karigraceplace – A Lighthouse

How do you change your world? One word at a time, one heart at a time

How Can I Say Thanks?

Thought I’d posted this here on Thanksgiving Day. My bad. If you ever wondered what could possibly be on the heart of a very random redhead, that day this was. It’s the result of an assignment given to us by our writing cell-group leader, Renee. It was good to have a heart check-up. I cannot thank her enough for the exercise and discipline she requires of us, spurring us on to good works. Love you, dear friend.

My words are inadequate to express the depth of my gratitude to the One who loved me enough to give His life for mine, and change the course of my destiny. It started before I was even born. Jeremiah 1.5 says simply this: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’ Well, I don’t know about the whole prophet thing but I do know that I know that I know that He knew me, and had a plan for me. Why? you ask. And rightly so.

I’m nothing if not honest, blunt at times, so I’ll just cut to the chase.  I shouldn’t be here.  That’s a trite saying to some, but to me it’s fact. Yep. I was born dead. Beyond dead, actually.  “White asphyxiated”, according to my mother.  Blue asphyxiated is bad enough, but white… well, there’s very little hope of life for a baby born like that. When she talks all things medical she knows her stuff – as a midwife in London’s East End for many years she has tales to tell that are not for the faint of heart. She didn’t get around to mentioning I was born dead for about 40 years, but when she did it affected my life profoundly. That verse I came to relate to on an extremely intimate level.

Right now I seem to be living in a Romans 8.28 mode, telling myself that God is greater than my circumstances, and that ALL things work together for my good regardless of how I feel on a daily basis, because I’m called to walk by faith and not by feelings. How can I say thanks to the Creator of the universe, who saw fit to give me life, despite the odds? I can’t help but be thankful. If nothing else, I’m thankful for life.

I’m thankful for my two daughters. We’ve been through a lot together, and a mother’s love runs deep. They keep me on my knees. They say things, do things, choose things, that cause me pain. Hang around folk I wouldn’t choose for them. Use language they have no business using. I wanna slap them upside the head sometimes. One has decided“that whole religion thing works for you, mum, but not for me…” and that another lifestyle does. The other has decided to date a man outside of her faith. If it’s still even her faith. Still, they’re mine and I love them.

I’m thankful that the youngest is still alive and kicking. Usually me. Two days ago she was in a major serious car accident, and she lived to tell the tale. I’m thankful there’s still hope for her to return to the God of her salvation, the One she used to know quite well. If He can save thisstubborn gal, He can save anyone!!!

I’m thankful for the heroes who die daily for my right to live my life as I see fit and God directs. I’m thankful for the gift of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness because of men who will give their all to defend those freedoms. John 15.13 says that there is no greater love than the one that lays down its life for a friend. And these guys don’t even know me. I honour them and thank them for their sacrifice.

I’m thankful for true friends. The circle’s been getting smaller lately, but the ones that remain have been proved faithful. God told me once that a friend in need is a friend in DEED. They’re gentle. Patient. Time after time after time. How I treasure them.

I’m thankful for the gift to write. I lost that dream so many years ago and am in a season where God is restoring the years the locusts have stolen. I am finally brave enough to share what’s in my heart and be transparent, hoping to touch lives, change destinies, and populate heaven with the precious souls of those around me.

I’m thankful for God’s grace. (It’s my middle name, and I choose to embrace the grace rather than resist it, like I did for so very many years.) His mercy. His unending love. His goodness. I’m thankful for every new day. The chance to encourage, strengthen, empower someone in this sin-sick, dying world. I choose to rejoice despite my feelings, and be glad because regardless of my feelings, circumstances, or even finances, He’s still worthy. I choose to praise His name, even when it looks like He’s not working and I can’t see my way out. I’m thankful IN all things but not always thankful FOR all things. Yet one thing I know. Thou remainest. God is good, and His mercy endures forever. 

How can I say thanks? How indeed.

Kari, the hopeful saint

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