AIN’T GONNA DO THAT LOL She’ll simply follow the instruction to give one treat because she was told to do so and she can have some confidence in my knowledge and ability to take care of my dog. You feel me???
This season of disappointments have been an amazing opportunity to learn about how to accept the messiness and find contentment in God. One of the things my pastor preached a couple of weeks ago has been really helpful in shifting my perspective. He said, “God turns your mess into a message”. This has been truly amazing to just be okay with sitting in my mess and to know that I’m not left there to clean it up. I was challenged by my pastor on Sunday to think about what the root of my contentment is. As we read about Philippians 4:1-20, we see that Paul’s contentment had nothing to do with his circumstances. Paul was rejoicing in the truth of the gospel and nothing else. Paul knew that the only contentment that’s gonna last is our contentment in God.
Friends, I’ve been able to learn that mess is sometimes good and frankly, needed (this is coming from someone who can be very OCD with her life and likes to control LOL). God’s been teaching me to find joy in my mess and be okay with it because I don’t even deserve the life I have right now. If I think about what Jesus has done for me on the cross, I can’t even think about what I really deserve. I’m challenged this week to not reflect on my circumstances in search of thankfulness but on what Jesus did for me on the cross.
That’s all I have for now! Until next time, happy Thanksgiving, my friends!