This year has been a process with God for me. It has meant long nights of me just praying and asking God if there was any way to get to where I was going faster than I was going. It means I have had to learn that hard does not always mean bad. I have learned that if people really care that means they are going to say things that are not easy to hear, and they are going to hold your hand while you make the first step toward healing.

Circumstances are not something I can control, though I definitely have tried. Thankfulness for the present, to me, acknowledges that there will only ever be the moment that we are in right now. We can plan and plan for things, but in all actuality, we have no idea if these plans will ever come to fruition, and that is actually out of the kindness of God’s heart for us. This season, I am taking time to acknowledge the goodness in front of me, because I know I will never have another time like right now.

I am thankful for the process. This season has been one of healing and making redemption personal in my life. This process is hard, and there is merit to the saying “sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.” Embracing what this process has looked like has propelled me deeper into what healing looks like for me. Healing has not happened all at once, far from it, but I know it is out of the kindness of God’s heart that it is a step-by-step process.

I am thankful that life does not have to be heavy all the time. There are moments that call for heaviness with God, and those moments are necessary. However, God is so much fun, and joy radiates from the Spirit of God. In the midst of the process, I have had moments with God that are marked by laughter.

I am thankful for the community God has given me to support me during this time. God raises up armies around us in the midst of a battle. I know God cares for me, and He has shown that to me, in that I do not have to fight this battle by myself. God has given me people that care deeply, love boldly, and pursue relentlessly. In this community, it’s hard to feel anything but supported.

I am thankful for the brokenness in my story. In brokenness, there is restoration. God paid everything to be able to shine a light into our brokenness. The heart of the Father for me in this season is that of a perfect God who looked at the darkest parts of my mess and decided to choose me anyway. God does this every day.

I am thankful for the Father’s heart. The Father’s heart is far better than I ever imagined, and I am only beginning to grasp that I will never grasp how good God is to me. The Father wants to clothe us in beauty and righteousness. The Father is always looking for an opportunity to restore, even before something is taken away from us. God has always and will always be for us. We do not have to make ourselves right for God to be for us. God is for us; therefore, God makes us right before himself.

I am thankful that God is an active protector to me. I have always been taught that God is for me, but until this season, I did not realize how God takes an active stance in protecting me. God does not passively stand over me, defending me from a battle He cannot do anything about. God stands over me in a offensive stance while looking for an opportunity to advance our position. I have a part to play in that I move with God, but I am not fighting for myself by myself.

Thankfulness for the season that I am in has been hard at times, but I am deeply convinced of God’s goodness after experiencing this year. God’s plans are so much better than I ever imagined and He is more for me than I think I will ever know. God has shown the depths of his goodness toward me, in that when I could not be kind to myself, he reached into my pit and pulled me out.

Author | Cristina Rosiles