May 10, 2017

When gratitude is hard

I wrote the following during my meditative time Tuesday morning, May 9 as I reflected on the wide range of my emotions in response to the recent dramatic shift in my life.

I was working through finding a healthy perspective on my son’s arrest and the opportunities this meant for his life moving forward from here.

When gratitude is hard

As I experience this feeling of loneliness and loss.

How does this gratitude thing work, Lord?

I carry mixed emotions of an interrupted journey, simultaneously beautiful and painful.

I focused on finding peace in the chaos, believing in progress and redemption.

I embraced every opportunity to start anew,

While celebrating this precious, new experience of healing and honesty.

You have it all in Your hands.

You know where all paths lead.

You understand how everything turns out, in the end.

You encourage us to trust in this newness and then take it away,

To be replaced it with darkness, emptiness and uncertainty.

Through it all,

I am encouraged to move closer to You.

I am reminded to offer You gratitude.

I am challenged to find hope in You, and know You better.

Yet, this interruption makes it difficult to embrace those behaviors;

We had You, we had each other, and then it’s all gone;

Now, we are back at another beginning, starting another, new journey.

How can this be? How does this work?

How can I find comfort in the constant interruption of progress?

How can I experience with confidence the beginning of another journey?

Father, teach me the rhythm of Your grace and Your ways,

Help me to better understand and trust Your plans,

Give me the confidence to walk through this enjoined in Your love and guidance,

Even though my heart is experiencing hurt, anger, and frustration.

When gratitude is hard, help me to find the courage to thank you for all that I have in You.

And, to find comfort in You when I am most isolated and distressed.

This is how my meditative time works. In my morning conversation with God, I usually share with Him exactly where I am at that moment in my life. Sometimes it is an open-ended question, sometimes I simply report on my emotional state at the time, and sometimes I bring a problem or a challenge into our time together.

Even though He already knows exactly where I am, my sharing helps me hear exactly what I want God to know.

When you read this, you can see I am struggling with finding comfort in this change. Yet, I know that God has this all figured out. I am really seeking to hear from him an assurance that He is there and everything will be okay. I am asking for a little assistance in trusting Him. This happens often in difficult, confusing times.  I know I am not the only one.

Here is what I received in my quiet time.  This is where God directed my thoughts.

 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2: 6-7 (NIV)

What I hear God saying to me is, ‘continue to live the life you have been given.  Celebrate this life rooted by and strengthened in your faith in Jesus. You know the truth about Me and you know I am with you always. Give thanks for these promises, for these truths, and for all you know about Me.’

When I read my notes, and study the scripture God directed me to, I cannot help but find confidence in His presence and His promises. From there, I find myself in gratitude for his marvelous love and move forward with confidence and peace, knowing He is with me and He knows exactly what He is doing.

This is one example of how quiet time works for me. The gift of clarity and peace in this quiet time is powerful. I would encourage you to try it.  If you need some help, let me know and I will walk you through it.

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I would love to hear from you. What issues are confronting you today? Where are you currently experiencing fear and shame relating to the struggles in your life? I have some pretty cool tools to guide you and would love to help.  Please let me know: dave@100Pedals.com.

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.

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