InPursuit

Count Your Blessings {It Does Something To The Soul!}

It’s that time of the year when we wrap up the old and get ready for the new.  Sometimes it’s messy. Many times the frayed edges of life are difficult to tidy up. If you’re anything like I was about 5 years ago, I couldn’t bear the idea of starting a new year knowing I’d be going home to the same old mess. I liken it to fingernails scratching terribly down the walls of my soul, leaving me to contend with bitterness and cynicism. There cannot possibly be a worse way to start a new year.

Except perhaps choosing to remain there. Yeah, that would be much worse.

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So what do we do when we’re not ready to face the New Year?

What do we do when we’re not sure tomorrow will look any different than today?

What do we do when we’re scared to believe things will get better because we can’t bear to be disappointed again?

What happens when you’re facing the coming year alone, when you’re sick in a hospital, when your husband left you, when you’ve lost your job?

How does one march forward bravely when the fog is so dense, the pain unbearable, the road so uncertain?

I’ve been there. Here’s a glimpse of what that looked like:

“I was dreading going into the New Year. I mean what’s the point? We’re going to sit in a service and talk about how ‘a New Year is here and all things are made new!’  right?! While everyone was putting on their New Years best, I was sorting through my 2 plastic bins trying to find something that said ‘celebrating’ rather than ‘hand me down’. While everyone was decorating their homes and having parties, I was sitting with a family in a hotel suite.

I dreaded the thought of getting the family into the car on December 31st, 2010 and driving down to our local church. I dreaded finding a place to sit and I dreaded singing and dancing and hearing a message come forth about a New Year. Because when the clock hit midnight and 12:01 am rolled around… when 2011 came to greet us and everyone cheered and laughed and hugged and kissed… when the food was gone and all the desserts were eaten, when the lights at the event were turned off and we got into our car…. we weren’t headed anywhere new. We were headed back to our reality… we were in a hotel suite… life was hitting us with many difficulties and the New Year for me didn’t bring with it anything new…”

 

Count The Blessings

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We’re unable to walk into the New Year with joy, peace, and hope if we’re unable to see the hand of God at work in our today, in our yesterday. So the solution to my dilemma? Counting my blessings. I felt God ministering to my deepest pain and disappointments.

“Darlene, you are looking at 2010 with your face up against the wall. All you see is the pain and all that you’ve had to go through. 2011 is more than just a New Year. 2011 is the beginning of a new decade. I know you’re hurt. I know that you are grieving. And that’s alright with Me…

But step back. Step away from all the pain that you see in front of you. Step back and look at the last decade of your life.

1999-2003, you gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby boy and knew the delight of being a mother for the first time.

2003, You accepted Me as your Lord and Savior.

2004, You met Jason (your husband).

2005, You got married.

2006, You became a first time home owner.

2007, You had your faith child, Chai’anne.

2003-Present, You’ve experienced my faithfulness and my supernatural provision over and over again.

Look back Darlene. This past decade has been amazing. You’ve grown. You’ve changed. And I’ve been there all along.

If this is what you’ve experienced in the past 10 years of your life, when you were just getting your act together, when you had so many unsorted issues, if this is what you’ve experienced thus far…. you cannot even imagine what I have in store for you this next decade.”

Hope Restored

Just like that my perception changed. Hope was restored and I had a reason to move forward. I had a reason to hope, to dream, to believe. Waking up to a new year no longer made me bitter. Instead, it filled me with joy unspeakable. Counting my blessings was another way of counting God’s faithfulness!

Tracking God’s goodness in my life absolved me of my pity party and cynicism. I was no longer bound to my depressing outlook. I was free from despair and hopelessness. His light shone brightly in the midst of my darkness!

So, what do you say? I’m not rushing you to get over your pain. I’m not telling you to pray more, trust more, hope more, and believe more. Today, won’t you consider just counting your blessings? It won’t immediately change your situation, but it will do something to your soul. Counting blessings has a way of doing that!

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© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

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