I put pen to paper, extracting the anxiety that has built inside, letting it flow out in steady streams and into lines of blue. I need my head-space back, cleared out. It’s hard to see vibrant happy when gray fogs your brain. So, I spill out on paper.
I have this thing I do… writing the things that cast fog and fear. Then, in another color, writing why it’s not a Kingdom-issue, why it’s going to be okay even when it’s not. I cast Kingdom perspective over troubled waters, stilling the rumble and roars. I pray, and then I fill my day with little “happies” – the things that make me smile. And, I reroute with thanksgiving.
But, as my soul bled out by the furious scribbles of my hand, I found myself drifting. Instead of simply focusing on the matters immediately at hand, the BIG things that haunted my days, I began to consider the ways I have felt wronged. Now, and then, and every bit in between. Some of them, legitimate hurts. Some, simply my own growing needed to fill the gaps. But, once it began, I could feel myself reeling.
I can’t believe he did that. Why does she act like that? Why can’t they see? How does he prosper when I struggle to keep my feet grounded when it should be the other way around? Why can’t I just have ____________. I’d be happy if I had ___________ (insert husband, wife, child, better home, more money, better job, friend, parent, relationship, vehicle or anything else here).
Then, with a gasp, I came up for air and breathed. It’s easy, once we get started, isn’t it? When we begin the decline down the spiral of fear, envy, worry, hate, and shame? Like a circular staircase, it leads us right down to the enemy’s lair. And, just like that, we find ourselves in shackles, prisoners.
But, how do we climb out of black-holes and lift gray fogs? Thanksgiving.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” – Philippians 4:6
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Give thanks in ALL circumstances. In happy times and in times where our smiles have been drowned by tears. Anytime, Anywhere. Every time, Everywhere.
This practicing of Thanksgiving goes against my flesh, and my muscles scream as they are stretched. It is a practice, something I will never inherently be good at, but it is the thing in which will keep my freedom. There are days when we become so weary that we need friends to help us hold up our arms in praise – just like Moses and the battle between the Israelites and Amalekites (Exodus 17: 8-16). And that’s okay. This will forever be a practice… practicing thanksgiving.