[notice]A monthly column by Vivienne Solomons who is a legal consultant who passionately believes that God wants His people to make a difference right where they are and to stand up for what is true and just. She is also passionate about encouraging young women to walk victoriously with God and she is engaged in a challenging faith journey as a parent of a child with special needs.[/notice]
As 2016 draws rapidly to a close, I have become more contemplative, that is both reflective in regard to everything I either experienced or was witness to in 2016 and expectant as I look forward to all that 2017 holds for me and my family.
Again, I am reminded of the Scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, where we are encouraged to give thanks in all circumstances. Not just certain circumstances but all circumstances. And not just when we feel like it, but all the time!
I confess, even as a believer I still wrestle with this. I do not always find it easy to give thanks, particularly under trying circumstances. My natural inclination is to focus on what ‘went wrong’ and to complain.
But really, what it comes down to is a choice, and it is mine to make. I can choose to be grateful or I can choose to grumble and complain. So while I am all too aware of those things I would rather have ‘passed me by’ or didn’t accomplish in 2016, I am choosing to shift my focus to some of my many reasons to give thanks:
I am thankful for all that God did in me and through me this year. He met me in my darkest moments and I, in turn, was privileged to minister to others with greater compassion.
I am thankful for a loving husband and a healthy marriage. Even 18 years in, our relationship continues to be an amazing journey of adventure and discovery.
I am thankful for my son and all that he has overcome and been able to achieve this year.
I am thankful for my natural family, who accept me and love me just as I am.
I am thankful for my family by marriage, who love and support me in every season of life.
I am thankful for my spiritual family, both local and international, who inspire me and continue to call out God’s unique plan and purpose for my life.
And yes, I am even thankful for the challenges I faced and the struggles I had to walk through this year, for they have not only shaped me but also highlighted what is truly important to me, and what I wish my life to look like.
But more than this, I am thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ who came to earth and took the sins of the world upon Himself so that I may know Him and experience freedom from every encumbrance that would prevent me from living an abundant and overcoming life.
What are you thankful for in 2016? Whatever it may be, may you experience a wonderful festive season with your family and loved ones and may you step refreshed into a blessed and prosperous 2017!