This is a letter from Monique in which she shares her gratefulness in a story….enjoy! It expresses some traction in thankfulness.
A few weeks ago our pastor gave an invitation to people in our church, to share a story from their lives of how God was at work. He had stated that it could be something regarding thankfulness, God’s correction or encouragement in our lives. We planned to follow this with an early Thanksgiving meal together after church.
Although I was looking forward to sharing during the service, I was completely unprepared for the flood of emotion that came during worship. As we sang, it was as though a flood of memories streamed across my vision and all I could do was sob. Memories of how God had worked in my life and in others. I was literally overwhelmed with gratitude. I tried to stop the tears…as it seemed crying at home would be a better thing to do…but that wasn’t working, so I just let them flow and thanked God.
Piercing my heart the most that day…God’s mercy. Incomprehensible…that he would still love me given some of the poor decisions I’ve made in my life…words I’ve spoken that have hurt…indifference, selfishness, stubbornness, pride, etc etc. Over the years he has lavished me with his mercy…in the midst of correction and rebuke or discipline and consequences. At times, I’ve had this feeling inside that wells up deep in my soul and my shame wants to push away His mercy…in my mind I say,”save it for someone else more deserving Lord”…I want to run away and hide…and I struggle to receive it.
In the receiving, however, is where I’ve found life, hope, healing, freedom, strength and a passion for the reconciliation power of the Cross. Vic and I desire to walk alongside marriages and families to experience this life. We’ve watched God at work and seen couples overcome…infidelity, disconnectedness, apathy, indifference, immaturity and despair. Sometimes we see this at a conference we are leading and a couple experiences a major break-through. Much of the time, however, it is going through life together…sharing a meal, working on a project, a small group gathering, walking andtalking, bible study, prayer and listening. It all looks a little different as we are each unique and connect with God in various ways.
As Vic and I reflect on another year in marriage and family ministry, we are so thankful for who God is, and grateful, that in some mysterious way, we get to be a part of what He is up to. As 2011 comes to a close, we want to thank you, our supporters, for all your prayers and giving this year, and in years past. God has provided for our family through your support. We could not do this without you, we need you. Thank you so very much.