We focus on how far we still have to go rather than acknowledging how far we've come. We count others' blessings rather than seriously dwelling on our own. We spend time wishing to be someone else rather than genuinely thanking God for the gift of who we are and the unique journeys we find ourselves in.
We find it difficult to accept what makes us different because we aren't grateful for what makes us different. We look back at our own life stories or personal characteristics wishing we could edit, tweak, or delete some stuff. But that's not how this works. Gratitude means being grateful for the WHOLE thing. Even the burdensome things are blessings in disguise.
"I asked God to give me happiness. God said no. I give you blessings; happiness is up to you."
So take this challenge: look at your life in retrospect. See the whole story, the rise and fall of action, the conflicts and resolutions. See the people who've walked out and those who walked in, the ones who helped you fit into your skin, and the brief encounters that came at just the right moments. See how you cried out of sadness and out of joy, how you worried and how you found peace. See how you toiled hard and how you conquered, how you failed and how you learned. See how you were weak and how you found strength, how much you doubted and how you found faith.
Above all: see the One who authored your life story. The One who will never drop the pen. The One who is found in the details. In all things, God has made himself and his love known to us. If only we'd take the time to acknowledge him. Maybe then we can open our eyes to see that our lives -- our unique journeys -- are just as they should be. We are just as we should be.
Grateful, knowing that when God looks at us he sees people whose unique features are worth celebrating rather than changing. Grateful, knowing that no matter how badly we've sinned, his unfathomable mercy covers us anyway, his love unstoppable in endless pursuit of us. Grateful, knowing that God has held us in his hands this whole time and always will be.
Own up to your unique life story and to who you are, because all of this is a gift. Own up to it without shame. God is found in every detail -- in your life and in yourself. You were made in God's image.
I was in a discussion group once for my church youth group and realized that my journey with Christ was different from those around me. I realized that while most were in a season of abundance, I was in a season of draught. But I also realized that this was fine. My life was just as it should be. The way God speaks to me is different from the way God speaks to others, and the way God speaks to me will be different from the way he speaks to you.
Find His Voice.
You, too, will have the courage to #daretobedifferent.
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