gratitude

“So Spirit come put strength in every stride
Give grace for every hurdle
That we may run with faith to win the prize
Of a servant good and faithful
As saints of old still line the way
Retelling triumphs of His grace
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When with Christ we stand in glory”

 

i met some old friends at a bar in downtown l.a. this week… two nights before thanksgiving. also made a new friend in their midst. these “old friends” are actually about 10+ years younger than i am – having been youth group and college students at inland when i used to teach and serve in the youth group. we had drinks and appetizers at the bar and then hustled over to el Taurino for some mexican food. ’twas such a comfortable feeling to exchange laughter with them, to catch up on the ways God has been showing His providence in their lives, to hear about the journeys they have been on thus far. and at one point during the night, i thought to myself, “this must be how it feels to be grown-up.”

tonight, after a hectic yet relaxing day in diamond bar surrounded by my family, successfully accomplishing my first attempt at mac ‘n’ cheese, and helping my mom out in the kitchen, i am sitting in bed listening to sara bareilles and feeling the warmth of Ernie curled up around my ankles, under the covers… and i am reflecting on bits o’ life here and there…

the year is almost over. i anticipate it and fear it at the same time… anticipate it because work-wise, it’s something to look forward to, and fear it because the end-of-the-year means time is passing… passing… scurrying past, slipping through my fingers, like water running from the tap. do i need to grow up?

there are so many things i long for, dreams that i have had since childhood, some of which i am slowly laying to rest – not knowing if they will ever be fulfilled. there are other things that i wish for, yet am so scared of simultaneously. is this what being grown up also means? can’t i just wait and make time pass more slowly?

i think more than anything this thanksgiving, i’m just grateful to be alive, and to have my family and loved ones alive around me. yesterday during one of my last thx sessions, i was sitting with a young client on her apartment steps, half-shivering while trying to listen closely to her. i asked her what she was thankful for. she had only one: “i’m thankful to be alive.” she said it simply. i know she doesn’t find many things to be thankful for in her life. but she was thankful to be alive.

i’m thankful for grace. for being unmasked by it. for being saved by it. i’m thankful i could never measure up, no matter how hard i try. i am thankful it doesn’t end there. i’m thankful that i’m not in control. i’m thankful that Someone is. my head has been crowded with thoughts lately, my heart with feelings. it’s easy to be caught up in these thoughts and feelings – i often am. but through all of that, there are greater things in store. i’m grateful.

 

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