Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Thursdays of Thankfulness

Lydia is beginning a weekly series called Thursdays of Thankfulness, over at Renewed Day by Day. Make sure to go read the intro to the series, and I encourage you to participate. Maybe it's too late for you to write a post this week, but start thinking for next week! Thanksgiving in all things is definitely something we can all work on cultivating.

Here is my own submission for this week's Thursdays of Thankfulness:

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Today I'm thankful for the many ways in the past two years that God has answered my prayers in ways I would not have wished. Yes, it sounds strange. But in the past few months I've specifically been reflecting on circumstances in my life over the past few years that definitely did not go according to my plans. Yet in the end I find myself praising God for His infinite wisdom.

Two years ago what I wanted more than just about anything was to drop out of college, find a different church, and marry and have kids. Yet today, I'm thankful that I did finish college in accordance with my parents' wishes, I'm thankful that I have the privilege of worshipping with the same body of believers, and I'm thankful for these past two years of singleness, during which God has grown and stretched me in unbelievable ways.

As I enthusiastically worked through two-column proofs with my students today, and as I saw the light in their eyes when they "got it," I was thankful for the opportunity to pass on my love of math to a new generation of students. Teaching is not what I would like to do with my whole life, but it is my calling now, and I rejoice in it. Yesterday, as I fellowshipped with the women from my church as we studied God's word together, I was thankful to God for these women in my life. And as I sat under the preaching of God's word this Sunday, I praised God for the truths He revealed through my pastor. As I now glance at my still-bare left ring finger, I thank God that I didn't marry right after college graduation, as I had long-hoped. I had so much to still learn! . . and the learning process is far from over. I thank Him for the valleys He has brought me through and the ways He has prepared me over the past few years, preparation I do still pray will be for marriage, but all in His time, according to His will.

I thank God for disappointed hopes and dreams, and then I thank Him for the brilliantly-lit silver lining among the "clouds." Today I'm thankful for the times when God, in His infinite wisdom, has answered me with a "no," when I begged Him for a "yes." Unsearchable is His wisdom, perfect are His plans. Amen and amen.

8 comments:

ableknife said...

hey...just reading through your blog and found this lovely post. you have such a wonderful attitude! when you mentioned your calling, i thought of a book i recently read called Chazown by Craig Groeschel. it's a Christian book that helps one to find their calling according to God, by utilizing their gifts. sounds like maybe it would be helpful to you for the future. blessings to you~

Lydia said...

Wow, Susan. What an excellent, uplifting post. Thanks for sharing your expressions of thankfulness.

I could relate to much of what you said about wishing for different circumstances but learning to be content and wait on God for his timing. I, too, feel that God has been growing me and stretching me more than ever over the last 2-3 years. If I could have chosen what happened, it wouldn't have turned out the way it has, but I'm grateful that he is sovereign and has my best interests at heart in conforming me to his Son's image.

Lovely write-up! I anticipate more excellent contributions from you for future Thursdays of Thankfulness.

Anna Naomi said...

Wow. That was beautiful, Susan. Thank you for sharing your heart. It was very encouraging. Oftentimes I think the same things... I miss our old home church and would much rather be with old friends on Sunday, yet I'm learning to grow in our new church as well. Oftentimes I wish that I could be married soon after high school, but I remember that I need to trust God to bring about His perfect will, and be willing to wait and grow in Him. "Bloom where your planted" is good advice, yet so hard sometimes! Thank you for sharing your thankfulness, even in hard times.

I had to laugh about your showing proofs to your students, and getting their bright looks when they "got" it. It took me a while to get it as well, but now that I understand it, it's so easy! =)

Susan said...

Welcome to my blog, Ableknife! I have not heard of that book, but thank you for the recommendation :).

Excellent point about God's sovereignty as He conforms us to His image, Lydia. That is the chief "good" of which the often-misquoted Romans 9:28 speaks. We need v. 29 for context!

I love the advice to "bloom where planted," Anna. That's a nice way of putting it. And I know I said this on your blog as well, but I just love your new profile picture! It is so pretty and old-fashioned :).

Kim said...

Hi, Susan!

What a wonderful post. I often think that one of the biggest challenges of following Christ is when He asks us to let Him hold our dreams -- especially the ones that are good and godly! What a struggle that can be!

It is so evident in your writing that God is working in you. As someone married for 13 years, I can tell you that all this growth and maturity will serve you so well and keep you from many pitfalls in learning to love and live with your future husband. Be of good cheer! :-) (I only wish I had been as thoughtful, well-read, and mature as you when I was your age!)

Many blessings,
Kim
(I think I left a comment once before and introduced myself, though it may have been a while!)

Anna Naomi said...

Thanks, Susan! I really liked how the picture turned out, and I was ready for a change. I like being old-fasioned!

Susan said...

Thank you for the encouragement, Kim! Soli Deo Gloria.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this beautiful post, Susan :). As you know from reading some of my blog posts (particularly the one on the anniversary of my car accident), I can identify with the thoughts you express.