Being Grateful Saved My Life

I’ve never been one to write a gratitude journal, even though it was insanely popular when Oprah was doing it. And, the time I tried to read ‘One Thousand Gifts’ by Ann Voscamp, I got a chapter in and realized I was in way over my head. It’s not that I don’t believe in being grateful. In fact I completely believe in being grateful. The only problem is that I have not always shown a whole lot of gratitude.

Let me ask you, how grateful are you?

There was a time in my life when I believed it was enough to say thanks for what I have, but that I also had the ability to go out and get what I want. I was raised to be an independent woman. And, although it served me well in many areas, it robbed me of my need for what others had to offer. Worst of all, I was never satisfied with what I had, and therefore not very grateful. 

Maybe you can relate. Surely, I am not the only one. 

The thing about being independent is that we learn to rely fully on our capabilities, and what we can provide for ourselves. It’s ok to go without, when we know that we are able to come up with what we need at a later date. Unfortunately, it leads to not being able to ask for help when we really need it. 

A few years ago, I embarked on a journey of starting my own business. It was risky, but I was willing to do it. Since then, I have experienced some serious ups and downs along the way. My goals were first and foremost and I desperately wanted to succeed. I know that doesn’t sound like a problem, but it was, and here’s why.. I got so caught up in what I wanted that I forgot to be grateful for what had already happened. 

My desire to get ahead eclipsed anything that I had achieved, or what God had already done. I had totally forgotten to be thankful for even the smallest wins. I basically came to the end of myself one day when I finally realized that there was no possible way of doing this one my own. My body had broken down, I was a wreck emotionally and weary from the process of trying to do it all myself. 

I needed God, and I needed to be grateful for the what He has already done in my life. It was during that time when I finally realized that I am not alone. God does want me to succeed, but he is more concerned with our relationship. He desires my worship (gratitude) over anything else. It’s ultimately all about him, and not really about me at all. 

Perhaps you find yourself in that place as well. You are ready to move forward but find it difficult to be thankful for the small things. Trust seems to elude you. Can I encourage you today to start seeing every small win as something greater, and then be thankful for it. Take time to celebrate, to worship God and to count every blessing that comes your way. It’s ok if things don’t happen in the speed you think they should happen. At the end of day, we are only given one opportunity to really make this life count, and I want to be thankful for it. 

Together We Are Better ... (and happy Canadian Thanksgiving)!