“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:3 (NIV)
Thinking back on the bumpy road of my life up to the present moment, I can definitely say no matter what challenge is going on at the time, more things go right than wrong at any given time.
For example, fairly recently a relationship I had such high hopes for fell apart fast and hard, within the same time my mother found out she had stage 4 colon cancer, and in 2½ months passed away. While all of this was going on, someone I had called friend and agreed to roommate with to help with our cost of living expenses turned out to be not such a good a friend, violating the friendship and damaging it to the point that the dynamics changed and it won’t ever be what it used to be. Talk about feeling kicked in the guts! Three aspects of my life changed in a big way all around the same time.
After an appropriate amount of time grieving the loss of my mother, although I still shed tears now and then for her, the feelings of sadness, loss, betrayal, you name it swirled around inside me for long enough. I was feeling so blah so much of the time. I had to start encouraging myself and remember what was going right in my life.
Keeping a blessing journal has really helped me encourage myself, by keeping track and reviewing my blessings in remembrance of what God has done for me. In which God instructs us to do in Isaiah 46:9 (NLT) says, “Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me.”
I had heard about keeping a blessing journal several times and always thought it was a good idea, but didn’t put in it to practice until the topic came up again in my women’s bible study group when we read One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. After doing that study I actually put it into practice.
A few things I had written in my blessing journal concurrently going on at the same time during those challenging times were:
- I have a roof over my head.
- A working vehicle to get my daily living done.
- Food in my belly.
- Hot running water.
- A comfy bed to sleep in.
- Admiring beautiful sunrises/sunsets.
- Someone told me the positive qualities she sees in me.
- My daughter’s love and support.
- The presence of my horses is good medicine.
Also listed are a few answered prayers and several fun surprises God blessed me with. I can literally declare, God has done great things for me and I am filled with joy!!!
Amidst any struggle, God sure shows his love with blessings that just seem to blend into the background of our lives and sometimes get overlooked. For most of us, whatever we are struggling with, simultaneously these blessings are still there in the backdrop of our daily lives and are going right. Now whenever a challenge comes up, I allow myself to feel what I need to feel because it’s important to acknowledge our pain, then as soon as I can I start encouraging myself by saying, “Heather, more things are going right than wrong.” By picking up my blessing journal, counting my blessings, and giving thanks to God my inner wellbeing shifts.
Are there a few circumstances in my life I’m not too crazy about and would like them to change, you bet! Do I sometimes slip and get weary by giving my circumstances too much attention, guilty! Do I think life can be unfair at times and feel upset at injustices? Oh yeah!
In times like this, I have to make a conscious choice to pick up my blessing journal, start reviewing it, and honor God by obeying Him and keep in remembrance all he has done for me and is doing for me presently. Sometimes if I need and extra boost of feel good I will call or fellowship with a friend who can offer words of encouragement. Reading my Bible or other scripturally inspiring books helps too.
To some degree we will all experience being hurt or discouraged in life. Remembering more things go right than wrong and counting our blessings will help bring peace to the heart.
My Prayer: Lord, no matter what is going on in my life, may my thoughts return to all you have done for me and fill me with joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
ASK FOR PERMISSION Heather Britain and Blessed At All Times, April 2015.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of written material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.