If there’s one thing I love, it’s the holiday season. I was born for it. Honestly, y’all, I was born on December 18-just in time to be crowned the most enthusiastic welcomer of baby Jesus. Each year on Thanksgiving, my family writes down things we are thankful for on decorative leaves to hang on our mantle for the remainder of the year. And while my journalist mind makes me craft creative ways of expressing it, I am thankful for the same things each year. It’s become more like writing a Grammy speech-don’t forget your mom, your neighbor, your cat, your “people.” It’s not a bad thing, because I really am incredibly thankful for each and every one of those blessings. I just think I’m missing an opportunity.
In the middle of uncertainty or a rough season, have you ever thought,”Even though God promises I will be okay, I wish I could have some kind of confirmation from the future to tell me I will make it this time?” I have. When the season is over, I am so quick to run out as fast as I can, never wanting to look back. But on my way out, I slam the door on so much crucial affirmation and reassurance. God is saying, See, I brought you here for a reason: because I love you, but I am already too far away to hear it.
What if we kept a running list of promises kept? On those days when I am quick to forget God’s track record, I would have it in print and be able to say, “You were faithful here, here, and here, so you will be now, too!” Because sometimes my heart needs a little pep talk.
As the year closes, I am starting a promises kept list instead of a thankfulness list. Ultimately, it will become one in the same, but will point me to Who has kept the promise along the way. I need to remind myself of the reasons I have the things I’m thankful for, and they live in the same vein of the One I am forever grateful. Looking for promises challenges me to turn even the most unpleasant memories into those I am grateful for, ones that would never make the list otherwise.
For example, I am not easily able to say I am thankful for the sleepless, anxious nights I’ve had this semester.
But I can without a doubt say, God kept His promises in my anxiety that He would comfort and quiet me. He did not leave me nor forsake me. He strengthened me and rejoiced over me with singing. Now, I can genuinely say, I am thankful.
Do this with me! This year, let’s really count ALL of our blessings and set the tone for a faith-fueled new year. And how awesome will it be years from now to look back at lines of handwritten confidence in the Lord’s promises? I can’t wait to start filling pages! Happy list-making!