I’m trying to stick to my resolution not to post what seem like prescriptive letters and instead start to document more of the learning aspect of my life.

So far, the month has been really heavy. October started so beautifully and appeared full of promise but toward the end of the month, everything seemed to come apart. I found myself miles behind the fresh start I thought I was making. I had taken a few positive steps toward something I really wanted but ruined it all in a moment of impulsiveness. In some weird way, that moment seemed to affect everything else that was going on with me. Soon afterwards, I received some really shocking news and I thank God because He held me through it.

This is not to say that the recent weeks have not been full of blessings or promise. God is still God, after all. It’s just been beautiful in a different way.

I’ve said before that God saying “I will never leave you nor forsake you” could also mean “I will not allow anything to cause you to leave Me or forsake Me.” In a way, that statement might seem like God violating the free will He gave us, but I don’t think it is – and even if it were, so what? He is God. I think that He takes the covenant of salvation so seriously and wants us to truly understand that we are His and He is ours; that we can have no other gods before Him and we cannot worship any other person or thing in His presence. God has allowed some humbling events to happen over the past few weeks that have shown me that I am absolutely nothing and know absolutely nothing without Him. But for His grace, I would be a mess and in a mess.

And as I reflect on my blessings this night before Thanksgiving Day, I find I am most thankful for this; the fact that God’s love for me is so vast and deep and vehement and unquenchable, and the fact that while He loves me as I am and meets me where I am, He will not “leave” me unchanged (I use quote marks because He is not going anywhere). I have to grow. I have to learn. And if I am to make progress, I have to be both willing and obedient to His call and His command.

I’ve received such love and grace from God. I have learned such lessons and made such discoveries. The hurts and celebrations serve to enrich my relationship with Him. There are some things for which I have no answers and there are things that have not gone as I would want. I’m having to rejoice in my weaknesses and cling to Him through the struggle to overcome them. But I believe His word that His thoughts toward me are of peace and not of evil. The Judge of all the earth shall do right. I say, with David, “Many, O LORD my God, are your wonderful works which you have done, and your thoughts which are toward us: they cannot be recounted in order unto you: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.”

Happy Thanksgiving!